With almost a century of journalistic experience between them, Place Oddity draws together the diverse talents of Glenn A. Baker, John Borthwick and David Latta.
Two of Australia’s most experienced and awarded travel writers, and another guy, present their distinctive takes on destinations around the world.
Place Oddity is not just about the world’s weirdest places, although we’ll be covering quite a few of those along the way. It has more to do with a philosophy, a state of mind, a way of looking at the world that’s slightly skewed, a little off-centre.
Travel is a privilege as much as an adventure. It’s at its most compelling, and entertaining, when things don’t quite run to plan.
Get lost. Take chances. Ask questions. Laugh. Eat. Drink. Enjoy.
GLENN A. BAKER
Glenn A. Baker has been a professional travel writer for three decades, actively pursuing his observations of the planet in tandem with his career as an arts/entertainment/music writer and broadcaster. A visitor to well over a hundred countries and the seven continents, with all antennae waving, he was the winner of the inaugural Australian Travel Writer of the Year Award in 1995; a title which he won again in 2000 after being the runner-up in 1999. He is also a recipient of a PATA and a China Travel writing awards, and has contributed to more than 200 prestigious publications, including Conde Nast Traveller, Vogue, Luxury Travel, Cosmopolitan, Good Weekend, The Australian Magazine, Discovery, Signature, Vacations, Tatler, Prestige, Australian Financial Review Magazine, Australian Gourmet Traveller, National Geographic Traveller China, Get Up & Go and some 20 leading inflight magazines including PrivatAir, Swasdee and Silver Kris.
His travel books include Sydney In Black & White, Perpetual Motions, Faces Places & Barely Human Races, On The Road To Damascus (and Other Fabulous Thoroughfares) and Best of Baker: Travel. . In her Foreword to one, Jan Morris, the doyenne of travel writing, described the contents as “…a most exhilarating mix of instruments. There is brilliant reportage, there is a touch of memoir, there are sidelights of history, there are personal portraits and anthropological asides. In short, great reading, great wandering, great fun – yes, and great travel writing.”
Heard and seen over the years as a travel presenter on TV’s Good Morning Australia and ABC Radio’s national Night Life program, Glenn is a Life Member of the Australian Society of Travel Writers and served for three years on its guiding committee. In late 2011, he was again one of those honoured in its Travel Writer of the Year awards. In the words of former Australian Prime Minister, Paul Keating: “He can vividly conjure up images and feelings of periods which remind us of episodes in our own lives – like a kind of cultural photographer.”
“The best travel writing, after all, should enlarge our world,” the Australian newspaper has declared. “Baker’s adventures are anything but mundane,” according to the Sydney Morning Herald. “He nimbly sidesteps the obvious…it adds up to a fine romance.”
I travel a bit, take a few notes and a lot more photos. Come home (or at least to a halt), cobble them together into a story or two that publications might buy, or might not. Do it again. Here are a few of those tales and pics.
Thus you shall think of all this world:
A star at dawn, a bubble in a stream
A flash of lightning in a summer cloud
A flickering flame, a phantom and a dream.
Based in Sydney, Australia, David Latta (otherwise known as DL) is an award-winning editor, journalist and photographer. His work has appeared in scores of Australian and international newspapers and magazines including The Sydney Morning Herald, The Australian, The Australian Financial Review, The Courier-Mail and Travel & Leisure.
In the last 25 years, he has largely concentrated on travel and tourism, editing more than a dozen B2B titles and major conference and incentive travel publications.
He is the author of critically-acclaimed books on such subjects as architecture and design, Australian history, literary criticism and music. These titles include Lost Glories: A Memorial To Forgotten Australian Buildings, Sand On The Gumshoe: A Century Of Australian Crime Writing, and Australian Country Music.
Having completed his first work of fiction, DL is embarking on a supplementary career as a novelist. In preparation, he has been living inside his head. There’s no place like home.
As an arts commentator, humourist and trend-spotter, his opinions are sought across the gamut of traditional and social media. It’s Not Where You Start, It’s Where You Finish is DL’s companion blog, covering the arts, books, films, history and anything else that takes his interest. It can be found at http://www.davidlatta.org
He is currently living in Bali, working on a new novel and his tan, not necessarily in that order. A new blog, Bali + The Creative Sojourn, devoted to reflections on the craft of writing, expat life in Bali, and whatever else catches his fancy can be found at http://www.balithecreativesojourn.com