I’ve been lucky enough to make my living as a travel writer and editor virtually since college. It wasn’t what I set out to do – I wanted to be a poet – but after living abroad and writing for a year and then getting a master’s degree in creative writing, I serendipitously got my first travel article published, and suddenly realized that I could combine two of my greatest passions: traveling and writing. After living on fellowships in Athens for a year and Tokyo for two years, my first real job was as a travel writer for the San Francisco Examiner. From there I moved on to a short stint as an editor at the Examiner’s Sunday magazine, then I became the travel editor for the Examiner & Chronicle, a wonderful job that I savored for nine years.
When the allures of cyberspace became irresistible, I joined Salon.com and founded their groundbreaking travel site, Wanderlust. Then I moved on to become Global Travel Editor for Lonely Planet Publications. After an exhilarating ride there, I am now Editor at Large and Book Review Columnist for National Geographic Traveler magazine, Special Features Editor and Blogger for Gadling.com, and Editor of Geographic Expedition’s online magazine, Wanderlust: Literary Journeys for the Discerning Traveler.
I’m also the author of Lonely Planet’s Guide to Travel Writing, now in its third update (published in September, 2013), which I’ve been told is the best-selling travel writing guide on the planet. I’ve also edited nine literary travel anthologies, including A Moveable Feast, The Kindness of Strangers, By the Seat of My Pants, Tales from Nowhere, and most recently, Better Than Fiction. I’ve received dozens of awards for my writing and editing, including the Society of American Travel Writers’ Lowell Thomas Travel Journalist of the Year Award.
I co-founded and chair the annual Book Passage Travel Writers and Photographers Conference, which is always one of the highlights of my year. I also host a national series of onstage conversations with notable travel writers. I travel 3-4 months a year, and continue to be as passionate about travel today as I was on my first trip abroad to Paris and London as a teenager. In the past two and a half decades, I’ve visited more than 85 countries and published hundreds of articles and essays in magazines and newspapers around the globe. I also love speaking at conferences and festivals and appearing on TV and radio to talk about travel and travel writing. I have two amazing children and a wonderful wife.
All in all, I consider myself a very lucky man.