This week’s guest is Eileen Tull, an arts educator, storyteller, and one-woman-show person, who speaks to us about traveling while sober. She has performed throughout the country, from San Francisco to New York City, including in the SF Fringe, New Seeds Festival, United Solo, the Cincy Fringe, the Minnesota Fringe Festival, and the Dallas Solo Festival. Her work has been seen all over Chicago in theatres, bookstores, art galleries, bars and other non-traditional spaces. Eileen co-curates Sappho’s Salon at Women and Children First bookstore, a semi-monthly performance series for female-identifying artists exploring gender, sexuality, and feminism. She is a drama instructor with the Chicago Park District, and her work as a creative activist was recognized by The White House in 2016.
Let’s learn more about Eileen!
1) What was your first trip?
My family and I used to travel down to Florida every Christmas, so that’s the first travelling I remember doing. Our enormous family would cram into a van and road trip straight down from Ohio. We would take over a small area near St. Petersburg called Pass-a-Grille and go to beach, catch lizards, and eat lots of oranges.
2) Who’s been your best travel companion?
Hm, honestly I’ve mostly traveled either with my family or by myself. It’s been nice to travel with family members as adults, not kids all packed into a car. My brother, sister, and I took a pretty magical trip to Orlando a few years ago where we spent one day at Disneyworld and one day at an international Star Wars convention. A life highlight.
3) What are three things you always take with you when you travel?
Extra headphones, tennis shoes, too many books I don’t end up reading.
4) What’s your favorite souvenir you’ve acquired?
I like to buy jewelry when I travel. I was in Dallas for a solo performance festival where I was doing my one woman show about Harrison Ford movies, and our theater was on the State Fair grounds. There was a mini-fair going on and I wandered into one of the booths. The woman there was selling some gorgeous jewelry, and I picked out a pair of earrings with little pressed sunflowers. I told her what I was doing in town and she very excitedly told me that her niece just met Harrison Ford in Wyoming at a gymnastics meet and that the two of us meeting must be fate or cosmic timing, this Harrison Ford connection and she took a selfie with me to put on her website and gave me a discount for the earrings, so win-win?
5) Give us one reason why you travel.
I love exploring what it’s like to live in another place. While I like doing touristy things, I really love the corner shops, the dives, the coffee shops, the things that really make you feel like you’re living somewhere day to day. I also think it’s important to leave where you’re comfortable and try something new. It makes you appreciate home more. I always say, everyone should leave Chicago at least once, just so you get to come back.