2019 Faculty (Travel Writers & Photographers Conference)

2019 Faculty


Mikkel Aaland
Professional photographer and the author of 12 best selling books on digital photography, including two Adobe Lightroom Adventure books (Iceland and Tasmania).  Aaland's non-technical books include, County Fair Portraits, (for which he made an appearance on Late Night with David Letterman) Sweat, an illustrated tour of international bathing customs (which inspired the streaming video series Perfect Sweat, currently in-production), The Sword of Heaven, Pilgrimage to Kailash, and a recently published memoir, The River in My Backyard.

Faith Adiele
Faith Adiele (http://adiele.com) is the daughter of a Nigerian father and Nordic-American mother; the PBS documentary My Journey Home follows her search for her father and siblings. A graduate of Harvard University, Iowa Writers Workshop and Iowa Nonfiction Writing Program, she is co-editor of Coming of Age Around the World: A Multicultural Anthology and author of memoirs The Nigerian-Nordic Girl’s Guide to Lady Problems and Meeting Faith: The Thai Forest Journals of a Black Buddhist Nun, which won the PEN Open Book Award. She is the founder of the nation's first and only writing workshop for travelers of color, and teaches at California College of the Arts, VONA Travel Writing, Stonecoast, the Writers’ Grotto and Left Margin Lit.

Celeste Brash
Travel writer for Lonely Planet since 2005 and has contributed to over 50 books and countless articles. Her travels have brought her to around 45 counties and have helped her learn to communicate in French, Spanish, Thai, Malay and Tahitian. Along the way she's written for numerous other outlets such as Islands Magazine and National Geographic's Intelligent Travel. She's also had her photography published in magazines including Travel & Leisure and has starred in videos produced by Lonely Planet.

Tim Cahill
Author of many travel books, including A Wolverine Is Eating My LegJaguars Ripped My Flesh, and Pass the Butterworms. He is an editor at large for Outside magazine, and his work appears in National Geographic Adventure, the New York Times Book Review, and other national publications. Cahill also wrote the introduction for The Best Travel Writing, Volume 9: True Stories from Around the World

Phil Cousineau
Award-winning writer and filmmaker, teacher and editor, lecturer and travel leader, storyteller, TV and radio host. His life-long fascination with the art, literature, and history of culture has taken him on many journeys around the world. He lectures frequently on a wide range of topics--from mythology, film, and writing, to beauty, travel, sports, and creativity. He has more than 30 nonfiction books and 15 scriptwriting credits to his name.

Jasmin Darznik
Her novel, Song of a Captive Bird, was a New York Times Book Review “Editors’ Choice” and appeared on several “Best Of” lists in 2018, including Booklist, Reader’s Digest, and Newsweek. Jasmin is also the author of the New York Times bestseller The Good Daughter: A Memoir of My Mother’s Hidden Life. Her books have been published in seventeen countries and her essays have appeared in the New York Times, Washington Post, and Los Angeles Times. She holds an MFA in fiction from Bennington College and a Ph.D. in English from Princeton University. and is now a professor of English and creative writing at California College of the Arts. Her next book, a historical novel set in 1920s San Francisco, is forthcoming from Ballantine.

Marcia DeSanctis
An author, essayist, and journalist for Vogue, Town & Country, Departures, and other magazines, who writes about beauty, wellness, science, travel, and international development. She is the author of 100 Places in France Every Woman Should Go, a book of essays and meditations about where to go in France and why. It debuted as a New York Times travel bestseller and was also a Foreword Review INDIEFAB book of the year for Nonfiction/Travel. She has won five Lowell Thomas Awards from the Society of American Travel Writers, including one for Travel Journalist of the Year, for her essays from Rwanda, France, Russia, Morocco and Haiti.

Pauline Frommer 
Co-President of Frommer Media LLC, with her father Arthur Frommer, the company that publishes the Frommer guidebooks and Frommers.com. She’s the author of the bestselling travel guide to New York City (Frommer’s EasyGuide to New York City), and Editorial Director for Frommer’s, overseeing a passionate staff of journalists, editors, photo editors, cartographers, compositors, designers and developers. She’s the co-host of the Frommer Travel Show, a popular radio show and podcast on WABC, and is the award-winning author of 8 books, and countless articles for such outlets as MSNBC.com, NewsweekMarie Claire and others.

Don George Don George
Travel Writers & Photographers Conference Chair
Author of The Way of Wanderlust: The Best Travel Writing of Don George and of Lonely Planet's Guide to Travel Writing and the editor of ten anthologies, including A Moveable Feast, The Kindness of Strangers, Better Than Fiction, and An Innocent Abroad. George is Editor at Large for National Geographic Traveler, where he writes feature articles and the monthly Trip Lit column. He is also Editor of BBC Travel's literary travel column, Chance Encounters.

Jeff Greenwald
Author of six travel books, including Shopping for Buddhas (now in its 25th Anniversary edition), The Size of the World (for which he created the first international travel blog), and Snake Lake, set in Nepal during the 1990 democracy revolution. He is also the Executive Director of Ethical Traveler, a global alliance of travelers dedicated to human rights and environmental protection (www.ethicaltraveler.org). Jeff's work has appeared in many publications including Smithsonian, Afar, Outside, The New York Times and the BBC. His acclaimed one-man show, “Strange Travel Suggestions,” premiered in San Francisco in 2003.  Jeff lives in Oakland, California, where he hosts and produces the Ethical Traveler podcast

Larry Habegger

Larry Habegger
Travel writer, editor, journalist, and teacher, who has been covering the world since the 1970s. As a freelance writer for more than 30 years and syndicated columnist since 1985, Habegger's work has appeared in many major newspapers and magazines, including the Los Angeles TimesChicago Tribune, Travel & Leisure, and Outside. In 1993, he cofounded the award-winning Travelers' Tales books with James and Tim O'Reilly, and is currently executive editor. His latest book in the Travelers' Tales series is The Best Travel Writing, Volume 11.

Catharine Hamm
Worked in travel journalism at the Los Angeles Times since 1999. In previous rich, full lives, she was editor of the newspaper in Salinas, Calif., city editor and managing editor at the San Bernardino County Sun and deputy managing editor at The Kansas City Star.  Hamm and the Times have been recognized with several Lowell Thomas Awards, including one for  her article about tracking down her wedding scammer, who later spent time as a guest of the state of Texas.

Elizabeth Harryman
Travel Editor of Westways, a Lowell Thomas Award-winning magazine, and six other AAA magazines that reach markets from Hawai’i to Northern New England. She co-hosts radio shows with her husband, Paul Lasley, on the American Forces Radio Network and a podcast at OnTravel.com. Her travel writing has appeared in major U.S. newspapers including the Los Angeles Times and the Miami Herald. She is a former travel correspondent for NBC’s Today Show.


Robert Holmes
Photography Chair
One of the world’s most successful and prolific travel photographers, whose career has extended over 30 years. He has been honored by the Society of American Travel Writers with their Travel Photographer of the Year Award four times, and in 2016 was voted the Wine Photographer of The Year by an international panel of judges sponsored by Errazuriz in Chile. Holmes has worked for National Geographic, Geo, Saveur, Wine Spectator, Life, Time, and hundreds of other major magazines and international companies. He has illustrated over 40 books and has regularly been one of the world’s best photojournalists invited to participate in the acclaimed “Day in the Life” series. Read more >>

Andrea Johnson
Award-winning photographer and video producer serving the wine, food, adventure, and travel industries. Over the last decade, Johnson has created a compelling body of work for corporate, advertising, editorial, and fine art clients around the globe. Her photographs regularly appear in  publications including Wine Spectator, Food and Wine, Wall Street Journal, Los Angeles Times, and the San Francisco Chronicle. Additionally, she has photographed three books: Passion for Pinot, Essential Wines and Wineries of the Pacific Northwest, and most recently, Spectacular Wineries of Washington.

Catherine Karnow
Photographer and photojournalist, her work has appeared in National Geographic, National Geographic Traveler, Smithsonian, French & German GEO and other international publications. Karnow has also participated in several "Day in the Life" series: Passage to Vietnam and Women in the Material World. She is known for her vibrant, emotional and sensitive style of photographing people. She is the author and photographer of Vietnam: 25 Years Documenting a Changing Country.

Paul Lasley 
Co-host and executive producer of “Traveling,” a 25-minute radio program about all aspects of travel that airs daily for 1 million listeners in 145 countries on the American Forces Network. He has won two Gold Lowell Thomas Travel Journalism Broadcast Awards, and his website, www.OnTravel.com, is a 24/7 source of podcasting about travel. He has produced and hosted travel shows and segments for radio and television on NBC, CBS, NPR affiliate KPCC, and ABC radio. He is travel columnist for Westways.

Linda Watanabe McFerrin
A published poet, travel writer, novelist, longtime contributer to numerous newspapers, magazines, and anthologies, and founder of Left Coast Writers. She is a past winner of the Katherine Anne Porter Prize for fiction and other awards, and her latest book, Navigating the Divide, is due out in October 2019 and available for preorder from Book Passage. Find her online at lwmcferrin.com.
Conference Alum.

Mark Nepo
Poet and spiritual teacher who has taught in the files of poetry and spirituality for over 40 years, Nepo is best known for his New York Times #1 bestseller, The Book of Awakening. He has published 20 books and recorded 14 audio projects. His most recent is More Together Than Alone: Discovering the Power and Spirit of Community in Our Lives and in the World. Nepo's newest book, Drinking from the River of Light: Living a Life of Expression, will debut at the conference. A two-time cancer survivor, Nepo teaches about the journey of inner transformation and the life of relationship.

Candace Rardon
Candace Rose Rardon is a writer, illustrator, and visual storyteller whose work has appeared on National Geographic’s Intelligent Travel site, Longreads, BBC Travel, and in Lonely Planet travel anthologies, among others. In addition, her website Moment Sketchers has received a bronze Lowell Thomas Award for best travel blog, and she earned an MA in Travel Writing from Kingston University in London. Conference alum.
Chris Reynolds
Born and raised in California, Christopher Reynolds has written about travel, the outdoors, arts and culture for the Los Angeles Times since 1990. Since 2009, he has climbed Mayan pyramids, roamed Red Square in a snowstorm, been shushed at the New York Public Library and jumped from the tallest building in Soweto (rope attached). He takes no freebies or press discounts.

Jason Rezaian
Served as Tehran bureau chief for the Washington Post and is now an opinion writer for the paper and contributor to CNN. He was convicted—but never sentenced—of espionage in a closed-door trial in Iran in 2015, an ordeal he recounts in his new memoir, Prisoner. He lives in Washington, DC, with his wife.

Yeganeh Rezaian
Journalist who covered Iranian political, social and economic news from 2009 for Bloomberg News and The National until she and her husband, Jason Rezaian, the former Washington Post Tehran bureau chief, were detained by Iranian authorities in 2014. She currently works as a full-time member of the advocacy staff for the Committee to Protect Journalists.
Jeremy Saum
The executive editor of AFAR, he has been with the magazine since its founding in 2008. Before joining AFAR he was the associate managing editor of Via, a regional travel magazine published by AAA. He also spent several years at Diablo publications in Walnut Creek, Calif. In 2002, after working for four years in custom publishing, Jeremy took off with his wife to travel the world for a year and a half. Having slept in the shadow of Mt. Everest, slid down a Chilean volcano on their rear ends, and innertubed with glowworms in New Zealand, they returned to San Francisco. There, they were pleasantly surprised to find that the trip turned out to be the best career move they’d ever made. They are the proud parents of Luke, a 12-year-old who has more stamps in his passport than Jeremy had at age 30.
Michael Shapiro

Michael Shapiro
Author of A Sense of Place, a collection of interviews with the world’s top travel authors including Bill Bryson, Frances Mayes, Peter Matthiessen, Jeff Greenwald and Pico Iyer. His cover story for National Geographic Traveler, about Jan Morris’ corner of Wales, won the Bedford Pace grand award. His recent feature about sustainable seafood in Vancouver won the 2016 Explore Canada Award of Excellence. He’s written about cycling in Mongolia for the Washington Post, tasted tequila in Jalisco for American Way, and tracked pumas in Patagonia for a custom publication. On the web: www.michaelshapiro.net
 Conference Alum.

Lavinia Spalding
Series editor of The Best Women’s Travel Writing. She is the author of Writing Away and co-author of With a Measure of Grace and the forthcoming This Immeasurable Place, and she wrote the introduction for the e-book edition of Edith Wharton’s classic travelogue, A Motor-Flight Through France. Her work appears in such publications as Yoga Journal, Sunset, San Francisco magazine, the San Francisco Chronicle, The Guardian UK, Every Day with Rachael Ray, AirBnB Magazine, Tin House, Post Road, World Hum, Overnight Buses, Off Assignment,  Lonely Planet's An Innocent Abroad, and two volumes of The Best Travel Writing. Her website is www.laviniaspalding.com. Conference Alum.