On the Detour

A conversation with Marcia DeSanctis & Andrew McCarthy

Five Senses Festival - Washington, Connecticut
July 29 to 29, 2018

On July 29, I'll join two of my favorite writers, Marcia DeSanctis and Andrew McCarthy, at the Five Senses Festival in Washington, Connecticut, to talk travel. Marcia is the New York Times bestselling author of 100 Places in France Every Woman Should Go and a regular contributor to Vogue, Town & Country, and many other superb magazines. Andrew is an editor-at-large at National Geographic Traveler, and a writer for The New York Times, The Atlantic, Travel+Leisure, Town & Country, Bon Appetit, AFAR, and many more. He's the author of two books, the New York Times bestselling The Longest Way Home and a new YA novel, Just Fly Away (and of course he's an actor in and director of so many favorite movies and TV shows). Marcia and Andrew are both wonderful and brilliant, and I'm beyond honored to join them -- and a whole lot of other incredible authors, thinkers, musicians, actors, dancers, composers, and artists -- at this incredible festival. If you're anywhere near New England that weekend, I do so hope you will come! Tickets for our event are available HERE!

Five Senses Festival, 292 Bee Brook Road, Washington, Connecticut

For more information:


The Annual Book Passage Travel Writers and Photographers Conference

(aka Summer Camp)

Book Passage - Corte Madera , California
August 9 to 12, 2018


Summer's almost here, which means so is Summer Camp for Travel Writers & Photographers!

That's the not-so-secret nickname for The Book Passage Travel Writers & Photographers Conference: four days that will change your life, introduce you to your tribe, advance your travel writing/photography journey, and most importantly, launch your karaoke career.

I'm super thrilled to be on faculty for the sixth consecutive year! I'll be teaching a morning session called "Alumni Boot Camp" with the amazing Jim Benning, co-founder of the legendary World Hum and current features editor at Westways/AAA. I could not be happier about this arrangement. Jim is, among many other things, excellent at covering for me when I'm running late to our morning workshop. He even makes sure I have coffee waiting for me. He's a gem, and you will learn A TON from him.

This year's faculty also includes such luminaries as, of course, Don George. There would be no conference without Don. Literally. He's faculty chair (and he did, after all, write "THE BIBLE"). We also have on deck the fabulous Larry Habegger, Travelers' Tales executive editor, and my amazing Nepal Workshop partner-in-crime, bestselling author Jeff Greenwald. (He also wrote the world's very first travel blog.) Then there's Andrew McCarthy: If his name sounds familiar, it's probably because he wrote that New York Times book review about my latest edition of The Best Women's Travel Writing. (And he was also in some movies and is now a kickass travel writer.) And HOORAY: there's the inimitable Abbie Kozolchyk, who has been to me both editor and editee (as an oft-published BWTW contributor) as well as leader of my aforementioned Tribe. And not last and certainly not least, my karaoke soul sister, the almost frustratingly talented and brilliant Candace Rose Rardon.

Guys, this is only about half of the lineup. There are so many extraordinary people teaching under one roof, imparting combined centuries worth of industry knowledge. Come on, there's Tim Cahill! And Pauline Frommer! Celeste Brash! Michael Shapiro! Catharine Hamm! Elizabeth Harryman! And many more! Plus all the incredible photography faculty whom I haven't even gotten to! They are awesome.

If none of this has convinced you, then ask yourself: What better way to spend four days than surrounded by a million books? And wine? Don’t you perhaps owe yourself a raucous night of karaoke? Also, sometimes they serve us s'mores. Usually there's whiskey. Occasionally ukuleles turn up. Last year there was a bonfire.


This conference truly does change lives. When I attended eight years ago, it changed my life. It has the capacity to change yours, too, if you let it. All you gotta do is sign up. Give yourself that gift. Invest in yourself and your creative path.

See you there!

I'll be the one hogging the mic.

Book Passage , 51 Tamal Boulevard , Corte Madera , California

For more information:


In Conversation with Apricot Irving

The Gospel of Trees

Garden District Bookshop - New Orleans , Louisiana
October 16 to 16, 2018

I'm delighted to announce that on October 16th I'll be in conversation with the wonderful Apricot Irving discussing travel, living abroad, and Apricot's new memoir, The Gospel of Trees.

Apricot Irving grew up as a missionary’s daughter in Haiti—a country easy to sensationalize but difficult to understand. Her father was an agronomist, a man who hiked alone into the hills with a macouti of seeds to preach the gospel of trees in a deforested but resilient country. Her mother and sisters, meanwhile, spent most of their days in the confines of the hospital compound they called home. As a child, this felt like paradise to Irving; as a teenager, the same setting felt like a prison. Outside of the walls of the missionary enclave, Haiti was a tumult of bugle-call bus horns and bicycles that jangled over hard-packed dirt, the clamor of chickens and cicadas, the sudden, insistent clatter of rain as it hammered across tin roofs and the swell of voices running ahead of the storm.

As she emerges into womanhood, an already confusing process made all the more complicated by Christianity’s demands, Irving struggles to understand her father’s choices. His unswerving commitment to his mission and the anger and despair that followed failed enterprises threatened to splinter his family.

Garden District Bookshop , 2727 Prytania Street, New Orleans , Louisiana

For more information:


Litcrawl with AFAR

The Mission (exact location TBA) - San Francisco, California
October 20 to 20, 2018

I'm truly honored to have been asked to read at one of my all-time favorite literary events, LITCRAWL! I'm even more honored to be reading with my all-time favorite travel magazine, AFAR. I'll be sharing a feature I wrote for the magazine that's very personal and close to my heart. I hope to see you there!

For more information:


Deep Travel Morocco

The Art of Adventure -- Spring, 2019

Fez and Moulay Idriss, Morocco
March 31 to April 8, 2019

I'm absolutely delighted to announce I'll be teaching an eight-day writing workshop in late March/early April in one of my favorite places on earth, Morocco! When I visited last year, I was immediately enchanted--and I remain so. I'm thrilled to be able to return and do the work I love most: guiding writers in putting pen to paper to capture their impressions of a beautiful foreign place. Below is the workshop description--and more info (pricing, etc.) is available if you click the pdf. I hope you'll join me on this truly extraordinary journey!

Can writing about the world make it a better place? It can, insists Lavinia Spalding, author of Writing Away and series editor of The Best Women’s Travel Writing. For this immersive workshop, Lavinia helps us to explore how writing the stories of people and places can seed change—both in others and in ourselves. Our eight-day journey takes us inside the mesmerizing Fez Medina with its 9,000 byways and into Morocco’s holiest city, Moulay Idriss, in the Middle Atlas mountains. We’ll gather with Sufis, listen to the tales of traditional storytellers, connect with inspired artists, and dine with local friends who will invite us deeply into their culture. In daily sessions, we’ll articulate the places behind the headlines and the individuals behind the stereotypes. This trip is for anyone who wants to see inside the heart and soul of Morocco. Join us!

For inquiries and registration, contact info@deeptravelworkshops.com

For more information:

  info@deeptravelworkshops.com    View PDF

Nepal in Fall 2019

October 21 to 31, 2019

I'm thrilled and honored to be returning to magical, mystical Nepal for ten days—from October 21-31, 2019–to teach again for Himalayan Writers Workshop. This time I’m be collaborating with esteemed photographer Ted Seymour! More details coming soon.... (But if you can't wait, email me for details.)


But time is one thing we have been given, and we have been given to time. Time gives us a whirl. We keep waking from a dream we can’t recall, looking around in surprise, and lapsing back, for years on end. All I want to do is stay awake, keep my head up, prop my eyes open, with toothpicks, with trees.” –Annie Dillard