About “Cleared for Takeoff”

The editors and travel experts at Triporati bring you Cleared for Takeoff - the Triporati Blog. Our intentions are to inspire, motivate, and entertain you with stories about the world that are thoughtful, informative, or just plain fun. Let us know how we’re doing at feedback@triporati.com.

Our bloggers:

Larry Habegger is Triporati’s editor-in-chief and cofounder and executive editor of Travelers’ Tales, where he has edited dozens of books including Travelers’ Tales Australia, India, Ireland, and Thailand. He is a writer, editor, journalist, and teacher who has been covering the world since his international travels began in the 1970s.

As a freelance writer for almost three decades and syndicated columnist since 1985, his work has appeared in many major newspapers and magazines, including the Los Angeles Times, Chicago Tribune, Travel & Leisure, and Outside. In 1993 he cofounded the award-winning Travelers’ Tales Books where he has helped oversee the development of the company’s publishing program and has worked on all of its 100-plus books. He is also author of the safety and security column World Travel Watch that since 1985 has appeared in newspapers in five countries and on travel web sites.

Habegger is an inspiring writing teacher and coach, emphasizing the craft and art of the personal travel story. He regularly teaches at writing conferences and in private workshops. Get more information at LarryHabegger.com, TravelersTales.com, BestTravelWriting.com, and ProseDoctors.com.

Triporati’s Managing Producer Darya Mead has traveled ever since a trip to the UK as a four-year-old with her family—one of her earliest memories. Her globetrotting started as a student at the United Nations International School in NYC where she spent 12 years learning in a truly international environment. After graduating from Wesleyan University, she headed abroad. Fluent in French, Darya has lived and worked in both England and France.

A journalist by training, her first job was as an intern at the Village Voice. She wrote and produced travel content for network and cable television for more than 10 years at Preview Media, Preview Travel, and CNX Media in San Francisco. Photo and video shoots have taken her around the world to Greece, Switzerland, Australia, Fiji, Brazil, Iceland, Costa Rica, and other places. She has also worked as a producer at Tech TV- Americanizing and reformatting Anime series and BBC programs to suit Tech TV cable channel style. A recent stint in advertising added to her production repertoire.

An avid travel journal writer and photographer, she finds blogging to be the perfect outlet for her talents. Darya lives in San Francisco with her husband and two sons whom she is grooming to be world travelers.

Pepper Schwartz is Professor of Sociology at the University of Washington in Seattle. She holds a B.A. and an M.A. from Washington University in St. Louis, where she was a Woodrow Wilson Fellow, and an M.A. and Ph.D in Sociology from Yale University. She also serves as the AARP love and relationship ambassador and is the chief relationships expert at Perfectmatch.com.

Most Argentines couldn’t pick out North Dakota on a map, but when they learn that Wayne Bernhardson was born in Fargo, all the moviegoers in Buenos Aires bow down in homage. He grew up in Washington state, though, and made his first venture into Latin America at age 13, when he crossed from San Diego to Tijuana.

Since then, before and after finishing a PhD in Geography at the University of California, Berkeley, he has visited every South American country except Venezuela, and has lived and traveled for extensive periods in Argentina, Chile, and the Falkland Islands. He married an Argentine, owns an apartment in Buenos Aires, and has authored Moon Handbooks on Argentina, Buenos Aires (including coastal Uruguay), Chile, and Patagonia (including the Falklands).

Wayne resides in Oakland, California, with his wife María Laura Massolo, their daughter Clio (when she’s not at university in Santa Cruz), and their Alaskan malamute Malbec (named for Argentina’s rich red wine). Every year after the World Series he packs his bags to spend four to five months roaming southern South America. He can be reached by email at southerncone@mac.com.

Danny Palmerlee is a freelance writer and photographer based in Portland, Oregon. He is the main author of numerous Lonely Planet travel guides, including Argentina, Best of Buenos Aires, South America on a Shoestring, Ecuador, Baja California, and Yosemite, Sequoia & Kings Canyon National Parks. His most recent guidebook is Pacific Northwest Trips, a book of short trips around the U.S. Pacific Northwest.

Palmerlee’s work has appeared in the Los Angeles Times, Miami Herald, San Francisco Chronicle and The Dallas Morning News, as well as other publications throughout the U.S. and the world. Palmerlee has been interviewed for the “Travel with Rick Steves” radio show and has appeared on Lonely Planet Television and local news stations. On a recent research assignment in Baja California, he drove 4800 miles in 42 days, ate 111 tacos and was bitten by a black widow spider. His current obsession is baking bread. See his blog at www.travelburro.com.

David Stanley has spent much of the past three decades on the road. He has crossed six continents overland and visited 196 of the planet’s 245 countries and territories. His travel guidebooks to the South Pacific, Micronesia, Alaska, Eastern Europe, and Cuba opened those areas to budget travelers for the first time.

For his first trip across the Pacific in 1978, Stanley bought the longest ticket ever issued in Canada by Pan American Airways. Since then he has returned many times, visiting and revisiting the islands. His career as a travel writer began with the letters he wrote to Bill Dalton and Tony Wheeler, the pioneers of budget travel to Asia in the 1970s. That feedback soon led to guides of his own, published by Avalon Travel Publishing and Lonely Planet. With over a million copies sold, he’s still on the road writing guidebooks.

Though Stanley has traveled widely and become a specialist on many parts of the world, he always keeps returning to his favorite area, the South Pacific. One of the biggest treats for a guidebook writer is meeting people who are using a handbook. David researches his books incognito and the “mystery shopper” approach means he can’t always admit who he is, but it’s still fun hearing what unsuspecting readers think of the book. The author of Moon Fiji, Moon Tahiti, and Moon South Pacific, Stanley enjoys receiving mail from those who have used his guides. His website www.southpacific.org provides contact details. Also see his photo site, Pacific-Pictures.com.