I have recently returned from a trip to Portugal and in July I will be attending the Micronations Conference in Italy, partly as research for a new book I am working on provisionally titled Never Never Lands.
Some recent articles include a short feature on my top ten favourite books for Geographical Magazine, an East Africa Guide for TNT Magazine, a feature in Fortean Times on West African Voodoo, and another guide for TNT on Eastern Europe called Beauty and the East.
I recently did an interview with Wade Shepard, on travel in West Africa, and the realities of modern travel writing, for Vagabond Journey, and a radio interview with Steve Collins from Australia's Radio Roaming.
The Kindle version of Voodoo, Slaves and White Man's Graves has now been downloaded from Amazon by over 20,000 readers. I am also hopeful that a third edition of the paperback will be published some time next year. If you like the book, then any reviews on Amazon or Goodreads would be appreciated.
Nearly thirty years after the nuclear power plant disaster at Chernobyl, both tourism and wildlife are thriving within the exclusion zone.
'It's good, isn't it?' said our driver, pointing to a battered children's tricycle 'abandoned' next to the shell of a vandalized, grey Soviet building. 'I brought it over yesterday.' We looked up from our viewfinders for a second before returning to the process of capturing such a photogenic image, while sweating in our long sleeved shirts... Read More
Some of the best travel writing of the 21st century has taken the form of the graphic novel.
It wasn't really until 1986, when Art Spiegelman's Maus was published - a tale inspired by Speigelman's Holocaust surviving father, in which Nazis are depicted as Cats, and Jews as mice - that graphic novels first began to be taken seriously as a medium for depicting historical and non-fiction events. This hugely successful work of art went on to win a Pulitzer Prize... Read More
I've recently returned from a trip to Israel and Palestine, visiting Tel Aviv, Jaffa, Jerusalem, Bethlehem, Haifa, and Akko. We arrived in Jerusalem on the morning of the recent synagogue attack, so security was high and the atmosphere a little tense.
I was partly visiting as research for a possible new travel book called Never Never Lands: Travels to Countries that Might Not Exist. As part of this project, I have also recently visited Transdniestre, Monaco, San Marino and Uzupis.
As we clattered through the Kyzylkum desert in the battered shared taxi, the driver reached across and offered me some pills. When I asked him what they were, he shrugged. Sometimes the drivers would take nicotine pills rather than smoking, but chewing tobacco had already been passed around. When it was time to spit out the dregs, they would push open their doors and gob out huge streams of brown spittle into the passing desert. If the timing were wrong and the wind in the wrong direction, then the back seat passengers would be splattered with the chewed out remains. I was wary of accepting an unknown quantity of...
The two young Aussie guys in their bright white shirts couldn't hide their disappointment. As the various day trippers had trudged back on to the Fraser Explorer four wheel drive bus, several had looked over to them quizzically. They looked a bit too smart to be on our bus. "We're custom officials" they said, cheerfully. They weren't really. They were trying to flog fifteen minute flights over Fraser Island for seventy five Australian dollars a head. Apparently this was great value, we'd see all the highlights from a bird's eye view - maybe even some dolphins and sting rays - and we wouldn't miss any of the...