My travel memoir, Wanderlust, spans 15 years of roaming the globe, taking readers on a wondrous ride from the South Pacific to the Middle East to the capitals of Europe and beyond. The New York Times Book Review called it “a heady, headlong chronical of a decade and a half spent adrift,” and Oprah.com said “her vivid tales…make the journey a vicarious pleasure.” I’m also the author of Bare, a non-fiction book about strippers that the Washington Post called “a first-rate, first-person work of social anthropology.” My travel writing has appeared in The Best American Travel Writing, among other anthologies, and won me three Lowell Thomas Awards from the Society of American Travel Writers.
While travel writing was my first literary love, I’m also a journalist, essayist, science writer, editor, and fiction writer. I’m currently working on novels set in places I loved as a traveler, like Syria and Mexico. I’m also an editor at The Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, where we cover weapons of mass destruction, climate change, and other risky business humans have gotten up to. Before finding my way to journalism, I worked as a waitress, a bartender, a deck hand, a landscaper, an office temp, and a peep show girl. I was bad at four of those jobs and good at two. Somewhere along the way I earned a master’s degree from Columbia University’s School of International and Public Affairs.
Born and raised in Vancouver, I lived in Cairo, London, and Paris, spent 10 years in New York City, and now reside in Seattle. I founded Type Set, a co-working space for writers, with my husband, the food writer Joe Ray