An inveterate backpacker, I've been a professional guidebook author and travel writer for five years. Before that I had the good fortune to live in a number of countries I now write about today, including Argentina, Colombia, Chile and Brazil. My philosophy regarding travel is simple and can be adopted by anyone: "no plan." Simply hop a plane and let the world do with you what it will.
What places and activities do you specialize in?
"I've lived in and traveled throughout South America for almost 15 years, so the continent is my purview. "
How did you get involved in travel?
"Being from California I first started traveling to neighboring Mexico as a teenager. That led to Central America, which led to South America, and next thing you know I've been gone almost two decades. "
Please share a unique travel experience you will never forget.
"Meeting Middle-Eastern refugees on the island of Lesbos, in Greece, for a story I was working on. It was a supreme highlight as both a traveler and travel writer. It humbled me and gave me that much more perspective, which is never a bad thing. "
Featured trips & expertise
In southern Italy lies the Amalfi Coast, a 31-mile (50 km) stretch of coastline that's the very definition of Mediterannean beauty. Known for its sunkissed lemon groves, pebble beaches, and romantic islands, everyone from rich socialites to budget-conscious tourists holiday here during spring and summer. But despite fluctuations in weather throughout the seasons, the Amalfi Coast offers a great getaway any time of year. You just have to know what to expect.
Maddeningly chaotic but never dull, Kathmandu is a melting pot of cultures, cuisines, and religions. Not merely a jumping-off point for a Himalaya trek, it's also a worthwhile destination in its own right, with a legacy of myths and legends seen in the historic pagodas lining its dusty streets. Even if you're here for just one day you can profit from the highlights of this uniquely beautiful metropolis.
To visit Cartagena is to step back in time to the days of conquistadores and colonialists. Even in a mere 24 hours you could experience this spirit on a tour of Cartagena's historic Walled City, plus enjoy a carriage ride along its cobbled streets. With a couple days you could laze on white-sand beaches and tour its famous castles, and with close to a week there are options for day trips to gorgeous Caribbean islands and protected national parks. Keep reading for all the details.
Choosing which of Greece's islands to visit doesn't need to be a daunting task. Even if you're only in the country for 24 hours, you can make a day trip from Athens to one of the beautiful isles of the Saronic Gulf. Then again, three days is perfect to experience a famous postcard island like Santorini or Mykonos. And in just over a week you can combine the aforementioned options with Naxos' white-sand beaches, the Venetian towns of Crete, plus embark on walking tours of the whitewashed villages of Syros.
Valencia is a Mediterranean city with a legacy as rich as Barcelona. Its historic Old Town is a walkable area whose highlights, like the Valencia Cathedral and Quart Towers, you can see on a day trip. With more than 24 hours, there are beaches and paella food tours you can indulge in. And in five days you can do all of the above plus visit can't-miss attractions like the famous aquarium at the City of Arts and Sciences.
If you're planning a vacation in Spain, most likely you'll arrive in the capital of Madrid. Not only is this the seat of Spain's government, but you couldn't imagine a more fun city—practically every block is home to world-class dining and drinking options. Even with just a day or two you can have a great holiday in Madrid, but with four or five you'll be able to explore beyond the city limits.