Don George is the Adventure Collection’s Web Editor in Chief. A highly respected and pioneering travel journalist for more than two decades, Don was most recently the Global Travel Editor for Lonely Planet Publications. Prior to that, Don was Travel Editor at the San Francisco Examiner & Chronicle and then edited Salon.com’s travel site, Wanderlust. Don has published seven books, including “Travel Writing,” “The Kindness of Strangers,” “By the Seat of My Pants,” and “Tales from Nowhere.” He has written more than 600 articles for magazines and newspapers around the globe, and has received dozens of awards for his writing and editing.
A popular and trusted travel expert and commentator, Don appears regularly on CNN and NPR as well as other TV and radio outlets, and is frequently quoted in major newspapers and online news sites. He also speaks frequently on travel issues at venues around the world; recent appearances include the Commonwealth Club, the World Affairs Council, the Chicago Humanities Center, the Educational Travel Conference, the Japan Society, the Australian Society of Travel Writers, and the Pacific Asia Travel Association. Don has also hosted a lively series of on-stage conversations with such acclaimed writers as Jan Morris, Simon Winchester, Pico Iyer, Isabel Allende and Amy Tan. He has taught travel writing at the University of California, Berkeley, Graduate School of Journalism, and is co-founder and chairman of the annual Book Passage Travel Writers and Photographers Conference.
In a quarter-century of wandering, Don has visited more than 65 countries. He has worked as a teacher in Athens, a translator in Paris, and a TV talk show host in Tokyo. He now lives in the San Francisco Bay Area with his wife.
Don can be contacted at email@example.com.
July 02, 2014
Bay Area-based writer and editor Amanda McKee didn’t know what to expect when she embarked on her first trip to Bhutan. The Himalayan kingdom is famed for its policy of Gross National Happiness, but beyond that, it’s a blank on most travelers’ maps. In this dispatch, McKee describes the unexpected riches that delighted her.
June 30, 2014
On June 22, UNESCO (United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization) voted to recognize Botswana’s Okavango Delta as its 1,000th World Heritage Site. The Delta now joins a select group of the world’s most treasured cultural and natural sites, including the Pyramids, the Great Barrier Reef, the Taj Mahal, Stonehenge, Victoria Falls, and Serengeti National Park. In celebration of this designation, we’re very pleased to present this extraordinary evocation of a journey into the heart of the Okavango Delta, written by freelance writer Matt Wilkens and photographed by his wife, Piper Christian.
May 05, 2014
Last month I had the grand pleasure of leading a small group of impassioned and intrepid travelers through Kyoto and Shikoku, Japan. We experienced a splendid spectrum of delights, from visiting with monks and pilgrims at venerable temples and shrines, to making omochi rice paste sweets and soba noodles, to sleeping in a 300-year-old beautifully restored farmhouse, to feasting on fresh caught bonito in a fishing village, to soaking our cares away in remote outdoor hot spring spas. Everywhere we went, we were greeted with soul-warming graciousness and hospitality. There were so many highlights from this journey that it is impossible to select just one, but among the most memorable – and serendipitous – splendors was the fact that just as we arrived, the country’s cherry blossoms erupted virtually overnight into spectacular pink-petaled bloom.
April 16, 2014
Editor’s Note: Travelers’ Tales’ new anthology, “The Best Women’s Travel Writing, Vol. 9,” edited by Lavinia Spalding, contains a number of stories that explore the intersection of expectation and reality on the road — and the riches that are sometimes revealed there. The tale below, by writer-photographer Amanda Jones, is a particularly poignant example set in South Africa.
March 19, 2014
Northern California’s spring-like weather whetted my wanderlust last week, and I found myself rummaging through wine-spattered, curry-stained journals to relive some heady adventures past. In that quest I came across the following remembrance of the Hindu monument of Pambranan, on the Indonesian island of Java; the account seems to capture the quintessential, life-expanding gift of travel—then and now—for me.
March 11, 2014
Editor’s note: Lonely Planet’s anthology “A Fork in the Road” presents 34 stories that explore the intersection of travel, food, and cultural revelation. Below we excerpt one of the collection’s highlights, a learned and loving celebration of Sri Lankan cuisine by Madhur Jaffrey, regarded by many as the world’s foremost authority on Indian food. Jaffrey is an award-winning actress and bestselling cookery author. She has appeared in over 20 films and written numerous cookery books, including the seminal “An Invitation to Indian Cookery,” published in 1973.
March 04, 2014
My earliest world-wanderings were undertaken through others’ words. As my mother’s voice wove magical word-carpets, I was transported to Narnia by C. S. Lewis, the Sahara and beyond by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, and Great Places by Dr. Seuss. In high school and college I journeyed to Greece with John Fowles, Venice with Thomas Mann, France with Marcel Proust, Vietnam with Graham Greene, India with E. M. Forster, and Africa with Joseph Conrad.
February 26, 2014
About two hours into our first hike, I stop dead in my tracks. To my right, a herd of guanacos perches on a rocky hillside nonchalantly nibbling on grass. To my left, the modest Aviles River tumbles down a small-scale slot canyon toward the Chacabuco River. At my feet are explosions of fire truck red spring flowers, and ahead stand rust-colored ridges and snow-covered peaks of the Jeinimeni range. The scene is stop-you-in-your-tracks spectacular, but I have a sense that something else brought me to this standstill. That’s when it hits me: We have a national park all to ourselves.
February 20, 2014
Candace Rose Rardon is an American writer, photographer and artist who sketches as she travels. These sketches, combined with the stories behind them, poignantly portray those moments of encounter and illumination that become the stepping stones of adventure, inner and outer. We are extremely pleased to present her on-the-road sketches-and-stories here.
February 14, 2014
I am walking down a cobbled alley in Venice. The stones are irregular under my feet, and the buildings on either side are so close that I can touch both of them with my outstretched hands. The street is dark and dank; at an opening far ahead I see the yellow glimmer of a streetlamp caught in a spectral fog. Time seems to stuff my nostrils and seep into my bones, to tower, crumbling, over me. My footsteps echo in the still night. For a moment — wild, suspended — I feel torn out of this century. My heart pounds in my ears. I have no idea what awaits, who I will meet, around the corner.