As a kid, Gretchen told her mother that her dream of adult life would be either to become a nun, or travel the world and have many lovers. Other aspirations included becoming a veterinarian, an Oriana Fallaci-style foreign correspondent, a ballet dancer, an explorer, a pirate, a writer, and a teacher. She did go on to travel some of the world (Australia, Bhutan, Antarctica, Alaska, New Zealand, Mexico, Panama, Belize, Italy, Morocco, Germany, Great Britain, Ireland, Scotland, France, Spain, India), was a journalist for a time, did attend Divinity School, became a healer of animals, was graced with wonderful lovers, and ended up a teacher and a writer, but sadly, never became a foreign correspondent, a ballet dancer, or a pirate.