January 31, 2011

A chance to study writing in Paris this summer

eiffel.jpg

Creative Writing Workshop
at the Paris American Academy
July 1st through the 29th, 2011

For the seventh year running, I’ll be teaching an intensive, month-long creative writing workshop at the Paris American Academy. This hands-on English-language writing program includes courses in:

In addition to taking classes and amassing writing portfolios, students will participate in one-on-one critiques with professional writers (including myself), give readings in Parisian bookshops, and receive "survival" French lessons. Other instructors include O. Henry Award-winning author and playwright John Biguenet, and novelist Lauren Grodstein.

Between classes and tutorials, there will be ample time to experience the city, attend cultural events, visit museums, learn history, take day-trips to the countryside, read books, hang out in cafes, dance by the Seine, and make friends from around the world. It’s not cheap by vagabonding standards, but students who’ve taken the course in the past will attest that it’s a great value!

For more information, including costs, course descriptions and testimonials from past students, click my Paris American Academy page here.

To receive an application, email an inquiry to info@pariswritingworkshop.com.

The Paris American Academy is located in the heart of the Latin Quarter, on the rue Saint Jacques, a block from the Luxembourg Gardens, and less than a mile from the Seine and Notre Dame cathedral.

PAAphoto.jpg

Above: The Paris American Academy, in the heart of the Latin Quarter

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Category: Rolf's News and Updates, Travel Writing

November 29, 2010

Holiday sale on Vagabonding and Marco Polo Didn’t Go There

It’s once again winter holiday season, which means it’s time for me to tout my books as stocking stuffers for the travel lovers on your Christmas list. And, since I’m stateside this month, I’m able to mail out signed copies at a reduced price. Vagabonding and Marco Polo Didn’t Go There are $15 each — and if you live in the U.S. I’ll mail them for free (if you live overseas, postage will run about $2-$5 extra). For orders of more than one book, additional copies of my books are $10 this month only. Just let me know how you’d like me to inscribe them when I sign them. Payment can be done by PayPal or personal check — please send an email to books [at] rolfpotts [dot] com for details.

As for the books — Marco Polo Didn’t Go There is not just an entertaining and engrossing read for the armchair traveler; its “commentary track” makes it an offbeat travel-writing textbook for students and fans of the genre.

Vagabonding makes a great holiday gift for:

Again, send an email to books [at] rolfpotts [dot] com for details.

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Category: Rolf's News and Updates

September 30, 2010

Thailand to Queenstown: No Baggage Challenge Update

Rolf’s latest travel project is the No Baggage Challenge — a journey that will take him around the world without using a single piece of luggage. Every few days, we’ll be updating Vagabonding with a recap of the latest to keep you up to date on the adventure.

Rolf ended up staying three nights in Bangkok before heading south to Malaysia on an overnight train. After a quick visit to Singapore (and the Sydney airport), Rolf arrived in New Zealand for a few days of adventure before heading back to The States.

The Same River Twice: Bangkok in Three Acts:

Thailand to Malaysia: Scenes from a train:

No-baggage field report: Week five:

Trip stats:

Days on road: 40
Miles traveled: 31,941
Countries: 12
Flights: 11
Trains: 4
Bags: 0

“At that time, I wrote that “Khao San Road is not designed to be a static, aesthetic part of Thailand, but a pragmatic duty-free zone — a neutral territory that has learned to continually reinvent itself in the image of what young budget travelers want” — and it’s an observation that still holds true: In continually tweaking and adapting to the needs of travelers, Khao San Road is in many ways staying the same. As I walked up and down the street checking out the vendors and sampling plates of pad thai and banana pancakes, the place felt almost identical to the way it felt a decade ago — even if it now sports fast food restaurants (McDonald’s, Burger King, and Subway — which were not there when I last visited) and different technologies (music downloads instead of cassette tapes, wi-fi instead of dial-up).” –Rolf on The Same River Twice: Bangkok in Three Acts

Our next update will find Rolf in New Zealand. To follow the journey in real-time, check out the No Baggage Challenge blog or follow along on Twitter or Facebook. And enter this week’s reader challenge, by sharing what you will do over the next year to make yourself richer in time. The best entry will win Scottevest gear, a BootsnAll Moleskine journal, and Rolf’s book Marco Polo Didn’t Go There!

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Category: Asia, General, Oceania, Rolf's News and Updates

September 22, 2010

South Africa to Bangkok: No Baggage Challenge Update

Rolf’s latest travel project is the No Baggage Challenge — a journey that will take him around the world without using a single piece of luggage. Every few days, we’ll be updating Vagabonding with a recap of the latest to keep you up to date on the adventure.

Rolf spent a few days off the grid while on safari in Kruger National Park. While there, he created his own personal alternative list to the Big Five animals — top of the list: hipppos. After the safari, they headed to the Welgevonden Game Preserve, three hours northwest of Johannesburg — where they had the opportunity to sample some world-class elephant-dung tea, before flying to Bangkok.

Hanging with the animal paparazzi in South Africa:

Justin’s elephant-poop cold remedy:

No-baggage field report: Week four:

Trip stats:

Days on road: 32
Miles traveled: 18,869
Countries: 9
Flights: 6
Trains: 4
Bags: 0

“Of all the things I’d expected to experience when planning my no-luggage world journey, drinking elephant-dung tea in South Africa was not among them. I’d expected I might explore nightlife in Spain (which I did, while eating tapas in Madrid) or ride a camel in Egypt (which I did, at Giza) — and I even thought I’d get lost from time to time (which I did in Morocco, among other places) — but I never expected to imbibe a medicinal beverage that had recently passed through an elephant’s ass. Such is is the unpredictability of travel.” –Rolf on Justin’s elephant-poop cold remedy

Our next update will find Rolf in Thailand and New Zealand. To follow the journey in real-time, check out the No Baggage Challenge blog or follow along on Twitter or Facebook. And enter this week’s reader challenge, by sharing what you will do over the next year to make yourself richer in time. The best entry will win Scottevest gear, a BootsnAll Moleskine journal, and Rolf’s book Marco Polo Didn’t Go There!

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Category: Africa, Asia, General, Rolf's News and Updates

September 16, 2010

Egypt to Johannesburg: No Baggage Challenge Update

Rolf’s latest travel project is the No Baggage Challenge — a journey that will take him around the world without using a single piece of luggage. Every few days, we’ll be updating Vagabonding with a recap of the latest to keep you up to date on the adventure.

After a few hectic days in Cairo, including getting an Egyptian straight-razor shave in 21 easy steps (one of the most popular videos so far in the journey), Rolf flew to Johannesburg for a few days off the grid — wildlife spotting near Kruger National Park.

Egyptian Straight-razor Shave in 21 Easy Steps:

Week 3 Field Report:

Trip stats:

Days on road: 26
Miles traveled: 12,212
Countries: 6
Flights: 4
Trains: 3
Bags: 0

“Indeed, few world cities can compete with Cairo in showing how the true history of a place lies less in its archaeological remnants than the shifting, ephemeral moments of chaos, synchronicity, and commonplace anonymity that define the city at any given moment. This isn’t something that lends itself well to video, perhaps, but it certainly is fascinating to experience it of in small moments of serendipity as you travel.” –Rolf on How we make the videos (and how we lost one in Cairo)

Our next update will find Rolf in Thailand. To follow the journey in real-time, check out the No Baggage Challenge blog or follow along on Twitter or Facebook. And enter this week’s reader challenge, by sharing how you unplug from the virtual world (ah, the irony). The favorite entry will win Scottevest gear, a BootsnAll Moleskine journal, and Rolf’s book Marco Polo Didn’t Go There!

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Category: Africa, General, Rolf's News and Updates

September 8, 2010

Morocco to Cairo: No Baggage Challenge Update

Rolf’s latest travel project is the No Baggage Challenge — a journey that will take him around the world without using a single piece of luggage. Every few days, we’ll be updating Vagabonding with a recap of the latest to keep you up to date on the adventure.

After time in Chefchaouen and Fes, Rolf headed to Egypt to embrace his inner tourist at Giza — including one camel ride from the most spectacularly persuasive and devious tout Rolf has ever met in all his years of travel.

Trip stats:

Days on road: 18
Miles traveled: 11,340
Flights: 4
Trains: 3
Bags: 0

“My approach to exploring Fes was an old travel strategy I like to call “Walk Until the Day Becomes Interesting”: Instead of starting out with a list of goals or attractions for a given destination, I opt instead to find an intriguing neighborhood and wander around until something catches my eye. In this way, my instincts become my guidebook — and it can be fun to see what happens (good and bad).” –Rolf on In Fes: Walk until the day becomes interesting

Our next update will find Rolf in South Africa. To follow the journey in real-time, check out the No Baggage Challenge blog or follow along on Twitter. And enter this week’s reader challenge, and post a picture of exploring your own town. The favorite entry will win Scottevest gear, a BootsnAll Moleskine journal, and Rolf’s book Marco Polo Didn’t Go There!

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Category: General, Rolf's News and Updates

September 2, 2010

Madrid to Morocco: No Baggage Challenge Update

Rolf’s latest travel project is the No Baggage Challenge — a journey that will take him around the world without using a single piece of luggage. Every few days, we’ll be updating Vagabonding with a recap of the latest to keep you up to date on the adventure.

After experiencing Madrid through tapas — in 9 dishes and 7 drinks — Rolf crossed the Straits of Gibraltar to Tangier, Morocco. A ‘lost in translation’ taxi ride to the nearby city of Tetouan (instead of the intended Chefchaouen), proved to be an amusing afternoon in the souks.

Trip stats:

Days on road: 12
Miles traveled: 7,445
Flights: 3
Trains: 3
Bags: 0

“Chefchaouen featured lovely blue alleyways, tasteful handicraft shops, and peaceful travelers’ tea-houses — but we’d been spoiled by the heady buzz of mild chaos that results when you show up the wrong place and make the most of your situation.” –Rolf on The wrong town in Morocco

Our next update will find Rolf in Egypt. To follow the journey in real-time, check out the No Baggage Challenge blog or follow along on Twitter. And enter this week’s reader challenge by sharing what you plan to do to lighten your load in the next year. The favorite entry will win a $500 flight voucher from BootsnAll Travel!

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Category: General, Rolf's News and Updates

August 27, 2010

Paris to Madrid: No Baggage Challenge Update

Rolf’s latest travel project is the No Baggage Challenge — a journey that will take him around the world without using a single piece of luggage. Every few days, we’ll be updating Vagabonding with a recap of the latest to keep you up to date on the adventure.

Rolf spent 36 hours in Paris catching up on blog entries, shooting a video demonstrating his laundry routine, and touring familiar Paris sites in a vintage Citroën 2CV, before catching an EasyJet flight to Madrid.

Trip stats:

Days on road: 6
Miles traveled: 4,927
Flights: 2
Trains: 2
Bags: 0

“There was a time when, believe it or not, I thought Paris was no big deal. This was before I had ever been there — back in the days when I was living and traveling in Asia. At the time, I was so enamored with places like Bangkok and Varanasi and Ulan Bator that I thought Paris would be a bore by comparison. I was wrong, of course: Not only is Paris a fascinating place; it is (in ways that are more subtle than you might think) my top candidate for the most beautiful city in the world.” –Rolf on Rolling retro-style (and doing laundry) in Paris

Our next update will find Rolf tapas-roaming in Madrid, before heading south to Chefchaouen, Morocco. To follow the journey in real-time, check out the No Baggage Challenge blog or follow along on Twitter.

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Category: General, Rolf's News and Updates

August 24, 2010

NYC to Paris: No Baggage Challenge Update

As announced last week, Rolf’s latest travel project is the No Baggage Challenge — a journey that will take him around the world without using a single piece of luggage. Rolf and cameraman Justin left New York City for London on Saturday and are now headed for Madrid. Every few days, we’ll be updating Vagabonding with a recap of the latest to keep you up to date on the adventure.

Trip stats:

Days on road: 3

Miles traveled: 4,418

Flights: 2

Trains: 1

Bags: 0

A whirlwind tour of London, on the three-and-a-half hour layover, included spotting and participating in as many London cliches as possible.

“Normally I’m an advocate of going slow and getting off the beaten path when I travel, but for a couple reasons I was keen to do a barnstorm-tour of London’s most obvious and popular tourist attractions: First off, I wanted to test how my newfound lack of luggage could make me more mobile during these types of layovers; second, I was genuinely curious about London’s iconic sights, since the only other times I’ve traveled through the city I’ve have been on quick, work-oriented trips to other parts of the U.K.” –Rolf on 19 London cliches in less than four hours

Rolf and cameraman Justin then headed to Paris, and are now Madrid-bound. To follow the journey in real-time, check out the No Baggage Challenge blog or follow along on Twitter.

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Category: General, Rolf's News and Updates

February 27, 2010

Rolf to teach writing classes this summer in Iceland, Paris

icelandrolfAs I announced earlier this year, I will once again be teaching a creative nonfiction workshop at the Paris American Academy during the month of July (this Paris workshop also entails fiction and journal-writing classes, taught by novelists John Biguenet and Lauren Grodstein).

New to my teaching slate in 2010 is an intensive travel-writing workshop in Reykjavik, Iceland from August 1-8. Organized in conjunction with Angela Ritchie’s ACE Camps, this small-group workshop is a great way to experience Iceland while fine-tuning your travel-writing skills in the company of other writers. Class size will be limited to 10 people.

I will also be speaking and/or serving as a panelist at a number of events this spring in various parts of the U.S. A rundown of upcoming events is as follows:

KANSAS CITY AREA

  • March 30th, 2010, Lawrence, 7:00pm
    University of Kansas, Mallot Hall. Lecture on travel writing and long-term travel (non-students welcome). Queries can be sent to tlorenz [at] ku.edu.

ST. LOUIS

OHIO

  • April 27th, 2010, Springfield, 7:00pm
    Wittenberg University, Hollenbeck Hall. Lecture on travel writing and long-term travel (non-students welcome). Rolf will also speak in English classes on the 26th and 27th. Queries can be sent to kdixon [at] wittenberg.edu.

PARIS

ICELAND

  • August 1st-8th, 2010, Reykjavik
    Travel Writing Workshop, organized by Angela Ritchie’s ACE Camps; check website for registration information.

If you’re ever curious to know if I have events in your area, please drop by my Events page.

To schedule me for speaking engagements, travel-writing seminars, vagabonding seminars, book events, or writing classes please send inquiries to events [at] rolfpotts.com.

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Category: Rolf's News and Updates
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