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How I became a Lonely Planet author

People are always asking me this question because, I have to admit – if you love traveling, it’s a pretty sweet job.

I was pretty lucky really. I kind of just chanced into it. I saw an add on the Lonely Planet website and applied that way. To be considered back then you needed lots of travel experience and to have been previously published. I had been selling stories to newspapers and magazines so that served as a good stepping stone for me and I sent them several clippings of my most recent articles and applied for the job.

They emailed me to ask if I could review a town in my area in what I thought was the Lonely Planet style. The trouble was that I was travelling in Mongolia at the time and without a lap top etc I couldn’t really write anything that I thought they may like to read. Luckily they agreed to wait until I reached London (via Russia) for me to supply a sample. I duly reviewed Greenwich, sent it in and got rejected – too many spelling mistakes apparently. I’ve always been a crap speller. I think this is because my brain isn’t big enough. Anyway they asked me to resubmit it, which I did and they must have been cool with that because they sent me to Kyrgyzstan.

Working for Lonely Planet is great. It’s a company who I believe does there best to do the right thing – they offset my carbon footprint when I fly and use paper that comes from a renewable source.

Lonely Planet Guides that I have co-authored