As an author and columnist, I've journeyed the world reporting on culture, nature and the curious human race. I 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 I got to spend six months in Beijing studying Mandarin and researching stories in the run-up to the 2008 Olympics and then moved to Rome--my favorite foreign posting--where I wrote on everything Italian, from Caravaggio to mozzarella.
My 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.
A collection of my travel writing, French Ghosts, Russian Nights & American Outlaws: Souvenirs of a Professional Vagabond, came out in 2014. It was described by Library Journal as "an inspiring, vibrant look at the myriad ways travel can impact and enrich our lives. This book is recommended for those with the travel bug, even if it's the armchair variety.”
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."
Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam
With students at the Catholic Institute of Kabgayi
A Frugal Traveler Reunion, New York Times, July 1, 2018
Simien Mountains in Ethiopia
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Me getting older at a teaching conference in Ethiopia
Middlebury Institute of International Studies, May 2017
Hollywood Farmers Market
Roman mosaic from the Vatican Museums
Mt. Etna in beautiful Sicily
My sister's favorite place in Armenia
From the delightful Parajanov Museum in Yerevan, Armenia
Teachers from Proshyan School
Climbing into Surb Astvatsatsin at Noravank Monastery in southern Armenia.
Photo by Susan Schiffer
Dreaming of a white Christmas in Ashtarak, Armenia
From my Armenian Host Family's Garden
Smithsonian, April, 2014
Due in April
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
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
Nonfiction, Travel, Human Interest
A new collection of travel essays by Susan Spano
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
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."
"Anyone who doubts that men, too, suffer in divorce should be required to read this."
"A rare, unusually focused anthology of original essays that both entertains and instructs."
APU International School
APU International School in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam
Books for travel lovers, in the Bay Area
All Travel from a real expert
Old Capitol Books
Meet the author April 25
New York Cares
Volunteering in NYC
The Peace Corps
The volunteer world
New York Travel Writers Association
Travel writers, editors, professionals
Advocates for published authors since 1912
Poets & Writers
A national nonprofit for creative writers
Politics & Prose
Independent bookstore in Washington, D.C.