When In Roam: Conversations with Travel Writers






July 2020
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When In Roam: Andrew Blackwell

I can honestly say that my next guest is one of the most fascinating people I've ever had the pleasure to speak with! In fact, the word "fascinating" came up again & again during my interview with filmmaker & journalist Andrew Blackwell, specifically about his travels. Andrew calls himself a "pollution tourist," since he has traversed the globe seeking out the dirtiest & most degraded areas in the world to try to find some beauty amidst the muck. His findings were quite surprising, & his knowledge of the environment & where the world's headed is...you guessed it...fascinating!


Andrew & I chatted at Hostelling International in New York about his wonderful book "Visit Sunny Chernobyl: And Other Adventures in the World's Most Polluted Places." So if pollution tourism has peaked your interest, then make sure to purchase Andrew's book on Amazon, & follow his adventures at AndrewBlackwell.tumblr.com & on Twitter at @ABlackwell.

Direct download: When_In_Roam__Andrew_Blackwell.m4a
Category:travel -- posted at: 12:00pm EDT

When In Roam: Abbie Kozolchyk

My next guest is a kindred spirit of mine, mainly in the way that she likes to travel, but also because of her magazine journalism background. Abbie Kozolchyk is the beauty & travel editor of "Every Day with Rachael Ray," but I was dying to chat with her at Hostelling International in New York because she's been published six times in the Travelers' Tales "Best Women's Travel Writing" book series. That seriously has to be a record!

So listen to her inspiring tales from abroad, because the way that Abbie describes her travels is like poetry...

And if you've been inspired to take a shot at getting published in the "Best Travel Writing" or the "Best Women's Travel Writing" book series, then check out the submission guidelines at TravelersTales.com/guidelines, & also keep an eye out for the 2014 volumes in April & May on Amazon. You can also follow Abbie's adventures at AbbieKozolchyk.com & on Twitter at @AbbieKozolchyk.

Good luck, I hope I get to read YOUR tales from the road soon!

Direct download: When_In_Roam__Abbie_Kozolchyk.m4a
Category:travel -- posted at: 12:00pm EDT

When In Roam: Kim Barker

My next guest has me in awe! Journalist Kim Barker's travels make all of my adventures abroad seem like Travel Lite, & I don't mind telling her, because she's earned every single one of her stories. As the South Asia Bureau Chief for the Chicago Tribune from 2004 to 2009, Kim has covered major stories like the assassination of former Prime Minister of Pakistan Benazir Bhutto, & the rising militancy in both Pakistan & Afghanistan. Kim shared some of her hair-raising tales with me at Hostelling International in New York, & revealed what did...& didn't...make it into her book called, "The Taliban Shuffle."

My biggest take-away from Kim's conversation (besides the fact that she's a famously funny & incredibly lovely human being), is that if she could survive living in the Middle East as a single Western woman, then to all my ladies out there, we simply have no more excuses! Don't ever let fear hold you back...unless maybe there's a national revolution going on.

I hope Kim's stories were as inspiring to you as they were to me, & if so, then make sure to purchase her book on Amazon, or follow her on Twitter at @Kim_Barker.

Direct download: When_In_Roam__Kim_Barker.m4a
Category:travel -- posted at: 12:00pm EDT

When In Roam: Matt Stabile

I've been looking forward to speaking with Matt Stabile, the founder and editor in chief of TheExpeditioner.com, for quite a while now. That's mainly because of his irreverent take on travel. After all, life on the road is supposed to be fun, & Matt tells it like it is, both on his blog & in his book "The Expeditioner's Guide to the World."

I hope you enjoy our conversation at Hostelling International in New York as much as I did, & that it inspires you to get out there & find your own voice in travel!

If you'd like a shot at getting published on either The Expeditioner website or in the next installment of Matt's book, make sure to reach out to him at Matt.Stabile@TheExpeditioner.com. You can also view his submission guidelines on TheExpeditioner.com. Good luck!

Direct download: When_In_Roam__Matt_Stabile.m4a
Category:travel -- posted at: 12:00pm EDT

Let me tell you a story. Last April, I spoke at the NY Travel Festival, & I met the most amazing girl named Kelly Lewis. Kelly's the founder of Go! Girl Guides, a guidebook series that's tailored toward the specific needs of women on the road. After the festival, we went to the nearest Irish pub with my friend Masha Vapnitchnaia, & between the three of us, we came up with the idea to start a women's travel festival which has never been done before. I don't know, maybe it was the pints that inspired us...

But the difference is that Kelly, Masha, & another wonderful travel blogger named Mickela Mallozzi took off with the idea & made it happen, & I'm so proud of these three gals! I recently sat down with Kelly at Hostelling International in New York to chat with her about all things travel & women's empowerment.

I hope to see you at the Women's Travel Fest on March 8th, 2014 in New York, because it's going to be an inspiring event filled with kindred-spirit traveling sisters! So grab your tickets soon at www.WomensTravelFest.com or at www.GoGirlGuides.com, becuase prices go up after the New Year. Plus, it was just announced that the adorable Samantha Brown from numerous TV shows is going to be speaking as well, which I'm personally jumping up & down about! I'm looking forward to seeing you there.

Direct download: When_In_Roam__Kelly_Lewis.m4a
Category:travel -- posted at: 12:00pm EDT

When In Roam: Peter Potterfield

If you're a huge outdoor buff like I am, then my next guest is for you! Peter Potterfield has spent the past several decades climbing some of the most treacherous peaks & mountain ranges in the world, & has spent countless hours exploring backcountry that man has never seen before.

Then in the '90s, Peter took a huge fall that nearly cost him his life, which he writes about eloquently in his highly acclaimed book "In the Zone: Epic Survival Stories from the Mountaineering World." Listen to his harrowing tale, because it will definitely leave you on the edge of your seat!

I hope that Peter's passion for the great outdoors inspires you to start exploring all the beauty that Mother Nature has to offer. And be sure to follow along on Peter's next adventure at www.PeterPotterfield.com, or on Twitter at @ClassicHikes.

Direct download: When_In_Roam__Peter_Potterfield.m4a
Category:travel -- posted at: 12:00pm EDT

It is my absolute honor to bring you my next guest speaker! Alison Wright is an award-winning photographer (in fact, I'm sure you've seen her work grace the pages of National Geographic for decades now), & she's also a very talented travel writer. She has a new book out that documents the beautiful nomadic & tribal people around the world called "Face to Face: Portraits of the Human Spirit."

But we're going to be speaking mainly about her tragic accident that nearly left her dead on the side of a road in Laos. Please listen to her dramatic story, because I know it's a very hard one for her to tell...

Pick up a copy of Alison's travel memoir called "Learning to Breathe: One Woman's Journey of Spirit & Survival," & try to chip in however much you can towards her Faces of Hope Fund to help support her friends in need around the world. You can also follow Alison's adventures on her website www.AlisonWright.com or on Twitter @AWrightPhoto. And thank you again Alison, for sharing your lovely, inspiring & uplifting story with us today!

Direct download: When_In_Roam__Alison_Wright.m4a
Category:travel -- posted at: 12:00pm EDT

When In Roam: Jason Cochran

It is my absolute pleasure to bring you the brilliant Jason Cochran. And I mean brilliant, not just in travel, but also his insights about the entire media industry, plus he's a huge history buff. I'm thrilled that Jason & I share a common background as previous editors at Arthur Frommer's Budget Travel magazine, so listen to his tips about traveling on a budget, not getting scammed abroad, & what it's like to work for the legendary Mr. Frommer.

I'm also pleased to announce that Jason is the new Editor In Chief of Frommers.com, plus he's written two new guidebooks that will be the flagship publications of Arthur Frommer's relaunch of his new series (the first under his direct editorial control in decades!). Mr. Frommer's new direction for guidebooks will be under $10, less cumbersome, & more opinionated. So make sure to check out the new "EasyGuides" series, especially Jason's guidebook about London due out in November, & his Walt Disney World/Orlando guidebook in January.

So congrats to Jason & the entire Frommer's brand! Whomever said guidebooks are dead was sadly mistaken...

Direct download: When_In_Roam__Jason_Cochran.m4a
Category:travel -- posted at: 12:00pm EDT

When In Roam: AnneLise Sorensen

To say that my next guest has a personality that's larger than life would be an understatement! Likewise, if I were to say that she's a successful travel writer, that would be putting it mildly as well.

AnneLise Sorensen has had a colorful & fascinating life with a full career to match, & she's always such a sweetheart to divulge her words of wisdom to her fans...including me!

Make sure to keep an eye out for more information about her new book on her website www.AnneLiseSorensen.com, and her blog www.TravelTransforms.com for her new video series, & if she's inspired you to pick up the craft of travel writing, you can also join one of her courses on www.MediaBistro.com.

Direct download: When_In_Roam__AnneLise_Sorensen.m4a
Category:travel -- posted at: 12:00pm EDT

I'm so honored to be speaking to my next guest, who pretty much is considered by everyone in the biz to be the godfather of travel writing! If I mentioned all of Don George's accolades & awards, we'd be here all day, so I'll have to point out just a few. Don has edited nine wonderful anthologies, he's written the definitive how-to book about travel writing called "Lonely Planet's Guide to Travel Writing," he's the editor at large & book review columnist for National Geographic Traveler, he's the special features editor & blogger at Gadling...& much more!

Make sure to follow along on the wonderful journey that Don provides with his words. You can read his blog at www.Don-George.com, or follow him on Twitter at @don_george, & also find out info about his wonderful Travel Writers & Photographers Conference at www.BookPassage.com.

Direct download: When_In_Roam__Don_George.m4a
Category:travel -- posted at: 12:00pm EDT

When In Roam: Rachel Friedman

In 2012, I ran into my buddy, travel writer Rolf Potts, who was opening for legendary travel writer Pico Iyer at the University of Pennsylvania campus. When I mentioned to Rolf that I was writing a book, he said that I simply had to meet Rachel Friedman! Author of "The Good Girl's Guide to Getting Lost: A Memoir of Three Continents, Two Friends, & One Unexpected Adventure," Rolf loves that book. He even says so on the cover. I quote, "Friedman's coming-of-age memoir captures the excitement (and bewilderment) of testing out life's possibilities on the far side of the world."

Now, a year later, I'm pleased to announce that I finally did meet up with Rachel in New York. And yes Rolf, she's as lovely as you claimed.

Make sure to grab a copy of Rachel's popular book on Amazon or in all major bookstores, and also follow her adventures at www.Rachel-Friedman.com. By the sounds of it, this girl's still got plenty of world left to explore!

Direct download: When_In_Roam_Rachel_Friedman.m4a
Category:travel -- posted at: 12:00pm EDT

You may know my next guest as the guy from "Pretty In Pink." That 80's movie became so popular that it's now considered a cult classic from that decade. This entrenched Andrew McCarthy firmly into a group of young actors known simply as the Brat Pack. But I dare you to think that this is where his story ends...

Andrew and I chat in New York about his transition into travel writing, and how seeing the world has changed his life, which he touches upon in his new book called, "The Longest Way Home: One Man's Quest for the Courage to Settle Down."

So please do yourself a favor and pick up a copy of his new book, because it really is a wonderfully written memoir. And make sure to follow Andrew's travel adventures on Twitter at @AndrewTMcCarthy or on his website at www.AndrewMcCarthy.com, because you never know where his passion may lead him to next!

Direct download: When_In_Roam__Andrew_McCarthy.m4a
Category:travel -- posted at: 12:00pm EDT

Today I chat with the lovely Holly Corbett, Amanda Pressner, & Jennifer Baggett about their popular book "The Lost Girls: Three Friends. Four Continents. One Unconventional Detour Around the World." They've embraced that title, & have been known as The Lost Girls ever since!

Just two weeks ago, Holly gave birth to a beautiful baby boy named Blake, and two days ago, Jennifer gave birth to her baby boy named Jack. Combined with Amanda's wedding, it sounds like these girls aren't lost at all! In fact, it sounds like they've definitely found what they're looking for.

Make sure to buy their book on Amazon or in all major bookstores, & check out their website www.LostGirlsWorld.com or on Twitter for more of their adventures...maybe with a couple of adorable lost boys in tow next time!

Direct download: When_In_Roam__The_Lost_Girls.m4a
Category:travel -- posted at: 12:00pm EDT

Have you ever cycled across an entire country by yourself, or recreated a famous historical expedition? Yeah, me neither! Now let me ask you something else: Could you imagine doing that with a couple of kids? Today I chat with Charles Scott, a family adventurer & author of "Rising Son: A Father & Son's Bike Adventure Across Japan." His stories will make you reconsider how you can travel with your family!

Also keep an eye out for his new book "Intel to Iceland" that's slated to hit booksellers in 2014. In the meantime, make sure to follow his Lewis & Clark adventure that's going on right now through August by checking out his website www.familyadventureguy.blogspot.com.

So best of luck to the Charles Scott family! I can't wait to live vicariously through your amazing adventures...

Direct download: When_In_Roam__Charles_Scott.m4a
Category:travel -- posted at: 12:00pm EDT

When In Roam: Patricia Schultz

My guest today doesn't need any introduction. You've already seen her books, like, everywhere! I even have the desk-calendar version in my office. I'm speaking about Patricia Schultz & her popular book "1000 Places to See Before You Die."

Today we chat at Hostelling International in New York City about her new edition & the app that goes along with it, & we also get some insider tips about secret places around the world from the woman who's seen it all.

Make sure to download the "1000 Places to See Before You Die" app on iTunes, follow Patricia online at www.1000Places.com & on Facebook & Twitter, & get out that pen & paper to start jotting down more items on your Bucket List!

Direct download: When_In_Roam__Patricia_Schultz_10.m4a
Category:travel -- posted at: 12:00pm EDT

When In Roam: David Farley

Today I have the great pleasure of interviewing one of my dearest friends in the business. He's a major fixture in the NY travel-writing world, he hosts a popular monthly reading series called Restless Legs, he's a speaker at most large travel events around the area, & he teaches a travel-writing course at New York University.

Let's see, what else...

He's also a contributor to Afar magazine & The New York Times, & is the author of "An Irreverent Curiosity" that is currently being made into a documentary by National Geographic International.

But he's also one of the most humble guys you'll ever meet. So who is this character with the wild hair & thick glasses? He's known simply as Farley. Make sure to keep an eye out for his documentary in 2014, follow him online at www.dfarley.com & on Twitter @davidfarley, & you can find the next date for his Restless Legs Reading Series by searching for the group on Facebook.

Who knows, you may even stumble into me there!

Direct download: When_In_Roam__David_Farley.m4a
Category:travel -- posted at: 12:00pm EDT

I'm very excited to bring you Marybeth Bond (better known as the Gutsy Traveler) whom I'm fortunate enough to call a mentor, but more importantly a kindred spirit & a friend. Around 20 years ago, when Marybeth was 30, she decided to travel the world solo for two years. When I was 34, I did the same, but for one year & with a lot more technology & information at my fingertips.

Needless to say, Marybeth is my hero & I want to be her when I grow up! Today we talk about a new edition of her award-winning book "Gutsy Women," & some of her safety tips for women as well as her amazing adventures abroad.

Make sure to check out her website GutsyTraveler.com, which is chock-full of tips for solo women as well as lots of information & articles for the general traveler. And keep an eye out for Marybeth's Bucket List items that she's always checking off by following her on Twitter at @GutsyTraveler.

Direct download: When_In_Roam__Marybeth_Bond.m4a
Category:travel -- posted at: 12:00pm EDT

Rolf Potts is probably best known for his book "Vagabonding: An Uncommon Guide to the Art of Long-Term World Travel," which earned him a loyal following of devoted travelers & the distinguished title of "Jack Kerouac for the Internet age" from USA Today. Rolf's second book, "Marco Polo Didn't Go There," is equally impressive & is a collection of previously published essays & articles with some added juicy details behind some of his adventures. As you've probably guessed by now, Rolf is a little hard to pin down, but try to keep an eye out for one of his travel-writing courses or lectures listed on his website at www.RolfPotts.com or on Twitter at @RolfPotts. He was the 2011/2012 writer-in-residence at the University of Pennsylvania, & he's currently lecturing at Yale. If you're fortunate enough to be in France this July 1-28, make sure to check out one of Rolf's classes at the Paris American Academy where he's been the writing workshop director since 2005. I caught up with Rolf at New York's Hostelling International, where we talked shop about the travel-writing world.

Direct download: When_In_Roam__Rolf_Potts.m4a
Category:travel -- posted at: 12:00pm EDT

When In Roam: Matt Gross

If you spend any amount of time with Matt Gross, you will find his enthusiasm for rugged travel & his intrigue for cultural experiences abroad highly contagious. Matt has had a travel-writing career full of extremes—extreme sicknesses, extreme dangers, but through it all, extreme curiosity that has formed him into the talented & road-wise individual we can see today. As the New York Times Frugal Traveler columnist from 2006 to 2010, Matt racked up a gazillion tales that he would love to share with us. When I chatted with him at Hostelling International in NY, he offered a few of those stories, as well as indulged me with some background info about his brand-new book "The Turk Who Loved Apples" that was just released this month. So listen to his adventures on this When In Roam episode, & try to pick your jaw up off the floor throughout his stories!

Direct download: When_In_Roam__Matt_Gross_5.m4a
Category:travel -- posted at: 12:00pm EDT