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
This two-week tour focuses mainly on western China and covers some of the most off-the-beaten-path locales in Sichuan province and the Tibetan Plateau. It's an itinerary packed with outdoor adventure as you'll visit high-altitude villages, ancient Buddhist temples, and unspoiled national parks. Excursions to the mountain paradise of Shangri-La, the biological reserve of Jade Dragon Snow Mountain, and the peaks of Mount Siguniang are just a few of the many highlights of this unforgettable trip.
This grand China adventure kicks off in Hong Kong with day trips around the city plus a jaunt to Macau, known as the "Las Vegas of Asia." Then it's off to Chengdu, the capital of Sichuan province, where you'll visit a giant panda breeding center before heading to Zhangjiajie and its famous towering sandstone cliffs. The trip culminates with a boat ride down the Li River in the tranquil southern region of Yangshuo.
With two weeks you can plan a diverse vacation that covers every major area China, plus the Tibetan Plateau. A highlights tour would include the historic sights of ancient capitals like Beijing, Xi'an, and Luoyang. A more rounded itinerary would feature not only historic sights like the Forbidden City, Great Wall of China, and Terracotta Army, but you could spend time with giant pandas in Chengdu and experience Tibetan culture in Lhasa. The five itineraries below offer all these options and many more.
In 10 days you can see China's highlights plus embark on an active adventure, like cycling around rural villages in Guangxi. If you're a history buff, consider a greatest hits tour of Beijing's Forbidden City, a hike along the Great Wall, and a visit to the Terracotta Army in Xi'an. To go off the beaten path, combine the highlights with a cruise down the Yangtze River—and if you're really adventurous, travel from Beijing to Tibet and continue on to Mt. Everest.
With strategic planning you can cover China´s highlights, like Beijing, Xi´an, and Shanghai, in a week. In those three cities alone you´ll find the Great Wall, Terracotta Army, and Yu Garden, a centuries-old green space. Or, if you´re thristing for an off-the-beaten path adventure, consider a sampan ride down the Li River or head to Yunnan, near Tibet, for nature excursions to mystical mountain peaks. Consult the itineraries below to find out which journey is right for you.
We interviewed local experts, scrutinized hundreds of actual trips, and considered the feedback of intrepid travelers in order to put together the very best Spain itineraries for first-time travelers. Plan for five days to two weeks with the itineraries below, all crafted by local travel specialists.