My name is Jonathan Streetman and I have been a storyteller for as long as I can remember. Growing up the son of an English teacher, reading and writing and getting lost in my imagination was always encouraged. Many hours were spent in the woods emulating my hero — Indiana Jones — building forts and getting lost. Those early escapades through the woods next to my grandparents’ house instilled in me a sense of adventure I’ve never been able to shake.
I was still quite young — early high school — when I realized I didn’t have much of a choice when it came to a career — I would be a professional writer or nothing at all. In the fall of 2008, I began attending Indiana University, declaring Journalism my major the second I stepped on campus. Four years later I graduated with my Bachelor of Arts from the School of Journalism and with a hunger to tell great stories.
I started my career at the Journal Review, my hometown newspaper in Crawfordsville, IN. It was there I learned that great stories can happen everywhere, even in your own backyard (or your old school or park or with people who knew you in diapers). After a year at the Journal, I moved to Jasper, IN, to join the Dubois County Herald. The Herald has a long tradition of storytelling, printing a magazine-quality Saturday Feature every week. It was their dedication to the story that drew me to Jasper, and it was the continual education in reporting, writing and connecting with people on a human level that kept me there for 16 months.
However, the wanderlust that had been building for years finally hit me hard in the autumn of 2015. While I have enjoyed building relationships and telling stories all across Indiana, at 26 years old I felt it was time to shake things up a bit. I completed the Camino de Santiago in May/June, hiking 500 miles (775 kilometers) across northern Spain over the course of 36 days. I then traveled to Hanoi, Vietnam where I worked as an English teacher at several local schools. I did my best to become a local in this strange new world I was suddenly living in.
I’ve been back in the States for nearly two years now, my passport gathering dust in my bedside table while I’ve resumed my newspaper career in Bloomington, IN.