“It’s not that the grass is always greener, it’s that you can’t be on both sides of the lawn.” … Laura Fraser. Fraser remembers an …
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“It’s not that the grass is always greener, it’s that you can’t
be on both sides of the lawn.” … Laura Fraser.
Fraser remembers an idyllic summer in beautiful San Miguel de
Allende, Mexico, when as the youngest of Virginia and Chuck
Fraser’s four daughters, she and her family left their Littleton
home for the summer to experience the rhythms, sights and sounds of
another world, and hopefully begin to learn another language. The
10-year-old gained confidence as she and her sisters explored
freely and made friends with the bakery owner, artists and other
The summer stay led to a subsequent career path, at least partly
inspired by her mother’s independence and activism and her dad’s
solid, supportive presence.
On June 7, she will be in Littleton for a family visit and
appearance at 7:30 p.m. at the Tattered Cover Highlands Ranch to
talk with readers and sign copies of “All Over the Map,” her newly
“All Over the Map,” begins in the lovely Zocalo, square, in
Oaxaca, Mexico, where she has gone to celebrate her 40th birthday
and meet again with the Professor, her French lover with whom she
found joy as she recovered from a difficult divorce. They had met
sporadically over four years at various places in the world. Her
previous best seller, “An Italian Affair” had ended with her being
uncertain if they would meet again.
He told Laura that there was another woman in his life, a
permanent relationship. She arrives home, contemplating a suitcase
full of dirty clothes and an emptiness in her life that calls for
some sort of action.
For this seasoned travel journalist, that would mean packing
that suitcase and heading out again from her San Francisco
apartment — a fantasy plan for many of us, but a way of life for
this woman who creates a story idea and pitches it to a magazine or
newspaper who will buy it — and pay for the trip.
And, she repeatedly wonders if she will ever have a home and
family of her own, as the biological clock ticks on.
Fraser has created a fine career, with her work published in a
wide range of periodicals ranging from New York Times and Gourmet
to Mother Jones and many food, travel and health-oriented
publications. Often, her angle includes the women in a given locale
or situation. She is an in-demand speaker, appears on TV and and
teaches in a wide array of workshops.
Her eight-year journey in “All Over the Map” led her first back
to the Colorado wilderness and a strenuous Outward Bound week. A
college reunion with Wesleyan University classmates followed. Most
seemed settled with careers, marriages and kids — a niche she
thought she wanted. Those women were envious of her freedom to pick
up and go.
A New York visit brings a fling with a hunky Brazilian and next,
she’s off to Italy: Naples, Rome, Trieste, for a story about the
dismal lives of immigrant women forced into sex trafficking.
Tropical Samoa beckoned, with a possible story about fa’afafine,
a third gender in that society. Sadly, she suffered a sexual
assault there that made her feel vulnerable and afraid of travel
for a long time.
A Texas prison story adds to her anxiety, as does a Kansas City
story about a 50 year old divorcee who became HIV positive after a
single encounter. Time with good friends helps and after a cycling
trip in Provence with a cousin, surrounded by fine food and wind
and great scenery, things looked brighter, aided by a brief Paris
visit with the Professor.
A Gourmet assignment to write about the food in the Aeolian
Islands, a trip shared with an Italian friend brought a level of
contentment, that allowed her to head to Buenos Aires to improve
her tango skills and write about being a turista tanguera.By 2005, there was a new man in
her life, who agreed to travel and hike in Peru for yet another
Rwanda meant excruciating accounts of the 1994 genocide and a
ray of hope in a visit to a coffee project in Butare, which
resulted in a New York Times international business story.
In winter 2007, an editor called about a story on single
expatriate women who were enjoying life in San Miguel de Allende
and with her return there came a joy that led to purchase of a very
old, very small house, which she was able to turn into a perfect
little spot for herself — the first home she has owned. It
surrounds her with tranquility, in contrast to lively San
Francisco, which is still really home.
She can live part time in each place, feel at peace with her
world as it is and continue her career.
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