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Thursday, January 7, 2010

Busy in Beirut, Bangkok, Bendigo, and now blogging the globe

The posts I will be popping up on my poor neglected travel blog over the next few days have been a long time coming. Some I drafted back in Beirut in November, others I scribbled almost a month ago while I was recovering from bronchial pneumonia from a hotel room in Bangkok where we were working on a guidebook. That diagnosis, by the way, based on nasty symptoms like coughing up blood, came from my doctor uncle in Australia by email because I was too busy working to get to a GP. It would be an understatement to say that 2009 has been a hectic year of travel and writing for Terry and I - something I only recently appreciated glancing at all the books we've written which have been published this year sitting on the shelf beside my desk here at my family's house in Bendigo, Australia: Footprint Italian Lakes, Thomas Cook Northern Italy, and Thomas Cook Travellers Calabria, plus a handful of books I updated for AA and Thomas Cook. Then there are others we've written that I haven't even seen (like the Rough Guides Clean Breaks, which I contributed to) or are not yet published, like the new edition to the Rough Guide to Australia (for which we updated four and a bit states - half the country! - on a four month-long road trip from October 2008 to February 2009), and another first edition, Back Roads Australia for DK. I skim down this page scanning my posts, and while there have been few compared to last year or the year before, when I stop at In Print and Online and then take a look at that archive I see why. We may continually read the claims that print is dead yet we've spent more time writing for magazines this year than any other, and up until we returned to guidebooks in December we'd spent six months solid doing little else but write for magazines. The irony is that we've now been hired by HomeAway Holiday-Rentals for a year to travel the world, stay in their properties, and blog about the experience - something I never could have predicted. So the travel blogging that for me had been an escape from my 'day job' as a travel writer now becomes our main source of income. Print is still not dead, however - as much as our new client appreciates social media, they are still going to pay us bonuses for every article we get published in a magazine or newspaper. So I'm expecting it's going to be another busy year, but I'm pleased to say that we'll be slowing down considerably. No longer will I be envying a donkey his pace. More on our new project, Grantourismo soon.

Pictured? Fortune tellers in Bangkok.


jessiev said...

zYAHOO!! i am so very excited for you, lara! can't wait to read all about it.

AdventureRob said...

Looking forward to hearing more Lara, wish I had a few paying writing jobs as I went around!

Lara Dunston said...

Thanks, Jessie! We're excited too, as you can imagine!

Lara Dunston said...

Thank you, Rob. There's always next time!

flipnomad said...

wow! alot of good things huh!

goodluck lara

looking forward in reading your updated blog soon

Erica said...

Congrats to a 2009 of much publishing success! I hope 2010 will turn out for the best for the two of you!

Unknown said...

i find it very interesting that homeaway are paying you to blog for them. I guess that is an effort on their behalf to bump up their google ranking. Where will the blog be posted. Maybe we will get you blogging for too.

- Susan - said...

Hi Lara,
when is your BKK guide to be published ?!

Lara Dunston said...

Hi Liam

It's much more complex than bumping up a google ranking. See our website: for more details on what we're doing. I don't think HomeAwayUK be very happy if we started blogging for you too!

Lara Dunston said...

Hi Suzie

How are you?

The Bangkok guide won't be out til the middle of the year, but I'll keep you posted.

Hope you're well!

Vacations to go said...

Thank you for such an interesting post..I would love to read your updated blog post soon...:)