When the Truth is Stranger Than Fiction


immersion travelSometimes truth is stranger than fiction. Telling the truth can actually be a lot more fun than making it up. I teach on the university level and am amazed by how often I’m asked by my students, “Is that the truth or you just made it up?” I tend to sputter a response, “Of course it’s true!” I teach Professional Writing and Speaking in Welch College of Business at Sacred Heart University in Fairfield, Connecticut. My business students can’t make things up, why would I?

Because we have a class coming up focusing on how to handle Skype, or Facetime interviews for jobs or internships, I told them about my experiences.  Part of my pre-planning for my first travel book, Immersion Travel USA:  The Best and Most Meaningful Volunteering, Living, and Learning Excursions was applying for summer jobs on the West Coast. Why? Because my real goal was to drive to Alaska from Weston, Connecticut in my Toyota Corolla on my own. I wanted to work there during the summer as a Park Ranger (that’s another whole story). Since I’d never driven cross country before, or found a job totally online and then traveled across country to take it, I was trying to be cautious and smart.

I knew it was a bit much to drive to Alaska if I had not yet driven to California. Therefore, my first solo trip was cross country. I applied for cooking jobs through www.coolworks.com and www.cooljobs.com because that seemed to be a big area for hiring. I’m a great cook with some catering experience and focused on jobs on the West Coast. Obviously, with the great distance between East and West Coasts, all of my interviews were via telephone, FaceTime, and Skype. I applied for five jobs and received three offers.

“Did you make that up?” was the first thing I was asked.

“No,” I responded.

“Did you really do that? Drive cross country to cook?”

“Yes. I was a breakfast/lunch cook in Stehekin, Washington, the furthest point north from Lake Chelan, Washington. The only ways to access the location was by foot on the Pacific Crest Trail, ferry, barge, or pontoon plane.”

“So, if that is really true, why in the world would you want to do that?”St. Mary Lake

2 Responses
  • Gabi Coatsworth
    March 24, 2019

    And did you answer the question? Why in the world would you want to do that?

    • Sheryl Kayne
      March 30, 2019

      Because it is so much fun! I love discovering new places, and not just visiting, but truly becoming part of the community through working, volunteering, and truly getting to know all about the local history, people, place, and culture. That’s what Immersion and Volunteer Travel are all about!