When college ended, all of my friends prepared for the worlds of finance and education and law. They filled up U-Hauls, office desks, and studio apartments in Manhattan. They were entering the real world, the work-force, the grind. I packed my backpack and slid a surfboard into a boardbag. I wasn’t prepared for the world, so I went to see it.
When I was a kid, my parents had instilled in me a love of travel–we did things like camp each summer, trek Alaska while the tourists returned to the wilds of their cruise ships, and supply booze to St. Croix’s beer-guzzling pigs. (True story: St. Croix has binge-drinking swine.) But it was my parents’ stories of bussing across country and sleeping in Swiss barns that made me want to globe-trot for fifteen months. So that’s what I did.
During my travels, I mostly stayed in quiet fishing towns to surf some of the world’s best waves. If you understand surfing, you know it’s a fickle sport: wrong tides, onshore winds, idyllic seas can transform wave-riding into wave-waiting. So I began writing to pass the time. It was writing that became a conduit into exploration. (My countless mishaps in the ocean were serendipitous too. For instance, slicing my head open while surfing on a secluded island led to a 3-day hike through the center of New Zealand’s North Island, the landscape Peter Jackson chose for Mordor. Losing my hearing at one of the world’s longest waves–a mile-long, dirty rivermouth break in Costa Rica–forced me out of town and up to a city beneath an erupting volcano. And food poisoning in between waves on nearly every continent… Well that actually just sucked.)
But this isn’t a blog about surfing. This is a blog about travel and the stunning niches it uncovers. At Somewhere Or Bust, readers will receive travel tips, read stories that will spark their next adventure, and have a few chuckles, usually at my expense. Go read, though if you really must know more:
I’ve written for the Boston Globe, Chicago Sun-Times, the Miami Herald, the Washington Post, Slate, the San Francisco Chronicle, BBC Travel, Tablet Magazine, Salon, Islands Magazine, the Philadelphia Inquirer, the Jerusalem Post Magazine, the Economist, JTA, the Times of Israel, Writer’s Digest, Travel Agent Magazine, Luxury Travel Advisor, Cape Cod Times, Long Island Pulse, Eastern Surf Magazine, Tikkun, Draft Magazine, All About Beer Magazine, Beer Advocate, Snowboard Magazine, Gadling, SUP the Magazine, France Today, Roads and Kingdoms, Smart Set, and elsewhere. I used to write a few columns for The Faster Times and currently write one for Trip Advisor Insights. I’ve appeared in award-winning documentaries about the Holocaust and have been interviewed by the BBC, Voice of America, the Unmistakeable Creative, the Daily Travel Podcast, and Amateur Traveler Podcast. I’ve also spoken about the Holocaust and Cambodian Genocide at various events, from Birthright fundraisers to the New York Travel Fest. I’m also the author of the forthcoming memoir, A World Erased: A Grandson’s Search for His Family’s Holocaust Secrets (Rowman & Littlefield, 2017). And I’m finishing up a novel and a memoir about my year surfing around the world. You can actually get your free copy of my travel ebook, Misadventures in Southeast Asia, by clicking here. I also wrote Traveling the Cambodian Genocide, a magazine-length ebook. (For links to any of the above-mentioned items check out the Advertise page.)
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