- My name is Dervala Hanley
- I am an emigrant who writes love letters.
- ‘Dervala’ is my Ellis Island name. It’s really spelled ‘Dearbhaile’. (And pronounced DER-vla, not der-VA-la, in case you’re wondering.)
- By temperament I am an INFP and an Enneagram Type 4. (Yes, I love that nonsense.)
- I’m an English major turned strategist.
- I used to be on the senior leadership team at Starbucks. Now I’m an independent consultant.
- If you want to reach, try my first name at dervala.com.
- Born in Zambia
- Raised in Ireland
- Lived in Dublin, Valencia, London, New York, Ontario, San Francisco, and Seattle
- Moved to North Oakland, California in April 2015
I like: people, big cities, wilderness, motorcycles, reading, coffee, yoga, hiking, canoeing, poetry, biking, exploring, listening, cooking, meditation, writing, music, movies, celebrity gossip, newness, stories, generosity, water access, wine, and solitude.
I’m interested in: national identities, user interface design, the power of place, industrial design, materialism, ecology, consumer technology, evolutionary psychology, child-rearing in the developing world, Buddhism, language, architecture, families, human rights law, mental health, and diversity.
When I set up my first Blogger account in 2001, the form asked for a tagline. For want of anything better, I put “A love letter.” By the time I had a few hundred thousand words on the clock, it got a bit clearer what I’d meant by that.
It’s all about love, baby.
I blog for the same reasons that Alistair Cooke read those Letters From America until he was ninety-six or seven. I’m an emigrant. My family is thousands of miles away, and my friends are scattered around the world. Each entry is a letter home, wherever that is, and it’s also a letter about home, wherever that might be.
It’s a love letter to the little girl who wasn’t yet born when I started this, and to the friends, strangers, sisters, lovers, and classmates who might stop by.
And it’s mostly (even when I’m cranky) a letter about the things, people, and places that I love.
My blog is a message in a bottle with a tracking number. Hello World.