In 2005, after earning a master's degree in creative writing from the University of Memphis, I pitched my tent abroad and began one of the few careers appropriate for people with humanities training: teaching English to foreign kids. Through the years, I've managed to keep the old writing dream alive, usually in the form of course guides and ESL exercise booklets, but from April 2010 to April 2011, I created a monthly newsletter for a Guatemalan-based NGO, Las Manos de Christine, as well as wrote much of the organization's website content. Inspired by the success, in late 2011, I decided to explore freelance writing as viable livelihood.
Unfortunately, I started this journey in the marketing department. This part of the trip was short-lived: After my second assignment, a humorless article about hemorrhoids (humor and hemorrhoids should go cheek and cheek in my opinion) to promote a product made by a company I personally boycott, I found myself in a moral quandary and unwilling to write this way. Don't misunderstand: I do believe in hemorrhoid relief, but I'm more Patch Adams than world-dominating pharmaceutical company. So, in the vast, open fields of hungry writers, somehow I became a selective one to boot: a travel writer.
After having some success on the travel writing scene, which is to say a few websites bought articles from me, published them, and made good on the payments (a heartfelt thanks to all of them, especially Transitions Abroad and Green Global Travel), I felt content and inspired to try my hand at other topics. A serious vegan and into activism, I applied for a job at a great website called One Green Planet. Somehow, they found it in their hearts to give me a shot, and we've been collaborating weekly ever since. As well, during one of my travel venture, a trip from Guatemala to Patagonia, that stopped quite a bit short (Ecuador) and some twelve months later, I fell for permaculture, began writing about it, and landed a steady gig with Permaculture News.
And so here we are, voyeur (of sorts) and voyager. In that capacity, I come to you humbly and invite you to enjoy this website, which is basically a chronicling of the bits of my work some wise editor saw fit to publish.
In the long lineage of authors with impressively unkempt beards and penchants for travel — think Hemingway, think Twain, and when all the beards are said and done — Jonathon Engels puts his lovely facial locks into the mix, slurring each turn off (not a typo) phrase into a mishap only the most inept but hopelessly adventurous rogues can achieve. He is a traveler, outcast by his own refusal to stop being one, and a writer just the same. At his best, one way or another, he’s good for a laugh.