My name is Hannah Wolfe, and I’m a writer and traveler who is happiest when outside. I live my with my boyfriend, Bartholomew and 2 baby kittens in Philadelphia, PA, USA.
I Like to Go Outside
As a child, my favorite toy was an illuminated globe that came with a photographer’s loupe. I’d spend hours spinning the globe, using the loupe to zero in on fascinating images in the places where they lived: A hatted mountie in Canada. The colorfully patterned plumes of St. Basil’s Cathedral. A wise sea turtle in the Great Barrier Reef.
I grew up in rural Pennsylvania. Since I didn’t travel much as a kid, I delighted in thorough exploration of the world around me. I’d run through the woods, climbing trees and peeking at caterpillars wriggling around in bundles of web. I’d lay down in the fields of the farm behind the woods, letting the wheat crash around me as the wind moved it like waves.
It was a vibrant, dynamic world, but I was painfully aware that it was only a tiny sliver. To further the sliver’s borders, I read, which opened my mind to farer reaches. It also inspired a passion for writing, which became an integral part of me. Not something I love to do, but something I must do.
My First Time Out of the Country
During college, I double majored in English and communication/journalism. After college, my job prospects were slim, and after months of applying and being met with silent rejection, I went back to school for a teaching English to speakers of other languages (TESOL) certificate, which would allow me to teach English abroad. It was a shift from writing, but it came with ample opportunities to inspire story: the chance to travel, help others, and work with people whose lives were fascinatingly different from mine. It felt like a perfect fit.
My first time out of the United States, I was 24 years old. I was off to South Korea to teach English on a year-long contract. Before Korea, the places I’d been could fit into a narrow set of borders that fell entirely along the east coast of the United States.
Korea was going to be the adventure that expanded that world. It was as far away as I could possibly go, and after I had a year of teaching under my belt, I would use that experience to populate the vast expanse between Pennsylvania and South Korea. I’d take teaching contracts around the world and explore every country I could along the way.
But it was a total disaster. I return to the USA after 2 months, 10 months before my contract ended. I moved back in with my parents to try and figure things out. It was devastating.
My Move to Philadelphia
After months of job searching, I realized that to teach in the USA, I would need further schooling. I didn’t want to spend the money on grad school, and I no longer was sure that teaching was what I wanted to do. I missed writing, so I got a job stringing for a local newspaper. The pay was a whopping $25 per story, so I also took a job answering phone calls at a large bank chain. My spare hours were spent at the coffee shop, searching for writing-intensive jobs, and after 4 months, I finally found one. The new job was at an internet marketing firm. I moved myself to Philadelphia to start the job.
Living Life, Inside & Out
I am still working at that job today. My life is mostly stationary, but it’s different from the narrow experience I lived as a child. My marketing position suits my strengths well, and I’ve learned a lot. I live 8 miles from the heart of a major city that I love to explore, and I’ve even checked a few things off my bucket list, like a solo hike in Zion National Park.
I spend my vacation time exploring faraway places, just like I dreamt of all my life. And I spend my weekends exploring the outdoors around me, like I did when I was kid, only a bit more sophisticated.