Welcome to As Her World Turns! My name is Erica and I love to travel. After seven years of living in Los Angeles and working on The Young and the Restless (read more about my time at Y&R), in March of 2013 I quit my job, put my belongings into storage, and sold my car to embark on an around-the-world trip (read more about my itinerary).
This is where I share photos and stories from my travels. For a wider range of my photography work, check out my portfolio at EricaMeyerPhoto. You can contact me at AsHerWorldTurns@gmail.com. Read on to find out more about the girl behind the camera…
My life: The Cliffs Notes Version
Now this is a story all about how my life got flipped turned upside down…
Okay, not really, but I always wanted to start a story like that.
I was born and raised in Wallingford, Connecticut, home to the illustrious prep school Choate Rosemary Hall and several historical silverware factories. We like to say that it’s between Boston and New York (about two hours in either direction). Wallingford is chock-full of quintessential New England charm and provides lovely photo-ops, particularly in the fall and at Christmastime.
I am the luckiest gal in the world because I get to call these people Mom, Dad, and Sis. My parents run a wire manufacturing business, my mom is a therapist, and my sister Bethany is an Art Department coordinator extraordinaire for various television shows (plus she designs art and furniture in her spare time).
I attended Emerson College in Boston and majored in Visual & Media Arts with a concentration in TV/Film. Ever since age 13 I knew I wanted to work in soap operas, so I tailored my education and extracurriculars around soaps. I co-hosted a soap opera talk show called Daytime Dish, then created an original soap called The E.C. (we thought it was clever at the time… what’s up, 2004?). By far my favorite semester of college was spent studying abroad in The Netherlands where I lived in a twelfth century castle and visited fourteen countries in four months. I promise we did a little studying.
In the fall of 2005 I moved to Los Angeles to finish up my final semester of college and intern at my long-time favorite soap opera, Days of our Lives. I stayed in LA after graduation and was soon hired at The Young and the Restless. After spending a few months as the receptionist and then a producer’s assistant, I became a production associate, a job I’ve held for the past six years. While ‘production associate’ sounds like a very nebulous title, it is actually a script supervisor for multicam television — meaning we sit next to the director and make sure the actors say the correct lines, plus track continuity — but we’re not called script supervisors because of union rules. That is a long way of explaining it, but it’s an awesome job and very well-suited for my skill set (read: slight OCD tendencies and excellent ability to multitask).
And jumping forward in time… I won a Daytime Emmy in 2011. (There’s no way to casually say that.) Crazy, right?! I still can’t believe it happened. We won for Outstanding Directing in a Daytime Drama and all members of the Young & Restless directing team (including the directors, associate directors, stage managers, and production associates – that’s me!) went on-stage to receive the award on national television. Here’s the video. I even got an Emmy statue of my own! It is a tremendous source of professional pride and I treasure the memories of celebrating our achievement with my co-workers.
Back in 2007, I ran three full marathons: the Pacific Shoreline Marathon, the Los Angeles Marathon, and the San Diego Rock ‘n Roll Marathon. My best time was 5 hours and seven minutes. I trained with the LA Leggers running at dawn along the beach in Santa Monica. It’s the most disciplined thing I have ever done in my life.
Now let’s get to the important stuff: traveling! My first big trip was to Peru in 2009 to visit Lake Titicaca, Machu Picchu, and the Amazon rainforest.
Six months later I returned to South America to sail around the Galapagos and swim with sea lions, followed by a few days on mainland Ecuador to straddle the equator and take an arduous hike up and bike down the side of a volcano glacier.
In 2010 I visited a destination that had been on my bucket list for years: Southeast Asia. Over five weeks I island-hopped the pristine beaches of Thailand, floated down the Mekong River in Laos, dodged a gazillion motorcycles in the crowded streets of Vietnam, and explored the ancient ruins of Angkor Wat in Cambodia. It was the trip of a lifetime and I returned home hungry to visit more parts of the world.
The Canadian Rockies have always held tremendous allure for me, and in 2011 I made that trip a reality by visiting Banff, Jasper, and Calgary. The icy blue glacier-fed lakes and towering mountains met and exceeded the region’s reputation for exquisite beauty.
In 2012 I visited Hawaii for the first time. We spent two weeks circling the Big Island and Maui, and without a doubt it was the most relaxing trip I’ve ever taken. From nighttime volcano hikes to bold sunsets to fresh fruit, it was a photographer’s paradise.
Over the years I have traveled extensively throughout the United States as well. Aside from visiting my parents in Connecticut and Cape Cod, I frequently visit New York to indulge my other favorite past time: going to the theater. Musicals, plays, cabaret shows, performance art — you name it, I want to see it. I also spend Thanksgivings with my uncle in Denver and make it to Florida typically once a year to visit grandparents. My best friend from college has lived in Wisconsin and Minnesota, so I’ve been fortunate to spend time there as well. Add in a few more trips to places like Washington DC and Chicago, and that rounds out my recent travel within our own country.
I also take pride in exploring our great state of California. Whether it be camping on Catalina, climbing Mt. Whitney, or touring Hearst Castle, I enjoy the diversity and beauty of California’s landscape. Activities like parasailing and zip-lining and camping and kayaking intrigue me the most.
In March of 2013, I quit my job at Young & Restless to travel full-time. I embarked on a 9-month trip around the world and visited 15 countries (18 if you count layovers) that exceeded even my loftiest expectations. I explored the Cook Islands, New Zealand, Australia, Singapore, Malaysian Borneo, Indonesia, the Philippines, Palau, Japan, Nepal, Jordan, Israel, Turkey, Egypt, and Dubai. Here are a handful of memories from this action-packed adventure:
Throughout all of the events I have just described, I have held a camera in hand. Photography has played a big role in my life since our first family vacation to Yellowstone in 1994 when I proudly carried my first camera around my neck, snapping roll after roll of 35mm film. I graduated to an SLR during a 2002 high school photography class and then to a DSLR in 2009 before my trip to Peru. I literally have YEARS of images stored on my hard drives. I began this travel photoblog as an attempt to share stories and photos from my big international trips, as well as my local travels throughout southern California. Photography excites and engages me, but it is a lonely pursuit if I keep the images to myself. It is a privilege to share them with you.