Travels bring Nealson to LA

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Talk > Photojournalist, author will give presentation at Mesa Public Library

By Jennifer Garcia


Author and freelance photojournalist Christina Nealson has traveled to Africa, Canada, Central America, Mexico and across the western United States. 

From 1-3 p.m. Sunday, she will be in Los Alamos to talk about her latest book, “Drive Me Wild: A Western Odyssey.” 

She has also written, “New Mexico’s Sanctuaries, Retreats and Sacred Places,” “Living on the  Spine: A Woman’s Life in the Sangre de Cristo Mountains,” and “At the Edge: Cooperative Teachings for Global Survival.”

Nealson was born and raised in the small farming village of West Liberty, Iowa. She spends the majority of the year traveling and writing, but when she’s not globe-trotting, she calls Mancos, Colo., home.  

As one might imagine, this is not her first trip to Los Alamos. She has been here before to promote her book, “Living on the Spine: A Women’s Life in the Sangre de Cristo Mountains.” She was also scheduled to do a presentation on sacred sites based on her book, “New Mexico’s Sanctuaries, Retreats and Sacred Places,” but said she was forced to cancel the date. “It’s wonderful to return this time,” she said.

If there is one thing that Nealson enjoys, it is traveling. Her journeys have taken her to Kenya, Zimbabwe and Tanzania. She travels with Teak, a chocolate Lab and Hobo, an orange Tabby, whom she picked up in British Columbia, after he climbed onto the undercarriage of her truck while on a visit there.

“I’ve traveled to every state in the U.S. except Hawaii, every province in Canada, mainland and Baja, Mexico and Central America,” she said. “I’ve been to Denmark (home of my ancestors) and France.”

For Nealson, traveling is more than just seeing new places. 

“I travel to connect with different landscapes. I am an avid birdwatcher and am particularly skilled at spotting wild life,” she said. “I have been blessed in my life to meet people and be able to share the special places in their lives, like a summer on the ocean, exploring islands off southeast Alaska. I guess you could say I’m addicted to awe.”

She said she does not have a favorite destination, but did mention that she loves the Rocky Mountains and the “large predator terrain of northwest Montana and Alaska, where wolf and grizzly roam.” 

“I love the desert Southwest, where I have lived for over 30 years, especially the Sonoran Desert. I love the beaches of Mexico and the Baja Peninsula, especially when I have a book to finish,” she said.

Nealson plans to write a sequel to her latest book, “The Wild Way Home,” once this book tour is over. 

“Where will I do this? It remains to be seen and will probably come out of the blue,” she said.

Though Nealson has traveled extensively, she still seems to find time to teach, lecture and keep a blog (christinaNealson.blogspot.com).

“I write a blog on my travel and contacts with the wild that includes photos,” she said.

Nealson’s presentation at the Mesa Public Library is rooted in her commitment to sacred places and wildlife. 

“I will show slides and weave readings of encounters taken from my latest book, ‘Drive Me Wild: A Western Odyssey,’ as I talk about why it’s important for people to make these connections, from a spiritual perspective, as well as physical and mental health,” se said. “The recent studies on health benefits are amazing.”

She will also talk about how to approach wildlife and will give tips on increasing one’s chances of making contact with animals.

After the talk, she will sell and sign copies of “Drive Me Wild: A Western Odyssey” and “Living on the Spine: A Woman’s Life in the Sangre de Cristo Mountains.”

She will also hold a class titled “Going Indie: An Introduction to Self Publishing,” from 1-3 p.m. March 9 at the Taos Public Library. 

The cost is $25 and no registration is required. For more information, visit christinealson.com and WildwordsBlog.