Travels with Susan Spano

By Susan Spano; May Smithsonian magazine

Spring time on the Central Coast of California

Due in April

Susan teaches French to First Graders in Monterey

Sunrise at Borobudur, island of Java, Indonesia

Jalama Beach, Central Coast, CA

David Hockney's Mulholland Drive: The Road to the Studio, 1980, LACMA

A market in western Sicily

Carpinteria Bluffs Preserve

Arnoldi's of Santa Barbara

La Serenissima

The French coast near Mont St. Michel

Delta of the Danube River, Romania

Powell Plateau on the North Rim of the Grand Canyon


The Libyan Sahara

Carrizo Plain, California

Potala Palace, Lhasa

Travels with Susan Spano

Photo by Susan Schiffer

Author, columnist, traveler Susan Spano has journeyed the world reporting on culture, nature and the curious human race. She launched the still-running “Frugal Traveler“ column for the New York Times, then joined the staff of The Los Angeles Times which sent her to the City of Light from 2003 to 2006 to start the popular travel section blog “Postcards from Paris.”

After that she spent 6 months in Beijing studying Mandarin and researching stories in the run-up to the 2008 Olympics and then moved to Rome--her favorite foreign posting--where she wrote on everything Italian, from Caravaggio to mozzarella.

Her articles have been anthologized in collections like Making Connections: Mother-Daughter Travel Adventures and A Woman Alone: Travel Tales from Around the Globe and have also appeared in the Financial Times, Chicago Tribune, Smithsonian, National Geographic Traveler and Redbook. She is the co-author of two books: Women on Divorce: A Bedside Companion and Men on Divorce: The Other Side of the Story.

Susan's new travel collection, French Ghosts, Russian Nights & American Outlaws: Souvenirs of a Professional Vagabond, is due out this month from Roaring Forties Press.

If you're in the Berkeley, CA, area on Saturday, April 19, head for the Solano Art Walk, where you'll find Susan signing books at Multiple Threads. She'll be teaching a travel writing workshop in the Earth Week geodome at the Monterey Institute of International Studies on Thursday, April 24, from 5:00 to 6:30 p.m., and signing books at Old Capitol Books in Monterey at 5:00 p.m. on Friday, April 25.

Meanwhile, people are talking about this book.
Tony Wheeler, co-founder of Lonely Planet, says,
"Susan Spano manages that most important travel writing feat: making you want to pack your bag, grab your passport and go!"
Mary Taylor Simeti, author of On Persephone's Island, adds,
"Urged on by a lively curiosity and a large dose of courage, Susan Spano introduces us to unusual destinations, often tempting and invariably interesting."
And you can't even get it yet.

Awaiting a Peace Corps post in months to come, she's learning how to teach English to foreign language speakers at Monterey Institute of International Studies.

Monterey is lovely. Check out her most recent article on Fort Ord or spend a lost weekend with her on the Sonoma Coast.

Susan's 2014 edition of the Best Small Towns in the U.S. is in the May issue of Smithsonian magazine.

Selected Works

Tracking Colette in Paris and Burgundy
A draught sinks Lake Powell, revealing lost wonders of Glen Canyon
Rome's Most Roman Neighborhood
Studying Mandarin in Beijing
Around the world and back to New York
Nonfiction Book
Divorce. Why do we do it? And what does it do to us? fourteen prominent writers have pondered these questions and have set down heir thoughts and personal stories, in this gathering of sometimes irreverent and always intelligent essays. "A disarmingly candid, invaluable collection." --Publishers Weekly
"Anyone who doubts that men, too, suffer in divorce should be required to read this." --Glamour Magazine "A rare, unusually focused anthology of original essays that both entertains and instructs." --Publishers Weekly

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