Entries in travel writing (6)


Into The Wild Meets: Jodi Ettenberg

Jodi Ettenberg is the founder and writer of Legal Nomads, a blog which explores her love for both travelling and food. After quitting her job as a lawyer, her adventures began, and they are yet to stop. We interviewed her to find out more about her journeys and experiences so far.

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Words come to life

There’s nothing quite as evocative as a beautifully written description of a wildlife encounter or animal. Sometimes wildlife comes to life in the written word when an author’s artistry manifests on the page.

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Into The Wild Meets: Chris Scott - Adventure Travel Writer

Chris Scott is considered the man in the know when it comes to adventure travel in the Sahara desert, and with over 30 expeditions under his belt since 1982, it’s no mystery as to why. Motorcycle, taxi, camel caravan, 4WD, Mercedes saloon…he’s done it all and that’s why his books are considered bibles for anyone pursuing similar adventures. Into The Wild caught up with Chris to find out what brings him back to the Sahara and what his adventures are all about…

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Short Story Contest

Are you a budding young travel writer? Are you in awe of Attenborough, besotted by Bryson, charmed by Chatwin? Do you have a journal ready to fill with wondrous tales from your Frontier adventure? Well we’re giving you the opportunity to not only show off your abilities as a writer but also win some of the books we’ve been talking about all week.

All you have to do is write us a 100 word short story inspired by the image below:


Send your entries to info@frontier.ac.uk

We’ll post the winner along with two runners-up on the blog and across our social networks.

We can’t wait to see what you come up with!

1.    One entry per person
2.    100 word maximum word count
3.    Competition closes: 19th September 2011
4.    The prize will not be transferable to another person or exchangeable for cash


Frontier goes to the Library

Frontier has projects all over the world. So as part of this week’s theme of inspirational travel writing, we thought we’d have a look at some literature involving some of the countries we work in.

Men Against the Sea by Charles Nordhoff and James Norman Hall

The second in a trilogy about the mutiny of HMS Bounty in 1789, this novel documents the journey made by Lieutenant William Bligh and 18 members of his crew following their forced departure from the war ship. In what is frequently described as the most incredible and impressive feats of nautical navigation, Men Against the Sea chronicles the fascinating struggle faced by these men, and how Bligh skilfully led them to safety. The journey sees the crew row closely to Fiji, an area they understood to be inhabited by cannibals.   



Barefoot Over the Serengeti by David Read

This is the autobiography of David Read’s childhood spent in Tanzania during the 1920’s, an area that is today at the heart of the Serengeti National Park. Barefoot Over the Serengeti is an intriguing account of his upbringing amongst the Maasai people, with whom he spent a lot of time. Detailing their unique lifestyle and hunting methods, this book is constantly lauded as an excellent read for anyone remotely interested in the Maasai tribe, or African culture in general.


Ghost of Chance by William S. Burroughs

This short adventure story takes place in the jungles of Madagascar, and tells the tale of an 18th century pirate named Captain Mission who founds a colony on the African island. Determined to protect the region’s natural elements, including its native lemur population, Captain Mission struggles against plans of development for the island. What results is a strange but interesting work.  



Costa Rica:
Tropical Nature: Life and Death in the Rain Forests of Central and South America

An educational but highly accessible description of some of the most interesting aspects of the rain forests of Costa Rica and Ecuador. Covering an array of topics from the symbiotic relationship of the sloth with the trees they prefer, to why some plants have developed hallucinogenic properties, it is a widely respected and enjoyed account of these regions.  It also includes an extensive guide on what to pack, and what to expect from a trip to these amazing locations.  




For the Sake of all Living Things by John M. Del Vecchio

For the Sake of all Living Things is an emotional book dealing with the events surrounding the horrific genocide committed by Pol Pot and the Khmer Rouge which was responsible for the extermination of approximately two-million people between 1975-79. It is the second book in a trilogy, and fuses real life analysis of the circumstances leading to the creation of the Khmer Rouge, with fictional accounts of different individuals affected by the dictatorship. A revealing look at this recent and horrifying act of genocide.




By Alex Prior


Interview with Dorothy Conlon

Continuing with this week’s theme we have an exclusive interview with author Dorothy Conlon. Dorothy Conlon is nothing short of inspirational, “a born traveller” she has explored a host of countries and has consequently written her very own travel book titled “At home in the World”. Here we have some interesting insights on her views on travel. I am sure you will enjoy reading this as much as I enjoyed interviewing her.

Frontier: You have signed up for our Cook Islands Project – what appeals to you about this particular project?

Dorothy: Well first of all, because it is to a place that I haven’t been to before and I really like the home-stay aspect of it. I will be leaving from Tahiti shortly after for a cruise around the surrounding area including the Marquesas Islands, so I wanted to volunteer in the same general region. It was really hard to find a project but this one just sounded wonderful.

Frontier: Your life has been filled with interesting travels across the globe. Do you have a favourite place that you have visited?

Dorothy: I am always asked that so I have learned to answer, wherever I am at the moment! My favourite places change. I went to Vietnam a few times because I was so smitten with it, but I think my all time favourite would be India as we lived there the longest, so I do keep going back. It’s sort of a tie among various different places, wherever I am is my favourite.

Frontier: Is there anywhere you haven’t been that you would like to visit?

Dorothy: Of course! You name it, Mongolia, New Guinea, Ethiopia, Crete, Madagascar… I would love to do the Trans-Siberian railway; I have never been to Russia.

Frontier: What is your view on gap years and people volunteering abroad?

Dorothy: I think it is the most wonderful development in recent years. You people in England are ahead of us, but even here I know some top-notch universities that do not issue a degree to students unless they have spent a semester abroad. My mantra is no tourist sees a country like a volunteer does. Volunteering at a young age will alter your world view for the rest of your life; it’s about experiencing the place rather than looking at it through a tour bus window.

Frontier: Are you planning a follow up to your first book ‘At Home in the World’?

Dorothy: Oh I am so glad you asked me that. Yes, Born with Wings is about 75 per cent finished, at least in draft from. It is more autobiographical than the one I did before, and I am not telling many people this but after that will come Seeing the World through a Volunteer's Eyes. I have written many travel articles on volunteering in different countries because I have had all these experiences, so it will not take a lot of work to expand upon each of these in a book with stand-alone chapters focusing on one particular experience. Of course the Cook Islands will be one of them.

Frontier: This week’s theme on our blog is travel writing, what is your favourite travel book and why?

Dorothy: I am afraid I am going to have to weasel out of the wording of this question. I have favourite travel authors but not one particular book. I really adore the stories of Victorian women, like Gertrude Bell, Isabella Bird, Mary Kingsley, Freya Stark… I just can’t imagine that in that day and age they had to dress the way they did, and yet they went to all these wild and remote places and had these adventures that were unheard of from that period. I just think we complain about problems with air travel now, but oh boy they had it really bad back then. As for contemporary authors I like Paul Theroux; Michael Crichton who wrote Travels and an Australian woman called Robyn Davidson who wrote Tracks.

Frontier: What advice would you give aspiring travellers wanting to go out on a gap year?

Dorothy:  Expect the unexpected; and go with an open mind, an open heart and realise that you are not only seeing new things there, but back home you'll see familiar things with new eyes.

Frontier: We like to give all our future volunteers some advice on what to pack on a gap year trip.  What one thing do you always take on your travels that you wouldn’t leave home without?

Dorothy: [laughing] I am going to have to weasel out of this too I can’t put it down to one. It would have to be my journal, my camera and a torch.