Robert Reid blogs the life of a guidebook writer

In December I came across a blog called Reid On Travel, documenting Lonely Planet author Robert Reid’s guidebook-writing travels. I started following it because I was interested in learning more about the on-the-ground realities of researching and writing travel guides, but there’s a lot more to Reid’s blog than just insider info on the writing business, and you don’t have to be an aspiring travel writer to enjoy it.

In 2007, Reid passed up an assignment updating Lonely Planet’s Vietnam guide and decided to go out there on his own instead to create a free online guidebook. The older posts on his blog date from that summer of research in Vietnam. Then, late in 2007, he hooked up with Lonely Planet again and headed out to update the Lonely Planet guide to Myanmar, and a new batch of blog posts followed. Both are full of great characters, funny anecdotes, and cool photos – I found the Burmese posts especially interesting, since I know so little about the reclusive military-ruled country.

I’ve been a Robert Reid fan for awhile – I first encountered him in May 2005. He was updating a couple of Russia guidebooks for Lonely Planet, and keeping a way-better-than-average travel blog as he went – featuring complex moustache tallies (there were graphs), anecdotes of every Oleg and Tatiana encountered en route, and even a search for Ronnie James Dio in the vast wastes of Siberia. That blog got me through a brutal summer office job, and I’ve kept an eye out for new stuff ever since.

Robert Reid’s Reid on Travel blog is here. Also check out his Vietnam guide, and if you want to see those moustache graphs for yourself, look on his personal website under ‘Moustaches’.

Posted by | Comments (2)  | February 28, 2008
Category: Notes from the collective travel mind


2 Responses to “Robert Reid blogs the life of a guidebook writer”

  1. Mike Says:

    Eva, thanks for the pointer. Seems like Reid is a good read. I also like Leif Pettersen’s blog Killing Batteries who’s also another LP writer. His blog is at: http://killingbatteries.com/

  2. Tim L. Says:

    If you like Robert’s stuff, you’ll be happy to know he has a great piece on Burma in the brand spankin’ new issue of Perceptive Travel. Check it out here:
    http://www.perceptivetravel.com/issues/0308/reid.html

    (Full disclosure: Yes, I’m the editor.)