Chelsea Diehl is a graduate of Emerson College with a degree in acting and theater education. She is also the founder of Gadabout Maine, through which Chelsea chronicles her adventures across Vacationland and features must-do hikes, unforgettable stays, not to miss eats, and adventures for all ages. She lives in South Portland, Maine with her husband, Andrew, her daughter, Harper, and rescue pup, Lucy.
We've asked Chelsea some questions about her writing process, where she'd like to travel next, and how to plan the perfect day trip.
What was it like moving from writing in digital spaces, like your Gadabout Maine newsletter and Instagram, to writing in the more tangible world of books?
The major (and exciting) difference was the weaving of a story. The essays within my newsletter are stand alone pieces, meant for quick, easy consumption. For Just Up The Road, my hope is people read from cover to cover first to follow the story and journey - and then go back through to pursue the individual earmarked adventures they found!
Just Up the Road is filled with day trip ideas. What goes into creating the perfect day trip?
Research! Making sure that the itinerary you’ve lined up for the day is fool-proof. That means checking open/closure times, triple checking trail routes, having back-up adventures, additional time-fillers. I like to line-up more things than I could possibly complete in a day in case something doesn’t pan out.
What advice would you give someone who is trying to explore more of Maine this year?
Keep track of each and every place you hear about, read about, have bestowed upon you - no matter how far the distance from home! While you might not have a reason to visit that location now, you never know what might bring you there in the future. I like to use Google Maps to “flag” locations and leave myself a reminder note. Sometimes I plan a trip to an area I wouldn’t have otherwise because I have accumulated so many “flags” that I’m eager to pursue!
What do you hope readers take away from your book?
A deeper love of Maine and its people, of course. And also the encouragement that if their personal story is in need of some revision, they allow themselves the rewrite.
What question would you like to be asked, and what’s the answer?
What remains on your bucket list for Maine adventures? There are quite a few adventures I haven’t pursued yet that remain high on my list, including: a canoe trip on the Allagash and whitewater rafting on the Kennebec River.
Just Up The Road: A Year Discovering People, Places, and What Comes Next in the Pine Tree State follows Chelsea Diehl's year-long journey through the state of Maine as she travels far and near to complete one hundred adventures and hopefully gain insight into what she wants to do next with her life. Through candid, humorous, and personal accounts of new and revisited journeys, readers will follow along on her trail of stays, discoveries, hikes, and meals—all while getting to meet some of the people that make them possible and possibly learning a little about the things that truly matter.