When a Friendship Becomes a Hardship

In 1990, I left my job as an insurance broker in Manhattan and booked a four-month trip to the South Pacific, New Zealand, and Australia. The day before I left on that fateful journey, I was strolling through the Fifth Avenue Book Fair when I found a book titled “Travel Writing, For Profit and Pleasure” by Perry Garfinkel. I did exactly what the author advised, kept a journal when I was away, and when I returned home I sold my first story, “Learning to Scuba Dive in the Cook Islands” to The Miami Herald. It was the start of a prolific travel writing career, where I would write more than 1500 articles and close to a dozen books. Another one of the stories sold from that inaugural journey was this disastrous hike I took in Fiji. It originally appeared in the San Diego Union Tribune, before other publications like The Boston Globe purchased the story.

If you want to know more about my early years as a travel writer, check out this Q&A with Highbrow Magazine