I’m a widely published travel writer and photographer, and occasionally appear as a “travel expert” on TV shows. I’m Immediate-past President of the BC Chapter of TMAC (Travel Media Association of Canada), and a member of the International Travel Writer’s Alliance. My first airplane ride happened when I was just five days old. I love airplanes and airports…even with the current state of the industry and the lack of customer care (they still do care at Alaska Airlines — which I believe is the best airline in North America).
Since then I’ve visited
- 785 Cities in 36 countries (and counting)
- All Canadian provinces & territories (I only know 2 other people who can make that claim).
- 47 US states
- On 47 different airlines, 5 cruise lines, numerous ferries and trains
- 5-star resorts and camped in high mountain tents.
- I’ve been pampered on luxury cruises and group tours through Europe, Asia, and the Arctic.
- I’ve travelled budget and solo through India, Jordan, and even London.
- And I’m a whiz at finding the lowest airfare and most economic hotel rates—using a variety of sources.
- I recently completed my 600th flight! Wow…who’d have thunk an Idaho farm boy could ever say that. It may not sound like a big deal to a corporate road warrior, but I’ve never had a true road-warrior job; I’ve done it mostly on my own. Flight 600 was on EVA Airlines, Vancouver (YVR) to Taipei (TPE), seated in the nose of the 747-400; November 12, 2009.
People constantly tell me I have the greatest job in the world. They’re right–and it’s the right job for me because I’ve had a passion for travel ever since I can remember. It’s also the right job because writing comes relatively easy to me. I don’t have a degree in either (in fact, I have a music degree…I’m a reasonable cocktail pianist).
What people don’t realize is that travel writing is a huge amount of work for very little pay. Quite honestly, I haven’t been on a vacation–a real kick’er back and relax–in over three years. No matter where I go, I work. Much to my partner’s dismay, my laptop, cameras, and voice recorder always go with me. However, he’s a fantastic photographer too, and sometimes shoots the photos for my stories–allowing me to focus on the words.
I published my first real travel article in Orange Coast Magazine, the year was 1994, and the story was about a camel safari in the Great Indian (Thar) Desert. I published a handful of stories back then before getting sidetracked into a very cushy corporate job as a marketing communications writer. After a few years it was clear: Randall + Cubicle = yuck. I’ve now been a full-time freelancer for several years and love it. The only downside: I work all the time.
In addition to my busy life as a travel personality, I do a lot of freelance writing and photography for corporate clients. You can learn more about that at my corporate-side website, www.creative2go.com.