Want to be a travel writer?

For most people, the life of a travel writer seems to be idyllic: exotic locales, a constant stream of new and interesting people, special treatment in hotels… A new book detailing the travel disaster experiences of the people who write for the Lonely Planet series of travel guides tells a different story, in a very entertaining way. An excerpt says it best:

“As the water rose above my knees, I remembered what I had told my editor when I first began writing for Lonely Planet: “I will go anywhere.” And here I was, in the back of a Jeep, contemplating the unpleasant possibility of drowning in the middle of a raging torrent in a desolate stretch of northern Mongolia.” -Paul Greenway (p. 119)

Lonely Planet Unpacked: “Travel Disaster Stories” by Tony Wheeler and other Lonely Planet authors is an interesting and hilarious account of what it’s really like to be a travel writer visiting some of the world’s most offbeat locales.

After 26 years of being sent to every corner of the globe, there’s little that Lonely Planet writers haven’t experienced, and a lot that most people would want to avoid. In this lively collection of travel disaster tales, 26 Lonely Planet writers real what it’s really like on the road when things go way off-course.

From Kenya to Sri Lanka, from Brazil to Finland, from the Australian outback to India, these travelers have encountered hurricanes, road accidents and nasty parasites. One writer comes face to face with death while rafting in Alaska, another finds there’s life in the KGB yet in Russia’s hinterlands, and a third describes a wild New Year’s Eve in Borneo.

The stories are funny, frightening, and true, and will make most readers think twice about a career as a travel writer, while providing some great entertainment for active and armchair travelers.