Archive of ‘ Travel writing ’
“The Paris of the South” & other travel cliches
13 responses - Posted 07.19.11

Basra, Iraq – “the Venice of the North”. Photo from WikiCommons. Did you know that “Bogotá is the Athens of South America”? Apparently, it’s because of its many universities and libraries. And, maybe if you squint a bit – while taking very hard drugs – its brick bullring could look a little bit like the […]

Local guides’ leap of fame
no responses - Posted 03.22.11

A few months back I was on the judging panel for two Leap Local competitions: best local guide and best travel writer. Not long after the winners were announced, an email landed in my inbox. “GOOOD NEEEWWWSSS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!” read the subject line. It had been forward from a rather excited tour guide in Kyrgyzstan. His win […]

Grammar-related tourism: the next big thing
4 responses - Posted 08.27.10

Following on from my recent post about travel buzzwords, I wanted to share a link to an amusing piece about five new types of travel. ‘Bungee climbing’ and ‘cramping’ get a mention, but my favourite has to be the proposed ESL tour. It’s inspired by the success of Eat Pray Love-themed tours. “Based on Lynn […]

Going Local Travel turns two
4 responses - Posted 08.16.10

This week marks the 2nd anniversary of Going Local Travel. Back in August 2008, I hesitated before I wrote my first post. Would I keep it up? Two years later, my dashboard here is showing 165 posts + 410 comments. I’m quite shocked it has lasted this long, and I can’t see myself packing it […]

The next travel buzzword: the un-traveller?
8 responses - Posted 08.11.10

“No, I’m not a tourist, I’m a traveller.” We’ve all covered this debate before. Many times. So much so that people could be moving on and looking for the next trump card… How long before people start calling themselves ‘un-travellers’? This seems to be the new trend in alternative tourism. We have One Fine Stay […]

Buenos Aires is “overhyped” and “annoying”
8 responses - Posted 07.30.10

Buenos Aires – overhyped and annoying? So says the New York Post in this recent article, What’s the deal with Buenos Aires? It’s an interesting take. The author, like many residents, has a love-hate relationship with the city, which is not something that often makes it into the travel press. So, are we ‘over’ Buenos […]

Write a local travel story; win US$500
no responses - Posted 03.16.10

Write a local travel story, win US$500. That doesn’t sound like a bad deal, does it? is running a travel-writing competition – with a ‘local travel’ edge and some great cash prizes. I’m looking forward to being on judging panel for this and a separate competition where participants are being asked to nominate their favourite local guide.

Gran Tourismo: where to draw the line between travel journalism and PR
11 responses - Posted 02.05.10

Does PR sponsorship undermine the honesty of a travel piece? Ah yes, that old chestnut. The subject of whether professional travel journalists should accept press trips or complimentary hotel stays has been debated endlessly. (To save me covering old ground, see this piece from the Matador Network.) What’s interesting is the role bloggers have played in […]

A Haitian experience in French Guiana
1 response - Posted 01.20.10

Photo: Papillion’s prison in French Guiana. Copyright: Vicky Baker. In 2008, I celebrated Haitian Fête du Drapeau (flag day) on a rainy Sunday afternoon. I wasn’t on the country’s own shore but in French Guiana, a magnet for Haitian immigrants, most of whom arrive ‘sans papiers’ (without papers). Unlike Haiti, French Guiana never got its […]

Peru: ‘an ugly country with bad food & thieving locals’?
31 responses - Posted 10.12.09

Thinking about going to Peru? How’s this for advice? The water? Is poisonous. The food? Gives you diarrhea. The country? Is ugly. The pollution in Lima makes you choke. And everyone, and I mean everyone — taxi drivers, hotel owners,tour operators, souvenir vendors — tries to rob you. It makes you paranoid. I went to […]


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