I caught the travel bug early in life and made my first solo trip to Europe right after high school. Many years in corporate work honed my business skills and paid for my domestic and foreign travel. But a trip to Italy for my 50th birthday renewed my passion for photography and confirmed that I wanted to pursue it as a lifetime career. For this special trip, I created my own “Under the Tuscan Sun” tour. This was my first visit to Italy and it was all I had expected and more. I visited Rome, Tuscany, Umbria, and the Amalfi Coast. The weather and lifestyle in this Mediterranean region is similar to that of Southern California, the place I have called home for over a quarter century. And I quickly fell in love with it, snapping photos at every opportunity. When I returned home, I researched Photographer’s Market and Writer’s Market for outlets to sell my images. And contacted U.S. publications that might be interested in photos of Italy. To my delight, Italian America magazine published one of my favorite images on their cover and I was paid $250! The image was taken from the terrace of the Villa Rosa where we stayed and holds the quintessential view of Positano, with homes and businesses spilling down the mountainside to the sea. I have since resold it to other publications for an additional $100 too. (And I hope to resell it again in the future.) Since that trip, I’ve returned to Positano multiple times and enjoyed repeated complimentary stays at Villa Rosa in exchange for photography of their properties there. The sea view from my room (I usually reserve Room 35 or 36 on one of the upper floors) must be photographed on every visit. Little changes, but I never tire of it. The owners, on their website, business cards and brochures, are currently using images I created. They have treated me to meals in their restaurant and gifted clothing from their store to my husband and me too. With family obligations keeping me stateside for a while, I am now pursuing local writing and photo assignments. I know a lot about my hometown so my articles will address local interests that visitors to Orange County and Southern California might find valuable. And because I am a photographer by trade, I will always include images with articles. Reaching my travel goals will be a life-long journey… I’d like to visit every state in the United States and every continent in the world. But I know it will be that much more enjoyable (and affordable) to achieve with my camera by my side.