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Travel Writing World

Arts & Culture Podcasts

With an emphasis on travel books and long-form travel literature, host Jeremy Bassetti talks with the world’s most inspiring travel writers about their work and about the business and craft of travel writing in this award-winning podcast. Past guests include travel writers like Paul Theroux, Pico Iyer, and Rolf Potts. The show also covers topics related to travel journalism, travel blogging, and travel photography.

With an emphasis on travel books and long-form travel literature, host Jeremy Bassetti talks with the world’s most inspiring travel writers about their work and about the business and craft of travel writing in this award-winning podcast. Past guests include travel writers like Paul Theroux, Pico Iyer, and Rolf Potts. The show also covers topics related to travel journalism, travel blogging, and travel photography.

Location:

United States

Description:

With an emphasis on travel books and long-form travel literature, host Jeremy Bassetti talks with the world’s most inspiring travel writers about their work and about the business and craft of travel writing in this award-winning podcast. Past guests include travel writers like Paul Theroux, Pico Iyer, and Rolf Potts. The show also covers topics related to travel journalism, travel blogging, and travel photography.

Language:

English


Episodes

Slow Road to San Francisco with David Reynolds

1/18/2021
In 2018, David Reynolds rented a Chevy Cruze and hit Route 50, driving as slowly as he could across the United States from Ocean City, Maryland to San Francisco, California. He snaked through the Blue Ridge Mountains, passed through the American heartland, and bounded over the continental divide, driving from sea to shining sea. David comes on the podcast to talk about his experiences, which he documented in his new book Slow Road to San Francisco (Muswell 2020). We recorded this...

Duration:00:43:41

2021 Goals and Reflections

1/4/2021
2021 couldn’t have come quickly enough. Most of us didn’t see the dumpster fire that was 2020 coming. Enough has already been said about the pandemic that saying anything more now borders on being redundant if not cliché. So, suffice it to say that here we are. We made it. Hopefully, that thing we see on the horizon is more of a finish line than a tripwire. This episode will mostly be insider baseball—I’ll reflect on 2020 from the perspective of the podcast and website, I’ll discuss some of...

Duration:00:08:31

Red Sands: Recipes and Reportage through Central Asia with Caroline Eden

12/21/2020
In her journey through Central Asia, Caroline Eden uses food as a platform from which to explore the history and culture of this under-reported region, a land on the old Silk Road and at the crossroads of East and West. Caroline Eden stops by the podcast to talk about the ‘Stans, their food, and her new book Red Sands: Reportage and Recipes Through Central Asia from Hinterland to Heartland (Quadrille 2020), now available in a beautiful hardback stuffed with reportage, photographs, and...

Duration:00:30:31

Responsible Travel Writing with JoAnna Haugen

12/7/2020
JoAnna Haugen is the founder of Rooted Storytelling, an organization interested in ethical journalism and tourism. She has created a new, online course for travel writers and content creators called “Responsible Travel Writing” which helps writers think about their work in a way that impacts local communities, the environment, and the travel industry in better, more sustainable ways. JoAnna stops by the podcast today to chat about what it means to be a responsible travel writer, and how her...

Duration:00:33:58

In Search of Elsewhere with Steve McCurry

11/23/2020
For the past 40 years, Steve McCurry has been traveling the world and photographing its beauty. He is known for creating some of the most iconic images of our time, like the photograph of Sharbat Gula—the "Afghan Girl" who appeared on the cover of National Geographic in 1985. Now, Steve McCurry has published a new collection of photographs called In Search of Elsewhere, which contains some new and previously unpublished photographs from his archives. In this episode, we talk about his new...

Duration:00:28:22

Traveling with our Elders and “The Gran Tour” with Ben Aitken

11/9/2020
When Ben Aitken learned that his father had taken a four-night vacation marketed to seniors that included three-course meals, plenty of beer, and daily excursions, all for about 100 pounds, he signed himself up. Six times. Ben Aitken joins us today to talk about his book The Gran Tour, which documents his experiences traveling with elders. We also talk about the genre of travel writing, the Shakespeare and Company bookstore in Paris, and the importance of spending time with our elders. Ben...

Duration:00:43:15

The Best American Travel Writing 2020 with Jason Wilson

10/26/2020
Every year, Jason Wilson compiles the best examples of travel writing published in the previous year and publishes them in The Best American Travel Writing anthology. Jason last joined us to talk about the coronavirus pandemic and the future of travel writing back in April. Now he's back to talk about The Best American Travel Writing 2020 (Mariner Books / Houghton Mifflin Harcourt 2020). But Jason also gives us a glimpse into the process of editing the anthology, some updated thoughts on the...

Duration:00:30:05

The Best Women’s Travel Writing with Lavinia Spalding

10/12/2020
About every few years, Traveler’s Tales publishes The Best Women’s Travel Writing anthology. Joining me today to talk about The Best Women’s Travel Writing, Volume 12 (Traveler's Tales 2020) is Lavinia Spalding, the series editor since 2011. We talk about the importance and value of reading travel accounts written by women, the art of editing an anthology, getting lost in travel and in writing, and how to submit to the next Best Women’s Travel Writing anthology. And just a correction: the...

Duration:00:35:30

Isolation, Connection, & Islands with Gavin Francis

9/28/2020
Gavin Francis examines our collective fascination with islands in his new book Island Dreams: Mapping an Obsession (Canongate 2020). In it, he blends stories of his own travels with psychology, philosophy, and literature, while discussing the importance of islands and isolation in our collective consciousness. At a time when more than half of the earth’s population has been forced into isolation, Gavin examines not only the importance of community and connection, but also how valuable...

Duration:00:35:14

Eric Newby “Love and War in the Apennines” with James March

9/14/2020
After the Italian Armistice of 1943, Eric Newby escaped from the prison camp in which he'd been held for a year. A local woman named Wanda, her family, and other anti-fascist sympathizers helped him evade the German army by hiding, feeding, and supporting him in the caves and forests of the Apennine mountains. Newby wrote about his experiences as a prisoner of war and meeting his future wife Wanda in his book Love and War in the Apennines, originally published in 1971. Joining me to talk...

Duration:00:42:34

The Summer Isles with Philip Marsden

8/31/2020
Photo: Jay Williams In an old wooden sloop, Philip Marsden set sail along the exposed western coasts of Ireland and Scotland for the Summer Isles, a remote archipelago that holds for him a deep and personal significance. He wrote about his adventures in his new book The Summer Isles (Granta 2019). Philip Marsden joins us today to talk about his voyage through the seas and through the imagination, the power of myths, and how he wrote his book while also tending to the mental and physical...

Duration:00:36:10

Cut Stones and Crossroads with Ronald Wright

8/17/2020
In the early 1980s, Ronald Wright traveled throughout Peru, exploring its peoples, politics, and histories, a journey that he documented in his 1984 book Cut Stones and Crossroads. Ronald stops by the podcast to talk about his travels, his insights, and his book, now republished in the United Kingdom by Eland Publishing after nearly 35 years. It is a wide-ranging conversation that covers Peruvian history, Ronald's career as a travel writer, and his travels within Latin America. Eland Books...

Duration:00:58:27

Varanasi & The Twice Born with Aatish Taseer

8/4/2020
Aatish Taseer left New York City behind and traveled to Varanasi to learn Sanskrit and to connect with the ancient learned tradition of India. Taseer joins us today to talk about his experiences in Varanasi, which he wrote about in his book The Twice Born: Live and Death on the Ganges (FSG 2019) out now in paperback. In The Twice Born, Taseer uses explores the tensions between tradition and modernity through the lens of Brahmanical culture. In the podcast episode, we also talk a great deal...

Duration:00:41:28

Eric Newby’s “A Short Walk in the Hindu Kush” with Aaron Millar

7/20/2020
In 1956, Eric Newby quit his job in the British fashion industry to explore Nuristan, a remote region in the northeast of Afghanistan. Newby wrote about his journey in his now-classic book A Short Walk in the Hindu Kush, originally published in 1958 to wide acclaim. Joining me to talk about Newby’s A Short Walk is Aaron Millar, an adventurer and travel writer who has written for publications like National Geographic Traveller. He is the host of the excellent Armchair Explorer podcast. This...

Duration:00:50:05

Remembering the Past with Robin Hemley

7/8/2020
Robin Hemley explores questions of national identity, patriotism, and cosmopolitanism in his latest collection of travel essays, Borderline Citizen: Dispatches from the Outskirts of Nationhood (University of Nebraska Press 2020). Robin stops by to talk about his new book, as well as the different approaches to creative nonfiction, writing about the self in travel writing, journalism, and memoir, and putting together an essay collection. We also talk about remembering the past and Black Lives...

Duration:00:43:02

Wilfred Thesiger’s “Arabian Sands” with Tim Hannigan

6/23/2020
Wilfred Thesiger was an explorer and writer who sought to travel through the Rub’ al Khali, the so-called “Empty Quarter” of desert in the Arabian Peninsula in the late 1940s. Thesiger wrote about his journey in his now-classic travel book Arabian Sands, which was originally published in 1959 brought him distinction as an explorer and writer. Thesiger passed in 2003. Joining me today to talk about Arabian Sands is the author and scholar Tim Hannigan. We discuss Thesiger’s book in light of...

Duration:00:40:02

Wanderland with Jini Reddy

6/8/2020
Have you ever had a profound, mystical encounter with the natural world? Speaking with us from the U.K. is Jini Reddy, whose new book Wanderland: A Search for Magic in the Landscape (Bloomsbury 2020) explores and celebrates her connection with the magic of the British landscape. We also talk about cultural identity, the ways in which we can connect with nature, and the difficulties in discussing transcendent experiences. Jini is a British journalist and author whom National Geographic...

Duration:00:31:07

Epic Continent: Adventures in the Great Stories of Europe with Nicholas Jubber

5/25/2020
Stories of migration, nationhood, religious conflict, sex, and violence have preoccupied Europe for millennia. Nicholas Jubber joins us from Dorset, U.K. to talk about the power of storytelling in the European epic tradition, the subject of his most recent book Epic Continent: Adventures in the Great Stories of Europe (John Murray 2019) in which he travels throughout Europe following some of history’s most epic stories like The Odyssey and Beowulf. Epic Continent was shortlisted for the...

Duration:00:46:33

Remembering Bruce Chatwin at 80 Years

5/12/2020
In today's episode, we are remembering Bruce Chatwin on what would have been his 80th birthday. Jonathan Chatwin joins us again, this time to talk about the life and work of Bruce Chatwin. Jonathan wrote a book on Bruce's work called Anywhere Out of the World: The Work of Bruce Chatwin (Manchester UP 2017). We also have reflections and testimonials from Nicholas Shakespeare, who wrote the biography Bruce Chatwin: A Biography (The Harvill Press 1999), Susannah Clapp, who worked with Bruce as...

Duration:01:32:09

Rajat Ubhaykar – Hitchhiking Through Hindustan

5/4/2020
Today’s episode brings us to Mumbai, where Rajat Ubhaykar speaks with us about his travels hitchhiking through India with truckers. His adventures were published in his new book, Truck de India!: A Hitchhiker's Guide to Hindustan (Simon & Schuster 2019). Part travelogue, part immersive journalism, Truck de India! is a fascinating glimpse into an industry and an experience that is largely off-limits to westerners. We also speak briefly about the cultural and linguistic diversity of India and...

Duration:00:34:34