About Me


My name is Cynthia Clampitt, and I’m a freelance writer. However, I didn’t start out that way. After college, like most of the people I knew, I headed for corporate employment. I did well. I learn fast and I’m very good at solving problems, and those are important gifts in the world of giant international corporations. But even as I climbed the corporate ladder, there was a persistent dream that kept me from really feeling at home. I wanted to be a writer. I had always wanted to be a writer. But how would I ever find the time to make the dream come true?

Eventually, the answer came to me: just quit. Walk away from the corporate world and write. Of course, that’s easier said than done, but at least I had a goal—to save enough money to get out.

At about the same time I began saving money, I found that my lifelong interest in Australia was becoming an obsession. In my mind, the two dreams—writing and Australia—became bound together. Once I quit, I needed to get far away from the temptation of taking another job, and Australia seemed the best, and farthest, place to accomplish that. So when I finally reached escape velocity and got away from the gravitational field of income and security, Australia is where I went. It is the six wonderfully adventurous months I spent in Australia that are recounted in my book, Waltzing Australia.

As you can imagine, it took a while to rebuild my career, once I came home. There were a few years of beans, rice, and potatoes, but in time, the sacrifice paid off, and the work began to get regular. Today, I am a writer and photographer, a culinary historian and world traveler. The years I struggled are almost forgotten, but I shall never forget the beginning of the road I now travel. The dream had a price, but it was a price I was willing to pay.

I hope you’ll buy my book, Waltzing Australia, but even if you don’t, I hope you’ll enjoy the excerpts, photographs, and ongoing travel tales that will appear in these pages. The love of adventure that got kick-started during my first trip to Australia has stayed with me, and I’ve wandered far and wide—from Mongolia to Morocco, Iceland to India, Turkey to Tibet. And, of course, I keep returning to Australia. I hope you’ll join me for some of my adventures.

For culinary history, some exotic recipes, and travels to places other than Australia, check out The World’s Fare. And for travels and discoveries focused on the American Heartland, check out my Midwest Maize blog. (The Midwest Maize blog also supports my other books– Midwest Maize: How Corn Shaped the U.S. Heartland and Pigs, Pork, and Heartland Hogs: From Wild Boar to Baconfest –if food history interests you–and for more travel but still in the Midwest, Destination Heartland: A Guide to Discovering the Midwest’s Remarkable Past.)

Finally, if you’re looking for a good freelance writer, editor, or speaker, here’s a link to my web site, which offers the more practical, business-related information, as well as the topics of the presentations I offer: World Plate.


60 responses to “About Me

  1. airmiles

    Cynthia, I am looking forward to your book! My husband and I were in Australia in 2005 and fell in love with her rich history and her diverse beauty. Swimming with the fish in the Great Barrier Reef is a memory that is stuck in my mind! What could be better than Traveling and Food!

    Thanks for stopping by my blog

    Go in grace – Blessings on you

  2. luvjnx

    Hi Cynthia!
    First, thanks for stopping by my blog!
    Second, congratulations on the book publishing! I look forward to checking it out. Like you, I want to use my visit to Oz to get more writing done. It seems there’s never enough time to work, work out, clean, sleep – and write! Hopfully, though, being in Oz will give me the time and inspiration to pick up the pen more often!


  3. jamlee

    Thank you for your encouraging words. Your life inspires me. I, too, decided to pursue the passion of my life after my battle with cancer. Freedom and joy in life, I found, are more important than mere security and comfort. It takes courage to step out of our comfort zone and pursue the abundant life God desires to give to all of us. But it is worth it. God bless.

  4. luvjnx

    Can you believe it – we actually did eat at Doyle’s!! We asked the bus driver for a good place to eat, and he also recommended this place. The food was great, and the view even better!

  5. Congratulations on your book, Cynthia! 🙂
    Thank you for your kind words. Glad you enjoyed my sites. Really enjoyed my visits to yours! You are inspiring!!! I am adding your link to my blog. Looking forward to reading more from you. Thanks for sharing your dream with us…

  6. sunshineforlife

    Hi Cynthia, thanks for dropping by my blog. Yeah, hopefully i could visit those places that i’ve listed. I wish to travel but money and time made me stay to where i am now. I got to envy you coz you have been to most of those places. Yes, South India — i heard about it. Best beaches they said.

    Would love to add you to my blog. Will go over your entries later.

  7. Hey Cynthia, thanks for your comment on my blog. And, your story could’ve been my story. Yes, I did leave the corporate world in a half-step. I am now an entrepreneur running a holiday community & information website. In another couple of years, I hope to be all writing and no business. In the meantime, I too am off to Australia for a couple of weeks.

    Will look out for Waltzing Australia while I am there.

  8. As others have said, what an inspiring story Cynthia.
    I respect your courage and share your two passions – great travel and great food (and often they go hand in hand).
    Your idea for your next book sounds fantastic… all the best!

  9. Thanks for the comments on my blog, and congratulations on getting your book published! You followed your dream, your passion and you made it. Fantastic story, very inspiring. I’ll be back to read more on your blog soon!

  10. stumpar

    I am always amazed by the resourcefulness humans can muster when needed. I think there are many people who envy you for such courage and tenacity. Best of luck with your continued adventure through life.

  11. Wow! From the comments here it looks like you need to add “encouraging people” to your resume of travel, cooking, writing, and photography. Thanks for your kind thoughts, and for these wonderfully written entries and insights.

    I’m a real sucker for stories, histories, and interesting facts. So entries about Bailey and figs hold me under a spell. (Indeed, they snatched away my morning). But the best story of all is how you’ve followed your heart and pursued the dream God gave you. We all need more of these stories to nourish our shriveled souls.

    Your writing reminds me a bit of Annie Dillard, another “pilgrim” whom I think is one of the best writers out there.

    Thanks. I’ll be back.

  12. applesknapp08

    Thank you for the comment you left, it was a needed encouragement for the day. I hope to read your book soon. Australia is one of the places that I hope to visit soon. God bless!!!

  13. Congratulations on the publication of your first book. Notice, I said first. Your love of travel and adventure will no doubt find its way into more books and articles.

    I took a course on international literature. I read an interesting novel entitled The Chant of Jimmy Blacksmith by Australian Thomas Keneally. The topic of the book was about the aboriginal life and missions in the outback.

    I also want to thank you for visiting my blog, the State of America. You kind comments are appreciated.

  14. To manifest a dream, it can be done, but it takes courage. Good for you on making yours come true. Thanks for visiting my blog. Australia is a place that I’d love to visit. Until I get there I know I can visit your blog and check out the lay of the land.



  15. Thanks for stopping by and the encouraging comments. When I have a bit of time, I look forward to taking a bit of a journey through Australia with you….will definitely be back for a visit.

  16. “Greetings” Cynthia!

    Long time–really excited for your new project! My brother-in-law recently joined MENSA and the news made me think of you… Ah, the miracle of Google!

    I see that I cannot buy a copy of Waltzing Australia at Amazon yet. When can I get my Koala Paws on one?

    God Bless,


  17. Hmmm your page makes me want to come over to your “little” country again:-))) Greetings from New Zealand. Kemp

  18. Cynthia, thanks for stoping by my blog. Congratulations on your book and your escape from the gravitational pull of the corporate world. I am just beginning my escape from the clutches of the corporate world and your journey is definitely an inspiration.


  19. You are living my dream!

  20. Ken Jezowski

    Thank You for leaving a comment in my blog.. I did just send you a email asking how you found the new Blog..lol.. I wish you much success on your book and writing. I will be looking through your Blog more soon as i am feeling better. It really is interesting what i have read so far..
    Thanks Again,

  21. tmacphail

    Wow. I’m so glad that I checked out your blog. Your story is very inspiring, and it’s nice to hear a success story about a writing who is both happy and can pay the bills.

    Thanks, Cynthia, I’ll be tuning in from now on…


  22. I found your blog after you commented on the blog ‘Istanbul though my eyes’. As an Australian, ‘Waltzing Australia’ caught my eye and I came for a look. It’s embarrassing to say, but you have seen more of my own country than me and you have documented it so well. I live in Istanbul now and write about this place on my blog. I will add your blog to my site as inspiration of places I need to visit when I do my round Australia camper van trip in the future. Thanks!

  23. Thanks for dropping by my blog and leaving your comments! I hope you’ll visit again soon.


  24. Anne Leslie Saunders

    Dear Cynthia, Congratulations on your book!!
    Best regards, Anne

  25. Gloria Fontana

    Cynthia! You are an inspiration. Congratulations on publishing your book. I’m sure there will be many more. I’ll only go to Australia if I can go with you. My goal is to “do” Italy. Do you have any plans to go there within the next couple of years? I can’t imagine anyone I’d rather be traveling with than you!

    Biggest hugs,


  26. Hay there,

    Thanks for checking out my blog. The trip was put together by a company called Ozbus. It’s nice to see I’m not the only one to pull the plug on the corporate world.

    Take care,


  27. Shiva

    Hi Cynthia,
    Thanks for the comments. What you said is true. ‘Love for traveling’ is a gift!

    Well, I bring out a employee newsletter for my company. Nearly 5600 copies are printed and circulated among our employees across the globe (including Sydney and Melbourne).

    I have a book review column where we review latest books, both fiction and non-fiction.

    Would you like us to do a review of your book? If so, can you ship one to my India address?

    Anyways, best wishes to you!

  28. Hi Cynthia,
    Thanks for your nice comments on our blog and for sharing all those interesting stories here.


  29. jeanettesozpix

    G’day, Cynthia!

    I’m glad I came across you. Thanks for the comments you made on my shared blog (Partake). Thanks for sharing about your faith too!!

    I’ve just browsed through your blog, and it seems your taking a nice SLOW trip around Oz, and at the moment, the places you’re talking about, I’ve never been to.

    Maybe ONE DAY!! But ’til then, I’ll enjoy the trip with you!!

    Bless ya, HEAPS!!!

  30. Cynthia – thanks for dropping in to my blog – I keep meaning to do more but since retiring, time problems seem to have got worse! I want to have a look around your site and will do that now.

    Best wishes


  31. mistressofthemoonlight

    Hi, I was just reading through my blog comments. Loved hearing from you. I want to know more about the book…lol! M

  32. Thanks for contacting me through Amazon. I’ll add your book on my Australia list there.
    I’m enjoying your lovely website. I lived in Alice Springs for 3 years and was fortunate to travel around the country during that time. Loved it!

  33. sam anderson

    Cynthia your book is amazing! I fell in love with your book right off the bat, while only supposed to be another college read, I found something more…I do wish to tour Australia someday as well. You could not make it sound any better than paradise

    good luck the rest of the way

  34. Cynthia-

    It was an absolute pleasure to meet you this past Friday at the Wild & Rare Dinner/Cook Street/Denver in association with the IACP conference, I only wish that we had had more time to talk.

    Safe travels, confectionately yours-

    Chef William Poole (the pear guy)

  35. andy

    I was wondering if I could ask you a few questions via email? I am doing a paper on your book and need some more information about your personal life. If you could email me back i would really appreciate it

  36. Duchess O'Blunt

    Cynthia, thank you for sharing your story! It is rich in many ways!

    I will certainly pass this blog and your book on to some of my family who are hoping to travel to Australia

  37. rahmama

    Cynthia: Thanks for stopping by my blog and clearing up the ‘comma’ issue. 🙂

    I always visit my commentors blogs which has been the nicest way to meet new and interesting people. Australia looks like a fantastic place and I’m glad you were successful in unplugging yourself from the corporate world and finding a place you really love. Your book looks great!

  38. whisperinggums

    And thanks too from me for visiting my blog – and commenting. It’s special, I think, when people visit and comment. I will add you to my blog to watch.

  39. Hi Cynthia,

    I’m Julie, the editor of “Mamapedia Voices”, and we feature guest bloggers on Mamapedia, a site for Moms all across the country. I’ve just found your blog, and would like to invite you write a piece which could be featured on our site.

    Though Mamapedia Voices has just started out, it is already receiving a lot of attention, both on our site, on our guest bloggers’ sites, and beyond. We promote our featured guest bloggers through emails, Twitter, Facebook and more. It’s a wonderful opportunity to grow your audience!

    If you would like to participate, please take a look at Mamapedia Voices. Next, sign up here http://bit.ly/BloggerSignUp to be on the blogger roster, and then you will be able to see the complete (and easy) instructions for submitting a piece for consideration.

    Also, because we like your blog, please download a recognition badge from us- there are many fun designs to choose from here: http://www.mamapedia.com/voices/blogger_badge

    If you have our badge on your blog, you’ll be entered into a drawing to win $100 for your favorite women’s, children’s or family charity! And you’ll be listed on our blog roll.

    Thank you, and I look forward to reading more of your work!

    Best wishes,
    Julie D’Agostino
    Editor, Mamapedia Voices

    • Thanks for the kind offer, but I’m not a mom, so I’m not sure what I’d share. That said, I do work in educational publishing a lot, so I could write a piece about keeping an eye on your kids’ textbooks. Due to tight deadlines and reduced editorial staffs, a lot of mediocre stuff is getting published these days.

  40. g

    Cynthia! Fantastic blog and book.

    Reading your story …I felt a kinship to you …hard for some to understand people like you ..and me. But as my Dad used to say, “we march to the beat of a …different drummer.” 9-) The need for people like us to write is like the Call of the Wild (the first Jack London novel I ever read as a boy).

    Stay well and God bless!

  41. Hello Cynthia,
    I met you at the, “Meet The Authors, event at Beverly Library. Thank you for the info about Apex Reviews. I will be taking advantage of one of their packages. It was really nice of you to come over to my table to share the info with me. Your blog is really nice. It has a lot of interesting information on it. Let’s keep in touch.
    Gracie Hill

  42. Wonderful, thanks for your enthusiasm!

  43. Thanks for your comments on my blog, you are quite the inspiration! You are a wonderful writer and photographer, I look forward to checking out your book when I am back home!


  44. Hey, Cynthia:

    Neat to become acquainted with you today–well acquainted in a bloggy sort of way. You have a great site here…I’ll be back. Time constraints at the moment.

    God’s blessings to you and yours.


  45. Pingback: Putting Passion Behind Your Words – Guest Blog by Cynthia Clampitt « Duchessoblunt’s Blog

  46. Cynthia, thank you for dropping by my blog. I am pleased you have spent time in my wonderful country and share my love of Aussie trees.
    I lived in the Red Centre for nine years, though I now live on the east coast. The trees are different but just as wonderful
    I hope your book is selling well.

  47. waltzingaustralia,

    You are officially my idol! So many people dream about doing risky and exciting things with their lives, and never have the courage to do them. You could have probably remained safe and financially secure in the Corporate World. But you took a risk. Now are doing what you always wanted to do AND are immensely successful in it.

    As I am currently toying with making some of the same risky decisions that you have made, it is really nice to read about people like you who have actually MADE IT!

    Thanks for stopping by my blog, and for inspiring me. I’ll definitely be back.

  48. Ron Crawford

    Our Rotary club is looking for interesting speakers and you have been recommended. From the look of your website, you have a wealth of things to talk about. Please let us know if you might be available to speak to us.

  49. Irv Finder

    Would love to have you as guest speaker at the Lake Shore Men’s Club in Highland Park, IL
    Can you send me some details on how to arrange a speaking engagement or a fax number to send you a club invitation.
    Many thanks.

  50. Hello Cynthia,
    As you can see from my website address, I operate a website about Western Australia. Well actually I am in the process of developing the site. As the site progresses I plan to invite writers to write articles about Western Australian for posting at the site.
    If this interests you at all please feel free to contact me.
    Kind Regards

  51. It’s so wonderful to hear that people love Australia. I find the Rotary messages interesting. I am in Australia because of Rotary. In the 1970s, I won a graduate fellowship to study in Egypt. That’s where I met and later married an Australian diplomat. The world gets ever smaller.
    I’ve just had the good fortune to travel from London to Sydney by truck.

    • Thanks for the message. Sounds like you’re having a pretty great life. The world does get smaller. I visited your site, and it’s very interesting. I agree with you that street food can be a lot of fun when traveling. I enjoyed just about everything I ate in Cambodia, as well. Happy New Year — and Happy Travels.

  52. Margaret Plant

    I work for Cook Shire Council and am looking to do some cleaning and minor restoration work on the Chinese Memorial. I was curious about the ‘thing’ on the right of the shrine in your photo, as it isn’t there now and doesn’t appear in earlier photos. Thank you.

    • The “thing” was a little notice board. However, I don’t remember what was printed on the sheet posted there. I suspect that it was not an authentic part of the original memorial, so perhaps it was removed for that reason. Hope you enjoy your restoration work. Cooktown is a fascinating place.

  53. Due to a stunning amount of spam getting posted to this page, I’m going to disable comments. If you’re a real person with a real comment, please pick one of the other pages to comment on. Thanks.