Extreme sightseeing – Bratislava in a day

Can you really see a capital city in a day? Usually I’d say no, but I suppose in the end it depends on the city. And when the city in question is the small capital of a small nation, suddenly the idea doesn’t seem so far-fetched.

Read More…
Advertisements

So you want to be a travel writer?

The thing with the job of travel-writing is the number of people who want to do it. I am the expert, it seems – by virtue of being an actual travel writer – and therefore must be in possession of knowledge which can help others become actual travel writers.

Read More…

Sometimes lunch is the only answer

Let’s not worry too much about why I was in Ibiza. Not really my kind of place I’d always thought, until it turned into exactly my kind of place by virtue of the bargain airfare and the promise of some winter sun. Still not really my kind of place I thought as we exited the airport past posters for clubs featuring DJs called things like XXXMixx and not Disco Dave.

Read More…

Elvis, burgers and Tupelo, Mississippi

Not much moves on a scorching hot summer’s day in downtown Tupelo, Mississippi. Even the tarmac melts, and when there’s a breath of wind it’s like an oven door opening. Which rather makes you wonder where Elvis Presley – whose hometown this was – got the energy to curl his lip, let alone wiggle a hip.

Read More…

Get my new travel book – absolutely free!

Calling all travellers and travel enthusiasts. My new travel book – ‘Takoradi to the stars (via Huddersfield)’ – is available for free on Amazon on Tuesday 15th and Wednesday 16th January! Look out tomorrow (Tuesday 15th) for my latest post and follow the link, or head straight to Amazon and grab one while you can! […]

Read More…

Travel writers – born or made?

On the birth certificate of Stan Laurel – long before he ever met Hardy – his father’s occupation was listed as ‘comedian’. Actress and singer Liza Minnelli’s mum? Actress and singer Judy Garland. And so on. My father travelled the world as a teacher and educator, and though I’m British I was born in West Africa. Oh, and I turned out to be a travel writer. What are you going to do?

Read More…

What’s your travelling style?

If you had to pick a word to describe the kind of traveller you are, what would it be? Spontaneous, nervous, restless, organised, solitary, inquisitive, confident, relaxed, outgoing, interested, adventurous, accident-prone – or none of these? (If it’s accident-prone – tell me it’s not accident-prone – may I suggest adequate travel insurance.)

Read More…

Travel guidebooks and how to use them

Travel guidebooks are useful, insightful, helpful and informative – but they can also be infuriating, misleading, out of date and sometimes just plain wrong. I should know, I write them. So here’s an insider’s view on how to get the most out of your travel guide.

Read More…

Born in Ghana – the boy from Takoradi goes home

This is where you get to take a peek at the first chapter of my new book, Takoradi to the stars (via Huddersfield) – I’m hoping it grabs you and sends you scurrying to Amazon right away, but even if you’re just dropping by for a moment or two, I send you warm wishes from Takoradi and Huddersfield, wherever you are!

Read More…

Tales of my Christmas past

Christmas – a time for family festivities and home comforts. Or, if you’re a travel writer – make that a not very well organised travel writer – a time for ending up somewhere a bit odd, that you hadn’t quite planned.

Read More…

How to sell more books than Bill Bryson

You have to jump through all sorts of hoops to publish a book with Kindle Direct Publishing, but in the end it’s fairly straightforward and there are lots of tools to help you promote your book and keep track of its progress. But with a brand new book, there’s not a whole lot they can tell you straight away.

Read More…

How to come up with a travel book title

For most of my travel-writing career, coming up with a book title wasn’t an issue. Here’s how it usually went.

Me: I’ve finished that book you sent me to write, on Sicily.

Rough Guide Editor: Great, thanks, we’ll call it The Rough Guide to Sicily.

Read More…

Jungle emergency

To get to the lush Cameron Highlands – home of Malaysia’s best-known tea plantations – you go through the old tin-mining town of Ipoh. And to get to Ipoh, you used to have to go through my dad, who was stationed there as a conscripted National Serviceman in the early 1950s.

Read More…

Hanging out in Prague

Do you always make a beeline for a city’s best-known sights, or do you give them a miss, preferring to seek out the less ordinary, the off-beat, the – oh go on, I’m going to say it – hidden gem?

Read More…

Timeless Australian desert

I took my first trip to Australia in 1998. That’s so last century. No smart phone, no digital camera, just a point-and-shoot compact. Put the photos in an album and never really looked at them again. Until now.

Read More…