The Best Travel Writing 2006


Travelers’ Tales’ annual Best Travel Writing anthology is out in bookstores now, and — as usual — it’s a fun read that’s filled with great examples of quality travel writing for those interested in the craft (or a vicarious journey). Contributors this year include Alain de Botton, Patrick Symmes, Tony Perrottet, Jeff Greenwald, Bob Guccione, Jr., and Bill Belleville. I have the honor of appearing in The Best Travel Writing for the third year running (with my story “Road Roulette”), and I was tickled to see that Thomas Swick‘s story “The Place You Could Be Looking For” was included — as this marks the second year in a row that a story about Bangkok’s classic budget hotel, The Atlanta, has made the pages of the anthology (last year, it was Donald A. Ranard’s “The Accidental Hotel”).

In addition to showcasing good writing, the book is also a celebration of travel, and the good and bad experiences that come with it. As James O’Reilly says in the preface:

The virtues of travel have long been touted, and we are all familiar with the clich├ęs. Travel broadens the mind, dissolves dogma, rattles the cage, brings new vigor to the step. It is hilarious, romantic, life-threatening, enlightening, toxic to weak relationships, invigorating to the strong. Travel is tedious and soporific, exhilarating and addictive. Is it expensive because evanescent, cheap because the traveler is forever rewarded with memory and story. You wish you were home, you wish you never had to go home. All of things are true, and if you are lucky you may well experience each of them on the same trip.

Posted by | Comments (6)  | April 27, 2006
Category: Rolf's News and Updates, Travel Writing

6 Responses to “The Best Travel Writing 2006”

  1. AB Says:

    Congrats, Rolf. I’ll have to get a copy.

  2. Dusty Says:

    Yep, can’t wait to get a copy. Some books from Travelers Tales do make it to India these days.

  3. Brian Says:

    I just got it delivered on Friday. An excellent compilation with the stories about the Atlanta and doing ‘shrooms in Indonesia as unexpected highlights. (This by no means diminishes “Road Roulette,” just that I’ve already read it.)

  4. Chad Says:

    Such a good read, and I’m learning a lot about quality writing along the way.

  5. Bernadette Tchen Says:

    Donald Ranard’s story that won last year’s award took me back to my high school years at the Lycee de Savannakhet, and since then I have been trying to find his contact information. He was among the teachers who have made a strong impact on me.

  6. Don Ranard Says:

    Sabaydee Bernadette! This is your old teacher, Don Ranard. I’m trying to remember. . . Which class were you in? Let me hear from you. Are you in touch with any of your old classmates? I’m in Buenos Aires, Argentina these days. I went back to Savannakhet about 10 years ago, and things looked surprisingly the same, though I’ve been told there have been many changes since then. I hope to hear from you. My e-mail address is Warm regards, Don