One of the reasons I began Cool Travel Guide was to write about the things I couldn’t write about in the highly prescriptive guidebooks I made my living writing. My first post ‘Aleppo: no practicalities’ explained my motivation and my desire to have a space where I could write whatever I wanted to write. I’m inclined to reiterate what Cool Travel Guide is about and explain my posting policy after receiving a few comments in recent months that I decided not to upload. But first of all, what is Cool Travel Guide? It’s a personal travel blog written by a full-time freelance travel writer, that is essentially about the things I find cool (and not so cool) about travel, places, people and culture; about travel writing, the travel media and travel publishing; and about the travel, tourism and hospitality industries. It’s a place where I can reflect upon my work as a writer, the places I get to travel to, live in and write about, and the things that affect, impact, inspire, excite and even anger me as a travel writer.
Essentially, it’s a space for me to write about anything and everything I want to, from hotels, restaurants, airports, planes, museums and beaches, to the actual process of research, writing, pitching, editing, and publishing. Sometimes my writing will be fairly straightforward and my content practical, while at other times my reflections might be more abstract, about the very nature of travel, and why we travel. This is partly because I’ve worked as an academic and began a PhD on film and travel some years ago, so I’m also interested in the theoretical side. My passion for travel was ignited at age four when my parents moved us from Sydney to Perth for a year, and it developed years later in my teens when they dragged us around the country in a caravan for five years, so occasionally I get nostalgic and reminisce, but it also means I like to ponder the journey and how we move.
I moved to the United Arab Emirates with my husband Terence in 1998 to teach film, writing, production and media studies to Emirati girls at a women’s university, and I’ve authored and updated (often with Terence) almost a dozen guidebooks and scores of stories on the country, especially on the emirates of Dubai and Abu Dhabi. That’s why you’ll find lots of posts on those destinations here. I love the UAE and make no apologies about that. I’m also fascinated by the media’s coverage of Dubai, and how it’s promoted, perceived and reported on as a destination. If you want to comment on my posts, or just write to me about any of those or other related topics, I’d love to hear from you. Really.