November 22, 2010
I was born in Spain in a place called Torrejon de Ardoz just outside of Madrid. When I was four years old my family moved to New York City where I spent most of my childhood. My earliest memories are of pre-school in Madrid and being taken around that city by my grandparents. In New York I was fortunate to grow up being exposed to a rich mixture of many different cultures. With extended family and family friends in Puerto Rico, Mexico, and Spain I was able to visit these places many times and got to know them well.
Since college, my work and travels have regularly taken me overseas, often for long periods. During my four years in the US Navy I made deployments to the Middle East, the Mediterranean and the Caribbean. As a graduate student I spent three months in Rajasthan, India, learning Hindi and a year later returned for twelve months of dissertation research in Delhi and Lucknow. During this time I traveled throughout India from the Himalayan peaks of Ladakh in the North to the backwaters of Kerala in the South This was followed by a year of research in London and other parts of England. In spring 2006 I walked the Camino de Santiago with my father. The Camino is a pilgrimage dating to the middle ages that stretches across Northern Spain to the town of Santiago de Compostela. My pilgrimage took five weeks and covered a distance of nearly 900 km. It was a unique and wonderful experience to become reacquainted with the country of my birth by walking from one end of it to the other.
As an historian of the British Empire, my interests focus on the intersection of many different cultures across a wide range of places. My research regularly takes me back to London as well as to Ireland and occasionally to India. In fall 2008 I led the LC overseas program in East Africa (Kenya and Tanzania) and most recently spent a sabbatical year living and working in Hong Kong and traveling throughout East and Southeast Asia.
In all, I have traveled to over forty countries and been lucky enough to consider some of them home at various stages in my life. My favorite cities are Belfast, London, New York, Washington DC, Valletta, Hong Kong, and Cape Town.