Today, Norm Goldman, Publisher of Sketchandtravel. com as well as Bookpleasures. Com is pleased to have our guest, publisher, and travel writer, Robert Gerrard.
Mike is a pro in Greece, which he’s got visited every year for almost 30 years.
Mike also has written about grape plantations in Greece and Brand-new Zealand, brewery tours throughout Belgium and Britain, and restaurants in Paris.
Have a fine day, Mike, and thanks for agreeing to participate in our interview.
Mike, would you tell us a little about yourself and why you have gone after a career as a travel author and author?
We never planned to be journey writers, but I think this applies to most travel authors I know. I always wished to be a writer, and I offered some general articles to newspapers and magazines, almost all written in my spare time. However took the risk and went full-time freelance and started to specialize in home computers, composing for papers and journals. Like anyone, I met one or two vacation writers and was curious about it as the idea sounded like an enviable lifestyle. But they put me off by telling me precisely how competitive and poorly paid out it was. It turns out they were right; plus, I didn’t consider doing any travel publishing.
Well, not until a single time when I had a holiday on the Greek island of Rhodes. I had a good time, and considered an angle for an item, wrote it on specification, sent it to newspapers, and they bought it. I then delivered them something whenever We went on holiday, and the travel editor bought all of them. I asked her how I might get into doing all these free trips we all hear about, and she told me to send your ex some ideas of things Let me do and why; I did, and she commissioned one of them. I thought this was pretty good, as anyone would; u worked hard at we have stuff and at becoming a fully committed travel writer, which I was able to do.
If you love to travel, and also you love writing, what could be better? It is competitive and isn’t well paid, although here I am, about twenty years with, still doing it. I guess discover just no cure to get wanderlust.
As you are an authority on Greece, and as all of our readers are always interested in charming destinations, could you tell us with your opinion five of the most one-of-a-kind romantic destinations in A holiday in Greece, and why do you feel these are romantic?
There are passionate places all over Greece. This will depend on what turns you in.
· Somewhere remote, just like the Prespa Lakes up nearby the Albanian border, it is incredibly stunning and peaceful, so if you just like nature and quiet, then you’ll find a stroll around there incredibly romantic indeed.
· I prefer quiet places, where taverna by the water’s borders serving fresh fish, quickly grilled, and wine from the barrel. There’s a little put called Kato Zakros around the east coast of Crete that’s nothing more than half a dozen properties and a beach – and it’s beautiful.
· I think Nafplion is one of the most beautiful towns in Greece. It’s on the Peloponnese and was the Greek capital previous to Athens. One time when I seemed to be doing a guidebook to the Ancient mainland, I drove 5000 miles but was able to finish the trip a couple of ahead of schedule. There was an incredible feeling of freedom. I had a car or truck and knew I could head out almost anywhere within a handful of miles of Athens airport and relax. So where have I wanted to go? I chose Nafplion and loved every minute.
· One of the best experiences on A holiday in Greece, which is romantic, is taking the evening ferry by Rhodes to the island connected with Symi and sailing in Symi harbor in the dark. That is a little horseshoe-shaped harbor, that you simply don’t see until you develop into it, and suddenly will be indeed this beautiful sight with all the properties lining the harbor lit up. It’s magical.
· And you can’t ignore Athens. It’s one of the world’s most fantastic cities. I love it, despite the fact that I know many people also find it busy and noisy. It’s a great character, though. Everywhere with a view of the Acropolis lit up at night – you may not beat that for a relationship.
I read on your website that you went camel-trekking inside the Sinai Desert.
Could you offer our readers a brief description of your experience?
I’ve genuinely actually been twice, and in addition, they were two of the very best emotions I’ve had traveling. I like deserts. I’ve just bought an Arizona house partly because of the sweet landscape. The scenery consistently changes. You often ride the camels during the day, and your system and brain slow down to that gently rocking pace. They have great if you’re busy as well as stressed out. It’s perfectly noiseless, and you feel at just one with the landscape – apart from, of course, you’d be dead of various types of meat if it weren’t for your Bedouin guides! You might stop regarding tea if you meet several nomads, visit souterrain or gorges or observe rock carvings.
At night the particular Bedu finds a good campsite, mild a campfire, cooks food intake, and then you crawl within your sleeping bag and look upward at the stars in a black globe in addition to the dying embers of the fireplace. The next day you break camping, and I remember switching around on the camel to find out where we’d stayed, as well as there wasn’t a single indication that we had ever been there right now. Another day our guide proposed we all walk out into the leave, find a shady spot, and sit there for an hr and think. Those forms of experiences do have a profound effect on you.
Just what vineyard tour and what could people expect from one?
To be honest, after a while, those excursions of vineyards, breweries, sherry bodegas, and whisky distilleries all get a bit samey. They clarify the process to you, take a person out to see the vines, and provide you with a taste of the final product. It’s the people and their excitement for wine or whatever I enjoy. And the distinct results, of course! But spots with some natural history, like the sherry bodegas throughout Jerez in Spain, can be quite something. If you’ve by no means been taken around some sort of vineyard, then it’s exciting. But it is pretty amazing precisely what man’s ingenuity can do, making all these beautiful tastes rapid, and I mean things like cheddar dairy products and butter, as well as the confusing variety of drinks generated.
You mention on the site that you invented the time for Food series about Thomas Cook. What is this about?
I was in Venice once trying to find an eating place, juggling a guidebook along with a map and then a food thesaurus, when I found it and wanted to check the menu. We suddenly thought to myself — why isn’t there one book aimed at people who such as their food and drink that will easily fit in their pocket and have selections of where to eat, maps showing you exactly where they are, an ingredient glossary to explain those unusual terms, a list of good foodstuff shops, and markets, as well as features on local development.
There was no such reserve, so I went home, lured up a plan as to what it should be like, sent it off to Thomas Cook, who I was doing some work for back then, and they bought the idea via me, did about 16 titles. I accomplished three of my favorite urban centers in Venice, Paris, and Amsterdam. I had it written in the contract that I got the first refusal on the titles; however, given that they wanted them all simultaneously, I didn’t get to perform as many as I’d have enjoyed – but that’s posting.
You indicated in my experience that you’re traveling “more and much more in the USA, combining work excursions with visits to buddies and relatives. Recent travels have been to Mississippi, Memphis, Alaska, Arizona, New Paraguay, Denver and Alabama. I adore the States – and always interesting because you feel you know it from textbooks and movies, but it’s regularly surprising you. “What surprises you about the US, and how does it differ from vacation elsewhere?
Well, I think the surprise is because a person assumes the USA is similar to The UK, which it is in many ways. However, it is so different as well. If you go to the Sinai wilderness, Jamaica, or Tiongkok, you expect things to be completely different, and they are. You still have preconceptions. I believed China would be full of individuals in Chairman Mao’s fits and very regimented, which was not like that. I awakened to the fact of how little we learned about the country.
As an aside, after I spent a month there and came back, I discovered in newspapers and periodicals that articles about Cina would be illustrated by entirely out-of-date photographs, which sturdy the preconceptions I had regarding the country but in no way manifested the country I’d seen. Everyone was wearing Chairperson Mao suits inside photos, but I traveled there for three days and didn’t see an individual one.
If you come from The united kingdom you think you know the USA is coming from books, films, and music. You feel at your home there because you speak a particular language (more or less) and can book a resort, rent a car, or perhaps chat with people without difficulties. Still, then you find the surroundings are much more extraordinary than what’s possible to imagine. The location is so huge, the people consequently hospitable, and not everyone elected for George Bush! You choose to do tend to assume that, whatever the nation, everyone is the same.
And we speak of ‘America’ in such a standard way. Yet, the country is vast and encompasses the remote wildernesses associated with Alaska to the Louisiana swamps, New York to Nebraska and New England to Arizona. It’s more like a planet than a country. I reckon the difference is that you go to someplace like China, and you understand you’re far from home and do not speak the language. In the united states, you think you speak the actual language, and do you know what it’s like – it’s the same more of a jolt when you learn you don’t.
What’s funny is I did a fantastic trip to america a few years ago, driving spherical from Memphis to Nashville down through Mississippi to New Orleans, then back again. I loved minutely of it (except for operating the wrong way up a one-way street in downtown Nashville). I thought: I have to come to spend more time in the States. 12 months or so later, I attained someone and fell in love with them, and we’re now married… along with she’s American, living in The UK. And we’ve now purchased a house in Arizona. As well as I’m discovering even more precisely how little I know about the UNITED STATES!