I’ll tell you exactly where to go…

We’d so nearly booked to come in early June. I’d thought: that’ll be nice, surely? Start of summer, decent weather before the crowds descend, no? Well, not quite. As we sat sipping grappa on a high, sunny terrace, with a view of the spiky Dolomites spearing a cloudless blue sky, I was glad we’d waited until the start of July. By now, unlike in early June, the salubrious mountain huts and handy cablecars were all open for business; the high passes were mostly free of snow; the activities were all available; the wildflowers were rampant. Yet it still wasn’t busy. We raised our little glasses again. Saluti! A local toast to perfect timing.

61lrk9by56l-_sx258_bo1204203200_Travel? It’s all in the timing. That’s the theory behind Where To Go When, the book I’ve just written (with Paul Bloomfield) for Lonely Planet.

Broken down into 12 chapters – one for each month – there are ideas for all types and all budgets, suggesting the best places for sun, snow, festivals, wildlife spectacles, off-season bargains, in-season delicacies and all sorts of other things that may entice you to visit a certain place at a certain time. Lots of fun to write – though the flow charts were quite the challenge…

Advertisements

On an Italian high

There was nothing between me and the deep blue sky. A blue to make Farrow & Ball weep into their paint pots and surrender to the superiority of nature. Mountains reared all around: the dramatic immediacy of the Italian Dolomites, the frosted Austrian Alps in the distance. Meadows beamed with wildflowers and a metal cross marking the 2,157m summit of the Pralongià Plateau raised its arms to the heavens. I felt like doing the same.

SkyrunningThis may just be the most cushty commission I have ever had. “Sarah,” said the nice people at The Evening Standard, “would you like to stay at a glorious hotel in the even more glorious Italian Dolomites to run amid flower-filled fields and snow-peaks, and eat your own weight in Michelin-starred food?” Don’t mind if I do!

What a treat it was to spend a week in the Alta Badia valley, having adventures and scoffing copiously, all in the name of earning a living. Feeling grateful indeed.

On track in Tasmania

I have just read your amazing feature in Wanderlust. It’s brilliant! I am thrilled and can’t wait to send it to everyone in Tassie. Thank you so much again. You have been magnificent.

Screen Shot 2016-08-17 at 10.25.17Forgive me. Own trumpet blown. But this was the delightful message I received from Susie de Carteret at Tasmanian Odyssey, who supported my press trip to Oz earlier this year. One of the resultant features has now been published in Wanderlust, in which I was able to combine Tasmania’s new Three Capes Track with lashings of convict history. So satisfying that I was able to turn a terrific trip into a not-too-shabby feature!

Cover capers

Stay sunny, stay smiling and, as always, live life to the full!

Z32_250There are worse things to work on than a Caribbean inflight magazine. Each issue, you get to flick through pics of glorious beaches, commission stories about colourful carnivals and drool over tropical recipes. I particularly love the cover we came up with for the July/August issue, which screams ‘fun in the sun’!

Walking through history

The main lesson I’ve learned from writing this book is that there is history to be found everywhere. Whenever and wherever you walk, someone or something has almost definitely gone before. This enriches every ramble. It means we can stride out amid landscapes made wonderfully weird by geothermal activity. We can stroll via crumbling castles, walls that kept people in, walls that kept people out, furrows made by slaves and escapees, streets lined with epoch-defining architecture, or really, really old trees…

51S6HQNKIILOh my! I’ve written a book! A History of the World in 500 Walks (Aurum) has been published this month, the product of hours (and hours and hours) of hard graft, and decades of dreaming about being an author.

It was a real labour of love, combining my passion for walking with an ever-increasing fascination for history. I now can’t seem to go for a wander without wondering how long that building, mud bump or bit of rock I’ve just passed has been sitting there.

I’ve loved writing this book. I hope people enjoy reading it.

Big country, mini guide

From wine-tasting to wildlife, hiking to history, sightseeing to surfing, this is the Australian destination that truly has it all…

P1 COVERIt’s not easy to pack the whole of New South Wales into an A5 mini-guide. But that was the latest challenge set by Wanderlust, Singapore Airlines and the NSW tourist board: to project manage the production of a useful trip-planner for the state in the dinky, pocket-size format. Small maybe, but there’s loads packed in, with the added complication of image ‘watermarking’, so readers can use their mobiles to scan through to extra content. That’s a whole lot of Oz in a few tiny pages!

Happy customer

THANK YOU ALL SO MUCH! The commemorative booklet has arrived, on time, and it looks great. You did an amazing job and I don’t know what I would have done had I not come to you for help. Such a professional job as only the Wanderlust crew can do.

Kate Kenward, Executive Director, AITO

Screen Shot 2016-04-18 at 06.26.51Lovely to get such positive feedback, after completing a tricksy job with an extremely short deadline. AITO, the Association of Independent Tour Operators, was celebrating its 40th anniversary and wanted a commemorative booklet produced for its gala dinner – in the space of a week. I worked with the in-house team at Wanderlust, and magician/designer Lisa Duke, and we managed to turn AITO’s copy into something bright and engaging – in time for the grand occasion.