Working as a travel reporter was always regarded as a sort of unattainable goal during journalism school at Ryerson Polytech in Toronto, so being hired as a writer/editor at Baxter Travel Media in the late 90s was definitely a win. Before that, I had worked as editor for a communications industry magazine in Toronto, and as a weekly columnist for a motoring section in the Toronto Star, amongst other editorial jobs.
The position as western Canada editor for Canadian Travel Press/Travel Courier, based in Vancouver, combines opportunities to do both travel news writing and destination feature journalism. My favourite part of the job is that it is never predictable or repetitive, given that the travel industry is always changing and evolving. And the prospect of visiting parts of the world that are appealing for many reasons cannot be discounted as a big motivator.
The world is full of compelling cities, important heritage sites, stunning natural treasures and more – all of which can be experienced through this job. I also enjoy living in one of the world’s most attractive and livable cities.
I count over 50 countries visited as part of my work. Some of my favourite places to date include Tuscany in Italy, Yorkshire and Cornwall in England, the Silk Road city of Samarkand in Uzbekistan, Angkor Wat in Cambodia, the Camp Leakey orangutan reserve in Kalimantan in Indonesia, Lijiang in Yunnan province in China, Milford Sound and the Southern Alps in New Zealand, Kauai in Hawaii, Kangaroo Island in Australia, Mendoza in Argentina, Cathedral Lakes in British Columbia, and many more.
I particularly love to go to places that feature wildlife – hence the inclusion of Kenya, Borneo, Australia and B.C. in the list. I hope that conservation-oriented travel stories can help sustain animal species that are under siege.
I also like to go places where I can drive a car or ride a motorcycle. For instance, a trip to the South Island of New Zealand was hosted by Tourism New Zealand and gave me the opportunity to ride through amazing landscapes on a BMW. Some of the best trips have been on the roads of Europe, including drives on the twisty lanes of Yorkshire, on the high-speed autobahns of Germany and on the country roads of Italy aboard a Ducati. Another top favourite was driving portions of the Silk Road by Land Rover. A benchmark for crazy was set by riding a motorcycle in Phnom Penh, Cambodia.
What’s on my bucket list? Melbourne, Vienna, Kathmandu, the Himalayas, more Italy, more United Kingdom, more Ireland, Uganda/Rwanda for gorillas, India for tigers, the Galapagos Islands and lots more. It is impossible for the bucket to ever really be empty.