Category: Life As a Writer
1793 Blogs and Counting
I’ve been blogging since 2009, which adds up to quite a lot of content over the years. A good friend recently told me to emphasize the Advanced Search function on the blog page. Simply type in the locale you want to visit and up pops the blogs I’ve written about that destination. For example, I typed in "Mississippi" in the Advanced Search line and again on the second page Keyword line and 19 blogs I wrote on the state appeared. This includes one of my favorite stops, "Staying at the Shack Up Inn in Clarksdale, Mississippi" on March 28, 2011. Before you go on your next trip with ActiveTravels, be sure to use the blog as an added resource. Much of the content, like the Shack Up Inn, is still topical.
My Life as Travel Writer is Woven into the Landscape of Maine
Heading back to Maine last week with the family, it’s hard not to think of all the stories I crafted on the adventures in this state. The vast wilderness of the interior and rambling ocean shoreline has provided the inspiration for at least 100 stories and many chapters of travel guidebooks. Paddling on Long Pond and listening to loons in Maine’s North Woods, it was hard not to think of the time I paddled with the Conovers on the Allagash River or Kevin Slater on the West Branch of the Penobscot, still one of my favorite stories for Sierra Magazine. Slipping into the waters of Boothbay Harbor, I was reminded of the time I wrote a piece for Men’s Journal on inn-to-inn sea kayaking along the Sheepscot River with Jeff Cooper, a flawless paddler and the so-called Director of Fun. Maine has been my playground for the past quarter century, and if last week’s roster of activities is any indication, bagging a peak, paddling a lonely waterway, and sea kayaking along the rugged coast, I know it will spur my sense of adventure the next 25 years.
Time to Enter Lowell Thomas Travel Awards Competition
Since its inception in 1984, the Society of American Travel Writers Foundation has handed out more than 2,100 awards and over $420,000 in recognition of outstanding travel journalism. Named the Lowell Thomas Travel Awards Competition after the renowned travel scribe, it has become the premier competition in North America in the field of travel journalism. Every year, the awards and prize money is handed out for outstanding print, online and multimedia works, travel photography, and audio and video broadcast. I’m proud to be on the board of the competition, now open until April 1st. Please send your best work and walk away with cash and the chance to call yourself an award-winning travel writer.
Marie Pechet, In Memoriam
My conversations with Marie Pechet usually started with a line like this: “I have chemotherapy in a couple hours and you won’t hear from me in the next 3 days.” We had met two years ago when a mutual friend introduced us. She was interested in traveling to an off-the-beaten-track locale, much like her beloved Cape Santa Maria on Long Island in the Bahamas. She would never discuss her health with me. But I looked online and read one of her stories where she had been battling colorectal cancer since 2008, shortly after her second child was born. Eight mind-numbing years of battling a stage 4 cancer and her incredible spirit shone through those phone calls and literally hundreds of emails I’m now reliving. She wanted an eco-friendly hotel that respected her diet of vegetables, beans, lemon and lime, olive oil, avocado, and nuts. Her older son, now 13, was also allergic to nuts, fish, lentils, and pumpkins. We found a place on Costa Rica’s Osa Peninsula, Aguila de Osa, where the owner is known to go overboard to make every wish come true. She loved that property and would often talk about returning, even though her husband, Tiron, loathed the long boat ride to reach it (see the photograph).