I approach each itinerary design like an art project going to an obsessive level of detail in order to orchestrate “perfect moments” for Deep Travelers: like arranging the right meal to be served on the right terrace paired with just the right wine—just as the full moon rises over the just-right panorama. Still, I'm constantly dazzled by the way magic happens all on its own. When not apprenticed to the ways of travel magic, I write stories for news outlets such as the BBC, San Francisco Chronicle, Hemispheres, and numerous anthologies.
I am in love with this wide world. Somewhat to my own surprise, I have spelunked in Micronesian sea caves and trekked in the Himalayas, but I am most happy sipping local wine with new friends wherever I find myself. And writing poetry. And sketching. And letting the spirit of a place soak through my pores like the steam from a Fez hammam. My tagline is: art + word + spirit, and I have played in that equation on six continents. Along my travels, I have published books and exhibited paintings. I have won a few things and lost many others. The best souvenirs I ever brought home fit in my memory and the pages of my journal. More particulars at AnnaElkins.com
Erin Byrne is author of Wings: Gifts of Art, Life, and Travel in France (Travelers’ Tales, 2016), winner of the Paris Book Festival Award for travel genre, editor of Vignettes & Postcards From Paris and Vignettes & Postcards From Morocco (Reputation Books, 2016), and writer of The Storykeeper film. Erin’s travel essays, poetry, fiction and screenplays have won numerous awards including three Grand Prize Solas Awards for Travel Story of the Year, the Reader’s Favorite Award, Foreword Reviews Book of the Year Finalist, and an Accolade Award for film. Erin is occasional guest instructor at Shakespeare and Company Bookstore in Paris and teaches on Deep Travel trips. Her screenplay, Siesta, is in pre-production in Spain, and she is working on the novel, The Red Notebook. E-Byrne.com
Dot Fisher-Smith is a writer, artist, counselor, group facilitator, community elder, conservationist, and long-time social activist for peace and justice. She has been a student and practicer of Soto Zen Buddhism for over thirty-five years and has been a journal writer since 1968. A mystical, masterful artist and presence, Dot is the subject of the documentary, An Ordinary Life. AnOrdinaryLifeTheMovie.com
The founding editor of Outside Magazine. His work has been published in Esquire, Rolling Stone, National Geographic Traveler, The New York Times Book Review, and many other national magazines. He is the author of nine books, one of which (Jaguars Ripped My Flesh) National Geographic named as one of the 100 best adventure travel books ever written. Cahill has won numerous awards, including the Society of American Travel Writers Lowell Thomas Award and the National Magazine Award. He is the co-author of four IMAX documentaries, two of which were nominated for Academy Awards. Cahill lives in Montana, in the shadow of the Crazy Mountains.
Laurie Wagner has been teaching writing and publishing books and essays for the last 25 years. She is a process-guru and has a genius for holding space and helping people unzip what’s inside of them to get ink on the page. A creative brainstormer, Laurie specializes in out-of-the-box ways to tell your stories. Her “Wild Writing” classes are the cornerstone of her life’s work, but she also teaches on the Internet. She is the co-author of Living Happily Ever After: Couples Talk about Lasting Love, and Expectations: 30 Women Talk about Becoming a Mother. 27Powers.org
Doug Cordell is a radio storyteller, performer, and Emmy-nominated writer. His true-life radio stories air on NPR’s Snap Judgment and APM’s Marketplace. He has performed his stories and monologues at venues across the U.S., including the HERE Arts Center in New York City, the Marsh in San Francisco, the Fox Theater in Oakland CA, and the Hotel Café in Los Angeles. He is also a member of the Writers Guild of America whose television credits include HBO, Disney, Nickelodeon and PBS. DougCordell.com
Jay Golden is a speaker, storyteller, and CEO of Wakingstar Storyworks, a creative agency focused on transformative communications. Jay has worked with leaders at companies such as Facebook, Google and LinkedIn, to help them develop essential stories that guide their lives and their leadership, and has spoken on CNN, Fox News and NPR. Jay has traveled to nearly 50 countries and is currently working on a book about how to inform the future by shaping the past. WakingStar.com
Larry Habegger is a writer and editor who has been covering the world since his international travels began in the 1970s. As a freelance writer for more than three decades, his work has appeared in many major newspapers and magazines, including the Los Angeles Times, Chicago Tribune, Travel & Leisure, and Outside. He coauthored serialized mysteries with James O’Reilly for the San Francisco Examiner in the early 1980s, and in 1993 he cofounded the award-winning Travelers’ Tales publishing company with James and Tim O’Reilly. He is currently Travelers’ Tales’ executive editor, helps oversee the company’s publishing program, and has worked on all of its 150-plus books. Larry teaches the craft of memoir and the personal essay and runs several writers groups. He is also a cofounder of The Prose Doctors—an editors consortium—and editor of the annual magazine The Travel Guide to California. He lives with his family on Telegraph Hill in San Francisco. LarryHabegger.com
Lavinia Spalding is series editor of The Best Women’s Travel Writing, author of Writing Away: A Creative Guide to Awakening the Journal-Writing Traveler, and co-author of With a Measure of Grace, the Story and Recipes of a Small-Town Restaurant and This Immeasurable Place: Food and Farming from the Edge of Wilderness. She wrote the introduction to the e-book edition of Edith Wharton’s classic travelogue, A Motor-Flight Through France, and her work appears in such publications as Tin House, Post Road, Yoga Journal, Sunset magazine, The San Francisco Chronicle, San Francisco Magazine, The Guardian UK, World Hum, Off Assignment, and Airbnb Magazine, and is forthcoming in AFAR. Her essays have been anthologized in The Best Travel Writing Volumes 9 and 10 (Travelers’ Tales), Days Like This (Independent Bookstore Day), and An Innocent Abroad (Lonely Planet). She has taught for more than twenty years and has led writing workshops in San Francisco, Mexico, Peru, Costa Rica, New Orleans, Utah, and Nepal. She is a member of the San Francisco’s Writers’ Grotto and Peauxdunque Writers’ Alliance, on faculty of the annual Book Passage Travel Writers & Photographers Conference, and co-founder of Weekday Wanderlust. She lives in New Orleans. Visit her at LaviniaSpalding.com.
Mindy Carpenter is the artist and owner of Carpe Diem Papers, a greeting card & lifestyle company that is based on her original paintings. Nostalgic art meets vintage style, celebrating everyday charm & beauty. Mindy is from Victoria, British Columbia, spent many years in the Bay Area, and now lives in Ashland, Oregon. Those three unique places, along with her love of travel, play an integral role in her joyful artwork. She loves passing the creative baton to others through her paintings, greetings cards, commissions, and workshops. Everyone is creative, and everyone has an illustrated life. Mindy adores capturing the elegant charm of the simple, everyday objects— vintage china settings, flea market finds, fancy parlors, or vibrant bouquets of farmer’s market flowers. Seascapes, beaches, and all things nautical are also recurring themes in her work, a heartfelt nod to her hometown and passion for the ocean. Before full-time painting, running a small business, and teaching workshops, Mindy taught English in Tokyo and worked in the gift and stationery industry in San Francisco for fifteen years. She loves coffee and croissants in any city she visits. CarpeDiemPapers.com