â€¢6/27/12 –Again, I have been remiss in updating this page. Far and away the biggest news is the launch of my latest travel app Romania Traveler’s Guide for iPhone and Android. The first edition covers all of Romania’s primary tourist sights with detailed information on eating, sleeping, transport, activities and more in the top six most visited cities. I’ve been filling a few shifts a week over on the trending news/video/weirdness site msnNOW. It’s good, snarky fun. In my spare time, I’ve written a few more Lonely Planet blog posts, all road trip themed, oddly, being that I can’t stand road trips:
– “How to survive a boring road trip”
– “The real (and unspoken) rules of US roads”
– “Advanced tips for US road trips”
– “Six weird vehicles you can drive with no training whatsoever”
â€¢11/28/11 – The latest editions of Lonely Planet’s multi-country guides Eastern Europe and Europe on a Shoestring have hit shops, including my (literally) agonizingly researched chapters for Romania and Moldova. Also, just in time for Halloween, the San Francisco Chronicle published my narrative story “Amid myths, in search of Dracula’s real castle.”
â€¢10/10/11 –I’ve had a full summer of unintentionally establishing myself as a primary blogger on the Lonely Planet Blog, with some posts also appearing on BBC Travel and MSNBC’s travel blog “Overhead Bin.”. My posts include:
– “Trip by design: what’s your favourite theme travel?”
– “How to plan a do-nothing vacation”
– “Amazing indoor spaces of the world”
– “Romania’s top five world heritage sites”
– “Elba and Napoleon: an unlikely history”
– “48 hours in Siena”
â€¢06/29/11 –Huge news: more than two months of work has finally come to fruition in the form of my smartphone city guide app for Florence. Published by Sutro Media, the app has dozens of activities, over 60 eating and drinking options and over 40 sleeping options. Check it out. Also, I did a fun post for the Lonely Planet blog called “How to travel with friends (and not want to kill them).”
â€¢06/3/11 – I really need to update this section more often. So, obviously a lot has happened since the previous update. I had two pieces appear in the Twins Cities entertainment weekly Vita.mn: “Slackerology 101” and “Take the Skyway”. I’ve written a number of blog posts for LonelyPlanet.com: “Long-term travel as a couple – should you do it?” ; “How to pack for a round-the-world trip”; the Valentine-themed “If cities had faces, we’d make out with these place”; “Cheapskate travel: how to be frugal without missing out”; “Return trip: why we go back for seconds”; and “What are the world’s best free attractions?” I did a slideshow for Bing Travel called “Comeback Destinations,” featuring 12 great destinations that are on the rebound. I wrote a number of blog posts for HotelClub, including posts about independent travel in Burma, unusual food in Japan and “16 Noteworthy Things You Might Not Know About Minneapolis.” A few other uncredited super secret projects and that pretty much brings us up to date. Finally, the Observer (Guardian UK) very kindly included me on their list of favorite Twitter people. Click the graphic to see the entire list.
â€¢09/29/10 – And again I’ve been remiss in updating this page. It’s been a busy 11 months. In February, Lonely Planet Tuscany & Umbria (6th edition) hit stores, with my substantial contribution to the Tuscany section. In June, my baby, Lonely Planet Romania (5th edition) also hit stores. In April, an incredibly brief blurb I wrote about the village of Viscri, Romania appeared in Travel + Leisure magazine. In May, my feature article on long term, career-break travel, “Choose Your Own Adventure” ran in Vita.mn. My review of the 21st annual MONDO Jugglefest appeared in the summer edition of Juggle magazine. Then there were a host of the usual uncredited desk jobs, most notably the five weeks I spent researching street food in over 60 US cities for an MSN map mash-up that will launch later this year.
â€¢11/11/09 -Wow a whole year without an update? That’s what one long hiatus and two guidebook projects will do. I spent seven months of 2009 researching and writing the next editions of Lonely Planet Tuscany and Romania (due out in January and May 2010 respectively). In actual print news, my article on southeast Tuscany appeared in the November edition of Global Traveler magazine. Also, the 2009 editions of Eastern Europe and Europe on a Shoestring are now in stores, with my chapters on Romania and Moldova. The very, very delayed anthology To Myanmar with Love, containing two of my essays from my 2005 visit, was released in May. Finally, edited versions of my blog posts The Definitive Guide to Airport and Airplane Etiquette and Don’t Go to Monaco appeared in the fledgling South African travel magazine Travel Ideas.
â€¢10/21/08 -The very long-awaited The Europe Book by Lonely Planet, a coffee table book profiling every country in Europe, with my contributions for Romania and Moldova, is finally on sale.
â€¢8/6/08 – My article on Guam and Saipan appears in this month’s Global Traveler magazine.
â€¢7/9/08 â€““Who You Gonna Call?”, my article about what to do if you’re arrested/detained while abroad, is in the July issue of Global Traveler magazine. I was mentioned (twice) in the Minneapolis Star Tribune’s recent article about that new-fangled Twitter thingie.
â€¢4/3/08 â€“ Slow couple of months as far as stuff going to print is concerned. The biggies were my Adventure Add-On story in Global Traveler magazine about my “Ultimate Fly Fishing” trip to Patagonia and over 30 MSN buyer’s guides that I labored over during January/February/March were posted on MSN’s shopping page. Mine are mostly the tech and electronics guides, though I snuck in a few outdoors topics. Finally, my destination piece “Romania Rising” appeared in the spring issue ofÂ Postcards magazine.
â€¢2/24/08 â€“ The big, big happy, happy news is that both Lonely Planet guidebooks “Italy 8” and “Tuscany & Umbria 5” are now in stores. I only contributed an itty, bitty section to “Italy 8”, but huge portions of “Tuscany & Umbria 5” are my doing – either updates or brand new text. For those of you that don’t know, getting that Tuscany job with LP was pure, accidental good fortune, a plum assignment that I’m unlikely to ever enjoy again as under normal circumstances there’s about 20 people in the LP author pool at any given time that are better versed in Tuscany than I am. But hey, screw those guys. I got the job this time, so neener, neener, neeeeeeeeneereerrrrr! Also, A short business article I wrote about Almaty, Kazakhstan appeared in the February issue of Global Traveler magazine. Finally, a very short blurb about the Blue Lagoon, outside Reykjavik, Iceland (I see that the online version is un-credited, which sucks) marks my debut in Postcards magazine, a free mail-out publication put out by Carlson Wagonlit, featuring genuine travel articles that conveniently correspond to tour packages they’re pushing.
â€¢12/14/07 – Three straight weeks of writing shopping guides went online a while back at MSN. I wrote all the Electronics and Photo guides as well as Video Gaming. Also, my destination piece on Barcelona went online (and in print) at Global Traveler (you have to be a member to see the whole article, but there’s a free 30 day trial).
â€¢ 11/1/07 – I’m a writing machine people. I’ve got an article in this month’s Global Traveler magazine on Spainâ€™s Balearic Islands (you have to be a member to see the whole article, but there’s a free 30 day trial). My (recycled) story entitled “Backpacker Cabaret at the Jugglers Rest Youth Hostel” went up at Perceptive Travel online magazine. And my series “A Keyhole into Burma” is knocking them so dead over at Gadling.com that people are too stunned to even comment.
â€¢ 10/8/07 – Again, it’s been a while. Much excitement to report. For Global Traveler Go To Venice piece appeared in the August issue, my Off the Beaten Path Tunis (you have to be a member to see the whole article, but there’s a free 30 day trial) appeared in the September issue and my Day Off Florence piece appeared in the October issue. I blogged at great length about my one month trip to Romania in September for Gadling.com. I’ve whacked out a number of Minneapolis city blurbs for MSN, including this City Secret.
â€¢ 7/2/07 – Been a while since I updated this and so there’s a lot to say. In May, “Lonely Planet Romania and Moldova” 4th edition which I busted my ass on, finally hit stores. Needless to say it’s awesome. This was the last of three books to have my Romania and Moldova work, the other being “Lonely Planet Eastern Europe” 9th edition, and “Lonely Planet Europe on a Shoestring” 5th edition. My article on Umbria is in the July issue of Global Traveler magazine (you have to be a member to see the whole article, but there’s a free 30 day trial), as was a short business piece I did on Tirana, Albania in May.
â€¢ 5/19/07 – I got some good press last week from other travel blogs. An interview I did for My Year of Getting Published was posted and Jaunted has labeled me a “Travel Blog Star” and called me the “Larry David of traveling writing”.
â€¢ 2/15/07– I’m getting some good work from MSN lately. First I was asked to write 50 mini-reviews for Minneapolis attractions (eating, seeing, trekking, playing…) for a “branded entertainment and experinece” web site promoting the new Ford Edge hybrid SUV. It’s an interactive map for 25 American cities with travel reviews of the like I described above. The site was launched a few months ago, but had a ton of bugs that appear to have been fixed. It’s pretty cool and so are my cheeky, punchy reviews. Also, I’m part of a new series on MSN called “The Best Thing About My City” which sporadically runs a list of mini-stories written by locals in several American cities extolling the virtues of their respective cities. I did the Minneapolis one, obviously. The next installment is expected in April.
â€¢ 12/29/06– I won a travel writing award! Of sorts. Actually it was a tie. Anyhoo, Jaunted’s “Worst Travel Media Moment” is being shared by my hair-raising trip to Tiraspol posted on LonelyPlanet.com and a dubious New York Times article about the emerging tourism scene in Bogota, Columbia. Apparently the drop to only 369 kidnappings of foreigners per year is reason to fling open the tourism doors.
â€¢ 11/17/06 – I have been remiss in updating this section. There’s a lot of news:
o In July I re-launched my blog, renamed Killing Batteries. Not even two weeks later it was mentioned in a New York Times article about guidebook writers and my daily unique visitor stats immediately skyrocketed!
o My business article on Sarajevo appeared in Global Traveler’s September issue.
o My business article on Bratislava appeared in Global Traveler’s October issue.
o My destination article on Kiev appeared in Global Traveler’s November issue.
o My article on Transdniestr appear on LonelyPlanet.com in October.
o My skydiving in Taupo, New Zealand article appeared in the September issue of Experience magazine.
o I did a pile of work for Lonely Planet for Romania and Moldova, including their new “Europe Book”, their website’s “World Guide” and the “Bluelist ’07” book.
â€¢ 6/10/06 – A severely edited version of my essay ‘Clean Underwear: Or the Secret to Backpacker Ecstasy’ appears in the recently released travel anthology ‘What Color Is Your Jockstrap : Funny Men and Women Write from the Road’, the latest effort by uber-editor Jen Leo.
â€¢ 6/7/06 – My Dublin article has gotten more mileage, appearing in the March issue of Experience Magazine, a ‘FREE student travel magazine, available from universities throughout Australia’.
â€¢ 1/15/06 – Global Traveler has posted my Cologne article (you have to be a member to see the whole article, but there’s a free 30 day trial).
â€¢ 10/20/05 – After lulling me into a false sense of security by suggesting that my first project would be a small one, Lonely Planet dropped a bomb on me with duties to update/rewrite the Romania and Moldova chapters in three of their guidebooks (â€œRomania & Moldova 4,â€ â€œEastern Europe 9â€ and â€œEurope on a Shoestring 5â€). While Romania is more or less my second home now and I can write with authority on most aspects, I donâ€™t have the faintest idea about neighboring Moldova (other than they snared fourth in this years Eurovision Song Contest). Fortunately for me, 90% of Moldova speaks Romanian (my Romanian skills are still caveman-like, but coming along quickly), which is probably the main reason LP bundled these countries together, in addition to geography and a close-knit historyâ€¦ I have to put in some time in December reviewing and preparing the draft title briefs for each book (whatever those are) and Iâ€™ll be hitting the streets and writing February through May. The books will be published in February and May of 2007. Iâ€™m equally thrilled and terrified of doing this giant project right out of the gate, not to mention my fickle attention span is going to be put to the ultimate test. Iâ€™ll probably spend more time trying to learn LPâ€™s processes and house style than actually writing. Pray (or whatever) for me.
â€¢ 9/15/05 – After fretting over this for months, Lonely Planet has accepted me as an author!!! I’m going to lobby for updating duties for their Romania book next season. This job is the Holy Grail in some travel writing circles, but I am going to approach this with whatever calm and caution that I can muster. Though I think LP is a gigantic opportunity to cut my teeth in another realm of travel writing, it is reputed to be debilitating work, with insane travel schedules and not a heck of a lot of pay, but who pays much of anything in travel writing anyway? Less exciting, but notable, my first appearance in a book occurred recently. A very, very brief blurb of mine on the subject of tourist crowds in popular destinations during off-season appears on page 15 of the latest Rough Guide â€œFirst-Time Europe.â€ Finally, as if that weren’t enough, Global Traveler posted my Hong Kong article today. I’m the King of Media!
â€¢ 8/12/05 – Sapporo has been posted to Global Traveler (you have to be a member to see the whole article, but there’s a free 30 day trial).
â€¢ 4/30/05 – Global Traveler’s slothful web team has gotten my Minneapolis article up, but no sign of my Iasi article. Meanwhile, GT has tapped me to do articles on Hong Kong and Sapporo, Japan. I’ll hitting both cities back-to-back at the end of May.
â€¢ 4/13/05 – Global Traveler’s outsourced, lethargic web team has posted the “March” article I did for them on Kaikoura, New Zealand. Dig it.
â€¢ 3/17/05 – Global Traveler finally posted my hastily done Salzburg article.
â€¢ 3/2/05 – My article on the Juggler’s Rest hostel in Picton, New Zealand will be appearing in the March/April issue of Juggle Magazine.
â€¢ 1/19/05 – More of my blood, sweat and tears have been posted on the web. Global Traveler has finally put up my treasured Istanbul article. Sorry, you have to be a member to see past page two (there’s a free 30 day trial), but you’ll get the idea of how brilliant I am by that point.
â€¢ 1/15/05 – Global Traveler must like me or they are continually desperate. They have tapped me for another semi last-minute assignment. I’m going to write about the dolphin swimming and whale watching pleasures of Kaikoura, New Zealand.
â€¢ 12/12/04 – Ladies and gentlemen, coup of coups, I successfully pitched a story to Travel Savvy Magazine for the Indian Pacific trans continental railroad three day journey from Perth to Sydney. To make things interesting (or because they were the only dates available), I have been booked to travel December 29th through January 1st. Yep, over New Yearâ€™s Eve. This could either be very great or very terrible. Either way, itâ€™s going to be an awesome clipping for me. Stay tuned.
â€¢ 10/26/04 – More Global Traveler related news. They have confirmed two more assignments; Minneapolis (no-brainer) and Iasi, Romania (where I spent my summer), both to appear in the April 2005 issue. Meanwhile my Lisbon article has been posted on their web site.
â€¢ 9/5/04 – Despite the potential for jinxing myself and ruining everything by posting this news prematurely, I would like to pass on two promising bits of information. One; A refined version of my Lisbon article will probably be appearing in the October issue of Global Traveler magazine, for â€œexecutive travelers.â€ Two; Global Traveler magazineâ€™s attentive editor noted that my future travel plans were taking me within spitting distance of Istanbul and they have thus asked me to take a detour to write a destination piece on the city. An assignment! Sweet merciful crap! I leave in two weeks!