Today we’d like to introduce you to Gina Duncan.
Gina, please kick things off for us by telling us about yourself and your journey so far.
One of my favorite things about growing up in New York City were its apartment building rooftops. As a child I would sit on a blanket write and watch the airplanes take off from LaGuardia Airport. I spent hours writing stories and poems about traveling to new destinations and the people I might meet. One of my travel poems was published in a collective book of poetry when I was 13. The travel bug really hit me when I became an avid reader of stories where the protagonist took adventures and discovered new places. High school was where I discovered that you can tell stories through photography. In my college years at Chatham University I began to focus more on television production.
I had the opportunity to work for the kindest man I have ever met in the television industry, Mr. Rogers. I spent a year writing in Public Relations on his children’s TV show Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood. I also spent several years writing for a PBS legal show and then producing promotions for an ABC affiliate in Washington, D.C.
I moved to Atlanta to grow my family. I was volunteering with the youth at my church and the opportunity became available for me to oversee the program. I began sharing my passion for travel by planning and leading teens on pilgrimages and retreats around the world. I have led youth classes with monks in a village in France and danced a Scottish ceilidh on an island in Scotland. I’ve been lobster fishing off the coast of Maine, hiked to a glacier in Alaska and walked 62 miles of the Camino de Santiago pilgrimage in Spain.
Now, I am on a new journey. I am combining all my passions writing, photography and helping young people inspire each other with my travel website, My Rooftop Stories.
Can you give our readers some background on your art?
I have a travel website called My Rooftop Stories. I created the site to be a place to collaborate with other passionate travel writers. A section of my website offers young adults the opportunity to share their travel stories. I have six young writers and photographers who are my young ambassadors inspiring other teens to become storytellers. Our adult Storyteller Ambassadors, Stokes O’Shields and Katy Matello are writers with unique perspectives in art and history. My goal is to share our passion for travel and provide inspiration for someone to find their next destination.
For me, travel is about experiencing myself in an entirely different environment. It is in these unfamiliar places and interactions with new cultures that I discover my stories. I want to inspire others to turn their travel experience into a story and create a community of storytellers.
Any advice for aspiring or new artists?
My advice would be to write and travel. It’s never too late to start. Write whenever you can. Whenever I get an idea, I type it in the notes app on my phone. I also like to hand write, so I journal. I have been journaling since those rooftop days and have also created one for every trip that I have been on. I write what I see when I travel, the way the food tasted, the sounds around me and the stories I want to remember about the people I have met.
Traveling is not expensive. You can find cheap flights, stay in hostels and AirBnb. There are so many ways to bargain travel that cost should not prevent you from getting out there.
I wish someone had told me not to be afraid to have others read what you write. Writing for my travel website is different than most of the earlier writing I’ve done. I have spent too much time worrying about what others will think of my writing before I hit the post button.
Every week I put a new quote up as my inspiration. So, “Be fearless in the pursuit of what sets your soul on fire. “When you find what you are passionate about don’t let anyone tell you that you can’t do it. Then when you are doing it, be encouraging to others who are trying to discover their passion.
What’s the best way for someone to check out your work and provide support?
You can find my website at myrooftopstories.com and see our photos on Instagram @myrooftopstories. Read our stories, check out our pictures, sign up to get our monthly newsletter. But mostly we want you to collaborate with us and share your travel stories.
- Website: https://www.myrooftopstories.com
- Email: email@example.com
- Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/myrooftopstories
- Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/myrooftopstories
- Other: https://www.pinterest.com/myrooftopstories/