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For the past three decades, I’ve been lucky enough to travel the globe for such publications as The New York Times Sunday Travel Section, The LA Times Sunday travel magazine, GQ, Men’s Health, Men’s Journal, Outside, and Conde Nast Traveler. I had a sweet gig writing short travel essays for a column in Esquire called “The Enlightened Traveler” (though for accuracy’s sake I privately preferred the word “inebriated”). For longer pieces, I was travel editor of two high-gloss magazines, Dimension and Madison -- both long gone, alas.  Here are a few samples. 


Tahiti: Shark Dive in Rangiroa


published as the first article in the first issue of Conde Nast Traveler, September 1987

Divers tend to develop a dissolute look.  It's as though, like aging rock stars, they've grown weary of life's  most intense moments.  But in one diving spot two hundred miles northeast of Tahiti, on a spit of land called Rangiroa in the Tuamoto Islands (also known as the Dangerous Archipelago), the pro wears a look of macho nervousness as he prepares for today's dive.  He chews his lip.  He keeps clearing his throat.  It's more

TIBET: A War Seen Through Blue Gauze


published in Esquire 

They say the Dalai Lama keeps reincarnating in Tibet specifically to pacify this most remote, savage place on earth, and visitors believe it instinctively: Even here in Chengdu, in central China, people are superstitious about ascending.  It is the hour before dawn, and in the dark lobby under the faint bidding stars, everyone is hushed as they await the twice-daily flight (headwinds permitting).  To your right the Chinese soldier holds a cricket more

LENINGRAD: A Kiss On The Neck 


published in Esquire


If Russia were a movie, you'd have to say the casting was too heavy-handed: the louts over-loutish, the leading ladies too lovely to be real.  Bit players play their parts the way central casting stipulated they should back in 1930, so that the drunken professor who suddenly clutches your arm in the overheated restaurant will not fail to reek of borscht with cucumber.  Public relations (which is really just central casting, 1980s style) may have taught government spokespersons to lighten up under Gorbachev, more


A Watery Brush with Death 


published in Esquire

“We long to move the stars to pity."  –Flaubert

I had just come off half a week’s honeymoon cruise among the Yasawa Islands west of Fiji – the only unmarried person aboard a ship full of wedding celebrants of all ages. Freshly divorced but seemingly bearing up well, I was adopted by the merry couples as something of a mascot, the object lesson everyone wanted at their table to serve as a sort of buccaneer cautionary tale: cheery with no sign of the gash in my more



cover article of Westways Magazine


BLAME IT ON BILL MURRAY – that moment in “Lost in Translation” when he finally stops mugging for Scarlett Johansson and utters the only earnest words in the whole film: “I’m lost. I want to change my life.”
And where, exactly, does Bill make this most un-Bill-like declaration? Within the gleaming marble walls of a luxury hot tub on the 40th floor of the Park Hyatt Tokyo.  Where I am right now.  Because I want to change my life, more


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