The Official Bio
Laura Zera is a freelance writer who has traveled to almost 60 countries and has lived and worked in Cameroon, Canada, Israel, South Africa and the United States. She is a contributor to GoodFood World and Cheapflights.ca and is currently working on her second book, a memoir about being raised by a mother with schizophrenia. Laura’s first book (written as Laura Enridge), 2004’s Tro-tros and Potholes, chronicles her solo adventures through five countries in West Africa. Her work can also be found in the anthology Write for the Fight: A Collection of Seasonal Essays, released in 2012 by Booktrope Publishing.
Originally from Vancouver, British Columbia, Laura now lives in Seattle, Washington. She is married to photographer Francis Zera.
The Long and Unofficial Bio
If you got your hands on my résumé, you might think your dog had thrown up its breakfast (that’s the metaphor, right?). I’m here to tell you, though, at least 50 percent of it has been intentional. I like to dabble, and if I’m good at something, I cycle back to it every few years. International development work and IT project management are two such things.
What else? I’m a writer, I’m a reader, I’m a cheesecake eater (Steve Miller Band, you’ve got competition). I’ve read a lot of books, but don’t remember a lot of book details; they tend to leave my memory shortly after the last page is turned, even though I wish it wasn’t so. It could be because my head’s full of foreign swear words and things like price codes for the drywall I sold as a cashier at Beaver Lumber in the early 90s (625-602 for ½-inch).
I blog mainly about travel (more on that below) and mental health, and I also speak on those topics. The latter is something I’m exquisitely familiar with, having grown up with a mother who suffered from psychosis, escaping at age 15, and then developing my very own mental health challenges. If you knew me, you’d never guess I struggle with bouts of depression and I’m often complimented on my positive energy. I call that proof that mental illness doesn’t define us.
My most treasured book is my Canadian passport. I love to travel solo, with a backpack and no plan beyond a destination, and then tell people-focused stories about it. My simple belief is that the more we know about each other, the more we will do to ensure each other’s long-term health and prosperity, whether it be for your neighbor next door, or someone thousands of miles away who you’ve never met.
Traveling with my hubby is great, too. He takes really fantastic photos, which is awesome…except when it’s freezing cold and windy and he wants to set up his tripod on a bridge in Istanbul and linger for 20 minutes…and then when he won’t actually share his image files with you because you always complain about them being so big… but I digress.
It’s been pointed out to me that I tend to support the underdog. Yes, but only when they’re plucky. I’m one of those people who will actually say “world peace” if you ask me what I most desire. If you drive slowly and you are in front of me, however, I will swear at you. Sorry. Finally, I’m both afraid and curious to see how much my eyebrows would fill in if I stopped plucking them. Mostly afraid. (When backpacking in Ghana, an English woman approached me and said, “you look like a girl who wouldn’t go anywhere without a pair of tweezers.” She was looking to borrow a pair, and I still lent them to her, despite her cheekiness. God, I love the English.)
Thank you for connecting with me. I hope you’ll come back often.