Full datetime event:New York — Friday, August 13, 2021From 13:00 to 14:00Los Angeles — Friday, August 13, 2021From 10:00 to 11:00London — Friday, August 13, 2021From 18:00 to 19:00Athens — Friday, August 13, 2021From 20:00 to 21:00Singapore — Saturday, August 14, 2021From 1:00 to 2:00Sydney — Saturday, August 14, 2021From 3:00 to 4:00
Join us and 4 travel guide authors as we discuss the idea of transformative journeys in travel.
Join travel guide authors Deborah D. Douglas, Minal Hajratwatla, Jennifer D. Walker, and Bethany Pitts as they discuss the idea of transformative journeys in travel—whether that be a road trip, an outdoor challenge, or an immersive international experience—with a mind toward cultural tourism, responsible and ethical travel, and environmental sustainability.
These authors will share their perspectives on how the destinations they cover are impacted by tourism, offer tips on how to engage with local communities without being a voyeur, and show listeners how an authentic travel experience can be truly life changing.
Deborah D. Douglas will moderate this discussion.
Deborah Douglas, author of Moon U.S. Civil Rights Trail, is an award-winning journalist, cultural critic, and thought leader specializing in the African American lived experience.
Deborah lives in Chicago, where she was born, but is a self-described product of the Great Migration: She started school in post-uprising Detroit and came of age in metro Memphis. After graduating from Northwestern University, she traveled the country as a reporter, landing in Jackson, Mississippi. She's taught best practices to journalists in Karachi, Pakistan, taught in South Africa twice, studied HIV and malaria prevention in Tanzania, and traveled to Kenya, Tunisia, and Senegal, and throughout Europe. She is currently the Eugene S. Pulliam Distinguished Visiting Professor at DePauw University, creating courses to show student-journalists how to center marginalized voices in their work.
She served as the managing editor of MLK50: Justice Through Journalism, a reporting project examining the economic realities of Memphis, Tennessee, 50+ years since Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. was assassinated there. Previously, she was the No. 2 at the Chicago Sun-Times editorial page and a columnist. She served as an adjunct lecturer at Medill where she designed a Civil Rights Act of 1964 graduate capstone, and has contributed to VICE, Time, American Prospect, The Root, The Grio and The (NAACP) Crisis magazine. She is a senior leader at The OpEd Project, an initiative that amplifies underrepresented expert voices. In her career, she's had the honor of speaking with civil rights icons, including Rev. Jesse Jackson, Rev. James Lawson, Diane Nash, Bernard Lafayette, Bree Newsome, Rev. Bernice King, and Rev. Martin King III. Her work has been cited by the New York Times, and she's won numerous awards for her writing for Oprah magazine and other outlets.
Minal Hajratwala first visited Fiji at age four, when she met her grandmothers for the first time and got a fishbone stuck in her foot. She returned numerous times, interviewing relatives and poring through archives to research her award-winning epic Leaving India: My Family's Journey from Five Villages to Five Continents. Called "incomparable" by Alice Walker and "searingly honest" by the Washington Post, the book won four literary awards in the United States. It opens with the story of her great-grandfather, who first migrated to Fiji in 1908.
While writing Moon Fiji, she was delighted to scout out local hotspots, talent, and natural beauty, underwater as well as above ground, as a PADI-certified diver. Having traveled to islands all over the world, from the Philippines to the Seychelles to the Bahamas, Minal finds that despite threats from climate change and globalization, Fiji remains one of the most welcoming and gorgeous places on earth.
A graduate of Stanford University, Minal is the author of a critically acclaimed poetry book, Bountiful Instructions for Enlightenment, and editor of the groundbreaking anthology Out! Stories from the New Queer India. She is the recipient of several writing awards including a professional fellowship at the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism and a Fulbright senior fellowship to India. She is a co-founder of The (Great) Indian Poetry Collective. She created the Unicorn Authors Club to help authors finish books.
Jennifer Walker is a British-Hungarian writer who grew up between Hungary and the UK. A PhD in Physics first took her to Madrid, Spain, where she stayed for 7 years. After casting off her hat as a nuclear physicist, Jennifer grabbed a new hat as a writer. She completed a journalism internship in Tbilisi, Georgia, before moving back to Budapest to reconnect with her Hungarian roots. She now mostly writes about travel, food, culture, and language in Central and Eastern Europe. She has written for National Geographic Travel, Condé Nast Traveler, Oxford Dictionaries, BBC Travel, The Guardian, and The Independent, among others. For Moon Travel Guides, she is the author of Moon Budapest & Beyond and co-author of Moon Prague, Vienna & Budapest.
Although Hungary is in her blood, Vienna is her City of Dreams: its wide boulevards and old-world cafés continue to inspire her, as she walks in the footsteps of Klimt, Freud, and Mozart. She feels at home in Budapest's ruin bars and underground art hubs, Vienna's cafés and museums, and prefers to spend the summers under the colonnades in the historic spa towns of Central Europe rather than on the beach.
When Bethany Pitts was backpacking around the world in 2004, she found the most magical experiences in Ecuador. She'll never forget paddling silently through a jungle lagoon at night in a dug-out canoe, the water's surface covered with lily pads illuminated by fireflies. Returning to Ecuador in 2009, she realized there was nowhere on earth she would rather be and relocated there soon afterwards. She has spent the last decade exploring the country's astonishing diversity.
Bethany has worked as a translator, editor and writer, but her true passion is environmental activism. From indigenous defenders, she learned that community-led eco-tourism enables them to protect threatened ecosystems and unique ways of life. This led her to write Moon Ecuador & the Galápagos Islands with a focus on ethical travel. She is passionate about enabling travelers to make informed choices about how their visits can directly benefit Ecuador's unrivaled biodiversity, its warm, welcoming people, and the preservation of their ancestral traditions.
Originally from England, Beth lives in a small village on Ecuador's Pacific coast, where she has hummingbirds and passionflowers in her garden.