Friends and vagabonders,

Last fall saw the debut of my second book, Marco Polo Didn’t Go There, and I spent three months on tour promoting it in various North American cities, including New York, Chicago, New Orleans, Minneapolis, Portland, Seattle, San Francisco, and Los Angeles. In addition to the great feedback I got from audiences at my book events, media reviews were very positive. The St. Louis Post-Dispatch listed Marco Polo Didn’t Go There among its “Best Books of 2008,” and The Guardian called it “the best — and most quirky — post-modern travel-writing text book available on either side of the Atlantic.” The San Francisco Chronicle called me “one of the best travel writers to emerge in the last decade,” and the Washington Post said I’m “the kind of guy you wish the pubs had more of: well traveled, generous with funny stories, eager to listen to yours.” A number of interviews about the book (from venues like Poets & Writers, Outside, and World Hum) can be found here.

The other big event for me last fall was the debut of my first TV hosting gig, American Pilgrim, which debuted on the Travel Channel on Thanksgiving week. The show explores the travel conditions of the original Mayflower Pilgrims by examining the livelihoods of Pilgrim-descendants who have the same professional skills their ancestors used. I’ve posted a scene from the show on my new Video page, which also features clips from my other TV and video appearances, including a new interview on Bootsnall TV.

While my book and my TV show took up a lot of my time in late 2008, I continued to publish magazine stories for a number of publications. Recent stories include “Mister Universe,” an Ethiopia-based story for the New York Times Magazine, “My Own Private Falklands” for National Geographic Traveler, “Pure Brazil” for Islands, “The Lost Art of Immersion Travel” for Surfer, and the Israel-based “Windsurfing Where Jesus Walked” for Forbes. In the non-travel realm, I wrote a story for The Believer called “The Henry Ford of Literature,” which looks at a 1920s Kansas socialist publisher who created an inexpensive mail-order information superhighway that paved the way for the sexual revolution, influenced the feminist and civil rights movements, and foreshadowed the Age of Information.

My plans for coming months are still finalizing, though I will once again by teaching my creative nonfiction workshop at the Paris American Academy this July.

For the latest news from my world, as well as travel information and advice, surf over to my blog, Vagablogging.net.

Cheers — and happy vagabonding,

Rolf