We’re all travel experts now so who needs another travel blog? We’ve got Trip Advisor, Google, traditional guidebooks, apps, and articles in newspaper travel sections and travel magazines. So, you may ask, what can I offer you as a seasoned travel writer? Well, these days most travel articles in print media are short and safe spruiks for advertisers’ products. They are neither interesting to read nor independent of advice.
Most travel blogs, on the other hand, beg for attention with lists, search engine obsession, and boosterish bragging that states little more than ‘Look at me. I did this and this and that’ but not whether it was something worth doing in the first place.
As publications titillate their readers in the desperate grab to retain circulation and thus advertising dollars we are bombarded with stories of excess as hotels vie with each other to have the world’s most opulent spa, softest bed, most expansive stretch of beachfront, or most A-list celebrities. In this mire of extravagance, travel has been cheapened into just another consumer product and there is little in the way of discerning advice and much that is just mindless fawning.
At the other end of the equation, more hard-core adventures can often be so obscure, extreme, or painful that the story merely serves as head-shaking armchair reading for the rest of us. Don’t get me wrong, I love physically engaging in a place, with great walks and kayak trips…I just don’t need to propel myself unassisted to the South Pole in the middle of winter.
What this blog offers
I highlight authentic travel adventures that offer connections, insights, and life affirming experiences. Sure there will be a fancy hotel or two and some great restaurants, but only those that give a real sense of place. I also plan to uncover exciting new initiatives and creative collaborations that not only enrich the journey but also life at home.
What are the best places?
Since my first gig more than 25 years ago as editor of the Best Places guidebooks, I have been fascinated by what defines best. They do not necessarily have to be the most expensive or the most well-known but the best places, hotels, restaurants, and adventures must deliver authentic, life affirming and sometimes life-changing experiences that are always rivetingly memorable.
I have spent my professional life writing travel articles, guidebooks, and apps that seek to offer authentic insights into cultures, places and people. In short, I’ve been around the block a few times but still keep my three daughters on their toes when we travel together. I have also formally and informally planned trips for friends, colleagues and complete strangers, based on my wide experience and knowledge.
My goals for the blog:
I will offer curated content, or the sort of “decision assistance” you rely on from a well-traveled best friend or experienced concierge. My posts will give context, nuance and practical tips that cut through the chaff of PR sponsored fluff to find out what places are really like. Old media travel magazines and newspapers have stories upon stories about resorts, cruises and destinations that advertise heavily with them. There is a reason you see so many special supplements on cruising and stories (in Australia, at least) about Bali, Phuket, Fiji, Brunei and South Korea.
Now with the explosion of new media we all have access to a mind-bending volume of information, however, much of it is a blur of useless white noise. I don’t know about you but I am sick and tired of the chest beating, ticking-off-the list type of travel that focuses on the over-hyped and touristy. And, to give you a sense of the value of digging deeper, I juxtapose the generic tourist traps that are often touted in mainstream media with their authentic alternatives, those that involve engaging with the locals rather than waiting in line for the hackneyed experience with other tourists.
The blog is loaded with travel tips, ideas, destinations, and great adventures and I will help you develop the skills to make great discoveries on the road. I will give fabulous ideas for discerning travelers whether they are interested in art, culture and design; food and wine; or terrific outdoors adventures….or all three.
Give me your questions and comments, your ideas and concerns and I’ll come back with seasoned advice and I hope we can start some terrific conversations. So, what you will get from this blog are practical, insider suggestions of the best places for authentic experiences and luxury splurges so that you don’t waste a moment of your precious travel time and budget. I sincerely hope these ideas will inspire you to get out there and seek the best of life, whether it is just outside your front door or on the other side of the world.
Please leave any comments and ask questions on topics you would like me to cover.