Peter Moore at


My interview subject this month at the Travel Writers page is Peter Moore, who has been called “The Australian Bill Bryson.” His books include The Wrong Way Home, which saw him traveling overland from London to Sydney, Swahili for the Broken-Hearted, an account of a journey from Cape Town to Cairo, and Vroom with a View, where he went in search of Italy’s dolce vita on a 1961 Vespa. At last count he had visited 95 countries and written six books.

Moore attributes much of his initial success as a travel writer to the Internet. “My big break came when the Internet appeared,” he says. “I used the 1mb of free web space provided by my ISP to start up a travel web site called “No Shitting in the Toilet”. All the stuff I’d found on the web about travel seemed very po-faced and serious, and didn’t reflect travel as I found it — a crazy, maddening, hilarious experience. (Hence the name — taken from a sign I saw on the toilet door at Jack’s Cafe in Dali, China that seemed to sum up my philosophy of travel. It’s illogical, it’s irrational but it’s all the better for it.) So every fortnight I’d put up a new chapter and top ten, taking the piss out of conventional travel guides but still full of useful nuggets of advice. The site became famous, won a few awards and I took the idea of publishing it as a book to a publisher and they went for it. It was my foot in the door.”

Moore’s advice to aspiring travel writers is to fund your own travels at the outset. “My warning is that [travel writing] takes a while before you can earn enough money to live from it,” he says. “To start with you’ll have to pay for your own trips, so I often tell aspiring travel writers to treat it like a holiday. Then if nothing comes of it career-wise they’ve at least had an amazing trip.”

More writing advice can be found at the Secret of Travel Writing section of his website,

My full Peter Moore interview is online here.

Posted by | Comments Off on Peter Moore at  | September 1, 2005
Category: Travel News

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