A bit about me personally,
At the age of 9 my grandmother gave me a years subscription to the National Geographic magazine. I loved this magazine. The colorful pictures captivated me and best of all was the giant map that came in each issue. I soon had quite a collection of these maps. I really can't say that I read the magazine much more than the article titles and picture captions. At age 9, it was mostly just a picture book for me.
One day I was looking through my newly received issue of Nat Geo and I came upon an article about an African village. As I studied the many interesting pictures and turned the pages, I suddenly snapped the the magazine closed. I looked around my bedroom as I sat there on the floor. The door was closed. Slowly, alternating my eyes between the closed door and the magazine, I reopened to the picture that had caused me alarm.
There were half naked women and the half that wasn't naked wasn't very well covered either. Several of them and their children were standing in front of a round thatched roof hut. I was nervous looking at the picture. I wasn't sure if I should be. What kind of magazine had my grandmother given me? Did she know it contained nudity? I do not remember if I read the entire article but I do remember that I read enough of the article to learn that these people lived in a place called Africa and the little thatched roof huts were their houses.
I sat and contemplated the pictures and the text I had read. Was this real? (Please note this was 1973. A 9 year old, who was an only child especially, did not know nearly as much as the 9 year old's of today) People could not really live in these huts and most certainly would not choose to walk around exposed as they were in front of others. I was distraught. Was this book fictional? I thought it was supposed to be all true. I decided I had to know.
Mom was stirring something on the kitchen stove when I approached her. After letting her know I was about to ask a very serious question, I held the picture up in front of her and said "Is this real?" "Is it real?" I remember her repeating. "Yes. Do these people really live in those little houses, and naked?" She smiled and I know she chuckled to herself as she explained that all this was in fact true. As I asked questions she explained how far away Africa was and how differently the people lived from us. Wow. If mom says it's for real, then it is. I returned to my room and that day I decided that some day, some how, I wanted to visit this place and see these people for myself.
Years passed and I grew up. It was the 1980's. I had become a young single mom and Naomi Campbell had been America's first super model employed directly from Kenya, Africa. There was an article written about her and her homeland in Vogue magazine. After reading it and looking at the few pictures of Africa, I decided East Africa was indeed a place I had to visit someday.
Throughout my childhood, Dad, Mom and I traveled frequently. By the time I was 16, I had seen the entire United States except for Alaska. I loved to travel and hoped to be able to one day travel on my own and to much more exotic places.
That long time desire was finally fulfilled when I visited Ethiopia,Tanzania and Zanzibar in 2008. I returned to East Africa again in 2010, visiting Ethiopia and Kenya.
My writing began when I was 9 years old also. We had moved from mid Michigan up into northern Michigan. I became a great letter writer. I wrote my grandmother and one of my aunts almost weekly and many other family members and friends randomly. I also began to keep a diary. In the fourth grade I became the editor of our school newspaper. By sixth grade I was writing short stories. I loved to write. In junior high school, I took journalism one, two and three. And, in high school I took all the creative writing classes that were offered. I knew in high school that one day I would write a book.
Back cover text:
Karen Stilson Armour has been traveling abroad since 2001. She has traveled alone in Northern and Eastern Africa, through Central America and into the South Pacific. Her travels have been planned with God, taken with God and blessed by God. Ever deepening faith has made her a fearless traveler.
Through numerous conversations, Karen came to the realization that there are an alarming number of Christians who fear. With some probing from God, she decided to tackle the issue of fear within with her travel writing debut. The result is an entertaining compilation of some of her memorable travel experiences intertwined with her knowledge of how to conquer fear and build a relationship with God worthy of His protection and continuous blessing.
“It is all about faith which is determined by how much knowledge you possess. The more of God’s word you know, the less fear can take hold in your life.”- Karen Stilson Armour
Within this brilliantly intertwined text you will encounter adventure, romance, humor, positive quotes that will make you think, comprehensive how to prepare and go chapters and the Holy inspired word of God.
Whether you are an experienced traveler or an armchair traveler, there is something written here for everyone.