Going to Australia


I’ve been in a travel writer for nearly 20 years, and next week I’m doing something unlike anything I’ve done before: I’m becoming a “correspondent” (aka #Corrozpondent) for Tourism Australia. It’s quite a thing to do. I’m one of a handful of other travel writers and photographers deemed “influencers” (eg folks like Gary Arndt, Jo Maxwell Stouggard, Lee Abbamonte). We travel alone, crafting … Read on

Is sound travel the new slow travel?


I thought the British voice on  NPR’s Fresh Air yesterday talking about the burping sounds desert sands can make when you walk on it. It was Trevor Cox, a sound expert whom I talked with a few years ago when creating the “sound challenge of 2011″ — a suggestion that during a trip, we should find a space, close our eyes, and just … Read on

Amateur Traveler: Russian Far East


Ian Frazier calls Russia both “great and horrible,” yet submits to an all-consuming “Russia-love.” It’s a bug I know well. To continue my flurry of Russia posts, here’s the link to a 52-minute discussion on the Russian Far East — the wild east, past the heart of Siberia — that I recently recorded for Chris Christensen’s Amateur Traveler. Have a listen! Amateur Traveler … Read on

The Russian Far East: Best Place in the World


Only a handful of travelers ever take the Trans-Siberian Railway, and only a trickle of those complete it. Instead, most go from Moscow to Yekaterinburg (26 hours east) to see where the “Last Czar” died, then to Irkutsk (another 55 hours’ ride) for a look at Lake Baikal, then cut south into Mongolia and China. An epic trip. But what remains unseen of … Read on

How to be an Ugly American


Last week I began a new monthly column for Transitions Abroad* with a story of what happened to me on an Indian bus that turned me into an “Ugly American.” I’m not ashamed of it. At all. Particularly if you go back and look at the original meaning of that term, “Ugly American” — it’s essentially the ultimate in “travel like a local.” … Read on