Valerie Burkhardt Tamis Marier has been a journalist all her life, which means she asks a lot of questions and is notoriously nosy.

Over a 25 year stretch she wrote a weekly opinion column called “Wandering” that appeared in several northern New Jersey newspapers. It managed to embarrass her teenage kids, alienate a local Congresswoman, infuriate the Singapore Tourist Board and garner several “Outstanding Column” awards.

Suddenly — single at 50! —  she leapt at the chance to write about adventure travel.  

She learned to surf at Waikiki Beach, dogsled in Lapland, scuba dive in Bonaire, climb a Colorado 14er with her son and survive four petrifying days traipsing through a steamy snake-infested Borneo rain forest in search of orangutangs. Her byline appeared in national newspapers and magazines (including ISLANDS, WALKING, BRIDES, ODYSSEY and the WASHINGTON POST).

“Shear Pleasure” won the Gold PATA travel writing award for an article detailing Val’s week in the Australian outback. Accompanied by her N.J. book club (“the Winos”), Val traveled to England to write about the generations of writers who lived and wrote in Rye, East Sussex. That article, “Rye Bred,” captured the APEX Grand Award for travel writing.

For the past two summers Val’s name has appeared on the masthead of the TOURIST NEWS, an informative and entertaining newspaper covering York County, Maine. She revels in writing about Kennebunk Beach, its nearby attractions, its interesting locals. She still wanders and wonders — and kvetches — just closer to home.

Wandering With Val will focus on the friendly times and poignant moments she experiences as a wife, mom, grandmother, sister, aunt, golfer, knitter, reader, gardener and pal. Welcome!

Val and son Chris on Flattop summit

Val at Victoria Falls

Dog sledding in Lapland

At the Iditarod finish line in Nome