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Monthly Musings - June 2023

Interviewed by Leslie Criss | Photographed by Erin Austen Abbott

For many, summertime means road trips and family vacations. Local author and photographer Erin Austen Abbott has turned her love for exploring new places into her life’s work. In 2020, she published “Family Field Trip,” a book filled with ideas for exploring the world with your children. We asked her to talk to us about the joy of traveling.


“I find so much joy in being a traveler. I love learning about new places, exploring the town or city, learning the history, the culture and tasting the food. I enjoy traveling solo, but what I love most is family travel. To me, travel should be more than just what the guidebooks tell you;

rather, an immersive experience. I prefer to try to blend into my new surroundings as if I’ve been there before, adapting quickly to what’s around me.


My new book, out in 2024, is all about small towns throughout our country. My son and I will be crossing the country to visit dozens of small towns. We can’t wait to try new-to-us regional foods, visit small-town museums, stop into Main Street shops, explore back roads, talk to the locals, and do anything else that comes our way.”


Erin Austen Abbott, 47, grew up in Oxford but moved to Florida in 1985. After multiple moves around the country, she moved back to her home state, settling in 2005 in Water Valley, where she lives with her husband and their 10-year-old son. Abbott is an author, freelance writer and photographer. She also works as a design, marketing and branding consultant. Her new book, “Small Town Living,” will be out September 2024.

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