Storyteller Donna Hull | My Itchy Travel Feet Travel Blog

Donna Hull and Alan Hull

This week’s Culture with Travel interview is with Storyteller Donna Hull of My Itchy Travel Feet. Learn more about Donna! 

Tell us a bit about yourself! Why do you love travel? How do you think travel unites us or teaches us more about the world?

For the last nine years at My Itchy Travel Feet, The Baby Boomer’s Guide to Travel, I’ve written about (and my husband, Alan, has photographed) our active travels throughout the world. Our goal is to inspire baby boomers (those born between 1946 – 19640) to get out and explore the world, one adventure at a time.

Travel inspires me, plus, it offers the opportunity to see first-hand the way other people live. And, I think the simple act of sharing a smile with someone on the other side of the globe is the first, small step to friendship and understanding.

What surprising aspect of culture do you love about where you’re from (your specific town/city) that travelers may not be aware of?

I live in a rural area of Montana. One of the things that surprised me most when I moved here were the number of parades in the summer. Every event calls for a parade down Main Street that includes horse riders, antique cars and townspeople dressed in historical garb. It’s refreshing to see how the citizens embrace and celebrate their history.

Western Heritage Days Parade in Stevensville, Montana
Western Heritage Days Parade in Stevensville, Montana

Which dish do you feel best represents where you’re specifically from? Share a picture and tell us why you love it!

Most people think of steak or a big, juicy hamburger when they think of Montana. And, while we have our share of cattle herds, you’ll find grass-fed bison and an organic dairy where I live. On Saturdays, a couple of thriving farmers markets sell local, organic products. It’s easy to find fresh, healthy food here.

Art and dance can tell a deeper story about local culture. Tell us the story of a specific artwork or dance that has a meaning for you. Share a photo, if you can. 

When I visit Alaska, it’s usually to appreciate the scenery and wildlife. But sitting in the Clan House at the Chief Shakes Historic Site in Wrangell, provided a different perspective. I watched and listened as the younger generation of the Tlingit proudly shared the clan’s stories. Seeing history being passed down from one generation to the next in an oral tradition inspired me to learn more about the Tlingit.

Wrangell, Alaska
Wrangell, Alaska

Languages not only give us the power to communicate but also can unite us across cultures. Share a favorite saying you have, or teach us something in your native language. 

Growing up in Atlanta, Georgia, my language has been influenced by Southern colloquialisms. One of my favorites is: “Whatever floats your boat.” It’s a way of saying that it’s okay to do what works for you.

Have you ever met a stranger during your travels who made an impact on your life in a certain way, or maybe it was you who helped someone else? Share the story! 

On a trip to Cairo, I expected to see pyramids, reminders of an ancient culture or the exotic sights and sounds of the souk. But when I visited Fagnoon Art Center, Mohamed Allam introduced me to the power of creativity. The open-air buildings housed an assortment of colorful art projects for children. Allam believes in giving them the tools then allow the children the freedom to create. In the process, he’s created jobs for the community and hope.

Fagnoon Art Center near Cairo, Egypt
Fagnoon Art Center near Cairo, Egypt

Follow Donna and her husband, Alan, on their blog, My Itchy Travel Feet. You can also follow along on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and Instagram.

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