I lived in Taiwan for 17 years. In many ways it's an ideal spot to work as a freelancer: living costs are low, and topics are world class, yet almost unknown. There's always something to cover on hiking and cycling, temple art and folk culture, landscapes and geology (it's the landslide capital of the world!), to politics and sociology (how can a writer resist the allure of a country with the freest society in Asia, but that is also coveted by a very un-free giant next door).
China, Lonely Planet
I've traveled from one end of China to the other and am likely the only author who has been to both the very southernmost tip (Sanya, Hainan Province) and the very northermost (Beiji Cun, Heilongjiang) facing the Amur River separating Russia and China. I've also stood on the banks of the Yalu River not 5m from North Korea, and travelled to the India borders in the west.
Tibet, Lonely Planet
I've travelled most of the territory that is still open to foreigners in both the TAR (Tibetan Autonomous Region) and the Tibetan areas of Gansu, Sichuan and Qinghai provinces. With one of the world's great legacies of painting and sculpture, an esoteric religious culture as complex and fascinating at the folk level as the elite, and a grand landscape unlike any other on earth, Tibet holds a special place in this travel writer's heart.
Malaysia, Lonely Planet
In 2013, I moved to Kuala Lumpur and a year later was asked to write the first pocket guide for the city. As usual, I put my stamp of the content especially to reflect my growing interest in Malaysian architecture, folk arts and coffee. I am currently researching for the regional guide Malaysia, Singapore & Brunei.
Alaska, Lonely Planet
I first went north from my home in Vancouver, Canada, as a teenage hitchkiker. Later, after university, I spent three summers working in the Yukon, making frequent road trips into Alaska. In 2011 the dream job of covering the state for Lonely Planet pretty much fell into my lap. This gig was travel writing at its best: being paid to drive day after day through glorious mountain scenery, stopping to explore state and national parks, ATV trails, berry picking patches, and lodges run by some of the most interesting people on the planet. Please LP, send me there another time!
Temple & Folk Culture
You need to spend as much time in the field as in the library before you can really write about temples. It's not just that the gods and customs are unfamiliar; so is the architecture and the arts. Words like dougong and jiannian, basic building blocks and decorative features of Chinese temples (the flying buttress and stain glass, so to speak), are completely unknown in the west.
I've been a hiker my entire life, and tramped across Europe, Australia, North and Central America, China, Tibet, SE Asia and Taiwan. I love Taiwan best, as it offers more hikes, on more varied terrain, within one compact region, than almost anywhere else in the world. I'm also very pretty knowledgeable when it comes to the vegetation, wildlife, biogeographical zones, geology, landscape, and history of the island and that makes all the difference.
Birds & Butterflies
I've dabbled a bit in nature writing, and I would love to do more in the future. Interviewing scientists and field researchers is one of the most pleasurable parts of being a writer. Below is a link to one of my fondest writing gigs: butterfly migration in Taiwan.
I started cycling seriously in 2007 just a little before everyone else in Taiwan got into the sport as well. I've done multi-day road trips down the Taiwanese east coast (an outstanding region with marble-walled canyons and emerald mountains rising straight out of the sea), endless day trips in the steep green mountains of the north, as well as extended trips in rural China. Neck injuries have prevented me from doing any riding in Malaysia so far, but I am observing the developing bike culture here with great interest.