My travel writing career was launched when I wrote my first guidebook, Innocents Abroad, Traveling with Kids in Europe. The research for my portion of that co-written book entailed racing through five European countries in two months with a two-year-old daughter and an eight-month-old son in tow – a completely exhilarating and utterly exhausting trip, but it whetted my appetite for more.
Five more guidebooks and hundreds of articles later, my travel stories have included everything from piloting a four-ton houseboat barge through the canals of Burgundy (so many locks!) to happily scarfing down a big plate of raw lemons after chewing taste-morphing miracle berries in Hawaii.
Over the years my travel articles have appeared in publications such as Taste and Travel, Family Fun, Parents, Ladies Home Journal, The Dallas Morning News and the Miami Herald. My humor pieces have appeared most recently in Real Simple and Writer’s Digest magazines. I’m also a contributing editor at FamilyTravelForum.com and created their Teen Travel Writing Scholarship contest, which attracts thousands of entries nationwide.
I’ve always had eclectic interests, and the other arm of my writing career reflects that. One particularly rewarding project was writing and editing a series of internationally distributed advocacy publications for the Firelight Foundation, a leading funder of grassroots groups in Sub-Saharan Africa working with children whose lives have been disrupted by poverty and disease. I’ve also written training courses, annual reports, artists’ websites, children’s books and just about everything in between.
I enjoy taking on projects in a variety of genres, tailoring my writing style to meet the needs of a wide range of audiences. But culinary adventures are my greatest love, whether I’m slurping oysters in Appalachicola, salmorejo in Cordoba, or hoppy beers in IPA-crazy San Diego. Sure I love to sightsee, but these days I find myself favoring farmers markets and food trucks over fortresses and fine art. Show me an exhibition of hand-crafted Northern California cheeses lined up on a plate in front of me – now that’s what I consider artistic inspiration.