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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 celebrated 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 celebrated 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 celebrated 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

Walking and Writing with Robert Martineau

9/27/2021
Joining me today is Robert Martineau. We’re talking about his new book Waypoints: A Journey on Foot, which was published in April 2021 by Jonathan Cape. In his book, as you’ll hear us mention, Rob goes on a 1,000-mile walk through Ghana, Togo, and Benin. So we chat about his walk, escaping from a life of routine in a big city, the liberating and transformative potential of walking, about note-taking, and a lot more. If anyone has been feeling stagnant lately, in work and life — haven’t we...

Duration:00:34:06

The Amur River and Aging with Colin Thubron

9/13/2021
Joining me again today is Colin Thubron. We’re talking about his most recent book The Amur River: Between Russia and China, which will be published on 21 September 2021. We talk about the Amur River, of course, and its role in Sino-Russian relations, Colin’s 1,100-mile journey along the the river’s various incarnations across Mongolia, Russia, and China, and we also talk about aging, a major theme of the book, and its impact on his approach to travel and writing. Lots of inspiration here,...

Duration:00:25:03

Penguins and Photography Projects with Charles Bergman

8/30/2021
Joining me today is Charles Bergman a writer and photographer who sought to document all 18 species of penguin in his most recent book, Every Penguin in the World. His new book is more than just a photo-book - it has a narrative component about his photographic mission. Now, photography and animals are not topics we’ve covered too much on the show, but they are legitimate features of the travel and writing landscapes. In addition to our conversation about conservation and penguins, we also...

Duration:00:38:04

Along the Amber Route with CJ Schuler

8/16/2021
CJ Schuler Joining me today is CJ Schuler, whose most recent book, Along the Amber Route, was nominated for the Stanford Doleman Travel Book of the Year in 2021. Like last episode, we recorded this one back in early 2021 before the award announcement. We talk about the amber trade routes in Europe and some touch points in the history of amber in Europe. We also talk about editing a travelogue and the difficulties in finding publishers for travel narratives. CJ's website. Purchase Along the...

Duration:00:42:39

The Lost Pianos of Siberia with Sophy Roberts

8/2/2021
Sophy Roberts and Siberia by Michael Turek Joining me today is Sophy Roberts, whose most recent book The Lost Pianos of Siberia was nominated for the Stanford Doleman Travel Book of the Year 2021. We recorded this episode back in March, before the award announcement (sorry for the massive delay, Sophy!), but the conversation is still fresh. We talk about “success narratives” in travel literature, chronology in travel books, and much more. Sophy's website. The Lost Pianos of Siberia online....

Duration:00:48:31

Laurie Lee’s “As I Walked Out One Midsummer Morning” with Jessica Vincent

7/19/2021
Laurie Lee Few conversations about Patrick Leigh Fermor’s book A Time of Gifts happen without mentioning As I Walked Out One Midsummer Morning by Laurie Lee. Lee’s book, also an account of a European walk, was published before Paddy’s book. They’re similar, but quite different. In today’s episode, Jessica Vincent joins me to talk about Laurie Lee and his book. We also talk about gender representations in the book and the book’s enduring appeal. All this is coming up in the interview, but I...

Duration:01:01:27

Patrick Leigh Fermor’s “A Time of Gifts” with Artemis Cooper, Nick Hunt, and Colin Thubron

7/5/2021
Patrick Leigh Fermor - Δημήτρης Παπαδήμος, CC BY-SA 3.0 June marked the 10-year anniversary of Patrick Leigh Fermor’s passing, and next month John Murray Press is re-publishing his best-known book A Time of Gifts under a new imprint called “Journeys.” Joining me today is Artemis Cooper, who speaks about about Patrick Leigh Fermor and his work. Artemis wrote a monumental biography about Paddy called Patrick Leigh Fermor: An Adventure, which is worth a read. I also speak with Nick Hunt again,...

Duration:01:01:30

Charles Nicholl on Story Structure and “Borderlines”

6/21/2021
Charles Nicholl, Courtesy of the Author In 1986, Charles Nicholl traveled through Thailand to learn about the spiritual traditions of forest Buddhism. But things are not always so straightforward in Thailand. When Charles meets Harry, an old French Indochina hand, on the night train north with his tales of gem smuggling and opium smoking, it leads to a journey along the banks of the Mekong, into the Golden Triangle, and into Burma. Charles joins me today to talk about his adventures, story...

Duration:00:50:27

Nick Hunt on Travel/Nature Writing and “Outlandish”

6/7/2021
Nick Hunt, Courtesy of the Author Nick Hunt takes us across landscapes that should not be there, wildernesses found in Europe yet seemingly belonging to far-off continents: a patch of Arctic tundra in Scotland; the continent's largest surviving remnant of ancient forest in Poland and Belarus; Europe's only true desert in Spain; and the fathomless grassland steppes of Hungary. From snow-capped mountain range to dense green forest, desert ravines to threadbare, yellow open grassland, these...

Duration:00:42:09

Tim Hannigan and “The Travel Writing Tribe”

5/24/2021
Tim Hannigan Where can travel writing go in the twenty-first century? Author and lifelong travel writing aficionado Tim Hannigan sets out in search of this most venerable of genres, hunting down its legendary practitioners and confronting its greatest controversies. Is it ever okay for travel writers to make things up, and just where does the frontier between fact and fiction lie? What actually is travel writing, and is it just a genre dominated by posh white men? And what about travel...

Duration:00:53:08

Stephen Fabes on Narrative Pacing and “Signs of Life”

5/10/2021
Stephen Fabes in Kazakhstan When Stephen Fabes left his job as an emergency-room doctor and set out to cycle around the world, frontline medicine quickly faded from his mind. But leaving medicine behind was not as easy as it seemed. As Stephen crossed continents—on a journey that would take six years and cover more than 53,000 miles—he finds people whose health has suffered and others whose lives have been saved through kindness and community. Stephen joins me today to talk about his new...

Duration:00:32:39

Patti Shales Lefkos on High-Altitude Trekking in Nepal and Self-Publishing

4/26/2021
Patti Shales Lefkos at the Summit of Nya-la At the age of 67 and with her injured husband at home, Patti Shales Lefkos sets off to Nepal on what would her first solo trip. She documents her experiences, which included volunteering at a high altitude school and taking off on a month-long trek in the Himalayas, in her book Nepal One Day at a Time. Patti joins me on the podcast today to talk about high-altitude senior trekking, volunteering, and also about the complications of self-publishing...

Duration:00:24:48

Pam Mandel on “The Same River Twice” and Writing a Travel Memoir Proposal

4/12/2021
A product of the California suburbs, Pam Mandel was overlooked and unexceptional. When her father ships her off on a youth group tour of Israel, he inadvertently catapults his seventeen-year-old daughter into a world of European backpackers, seize-the-day Israelis, and the fallout of cold war-era politics. Border violence hadn't been on the birthright tour agenda. But then neither had domestic violence, going broke, getting wasted, or getting lost. Pam Mandel joins me on the podcast to talk...

Duration:00:45:16

Taran Khan on “Shadow City” and Writing

3/29/2021
When Indian journalist Taran Khan arrived in Kabul in 2006, she imagined it as a homecoming—a return to the land from where her Pashtun ancestors originated. Falling in with poets, doctors and other journalists, she began exploring the city on foot and discovered a Kabul quite different from the one she had encountered in the world’s media. Taran Khan joins me to talk about her new book Shadow City (Chatto & Windus 2019), which just won the 2021 Stanford Dolman Travel Book of the Year award....

Duration:00:35:10

Bill Arnott on Following the Vikings

3/15/2021
For more than 8 years, Bill Arnott travelled throughout the northern hemisphere, discovering sites Scandinavian explorers had raided, traded, and settled—finding Viking history in a wider swath of the planet than most anthropologists and historians ever imagined. Bill joins me on the podcast today to talk about his adventures following the Viking trail around the world, which he documented in his new book Gone Viking: A Travel Saga (RMB 2020). We also talk about the present tense in travel...

Duration:00:29:13

Colin Thubron on Jan Morris, Travel Writing, and “To A Mountain in Tibet”

3/1/2021
March 2021 marks the 10-year publication anniversary of Colin Thubron’s To A Mountain in Tibet, a book that chronicle’s the author’s high-altitude pilgrimage around Mount Kailash, a mountain that is sacred to Hindus, Buddhists, and Bonpos. Colin joins me to talk about his book, what makes good travel writing, and the recent loss of his friend Jan Morris. This interview was originally recorded in December 2020. I hope you enjoy this conversation with Colin Thubron about his book To A Mountain...

Duration:00:31:06

Victoria Preston on Pilgrims and Pilgrimages

2/15/2021
Each year, 200 million people embark on a pilgrimage of some kind. We have been making ritual journeys for millennia, and while most of us have seen our mobility curtailed in recent months because of the pandemic, the impulse to travel somewhere sacred to us remains. In her new book “We Are Pilgrims,” Victoria Preston seeks to understand the reasons why we set forth in search of solace, liberation, faith, and enlightenment. I hope you enjoy this wide-ranging conversation with Victoria...

Duration:00:46:44

Against a Peacock Sky with Monica Connell

2/1/2021
For two years in the early 1980s, Monica Connell lived with a family in Talphi, a high-altitude village in Western Nepal that was so remote that it was a ten-day walk from the nearest road. From rooftop rituals and wild boar hunts to mangey village dogs and bridge-building, Connell—a social anthropology student—documented village life. She wrote about her experiences in her book, Against a Peacock Sky: Two Years in the Life of a Nepalese Village (Viking 1991), which Eland republished in...

Duration:00:45:40

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