It was then that I realized that travelers need advice from experts in order to navigate their way through unfamiliar countries. I had a guidebook with some helpful advice but I felt that there was a lot I could add to it. I began to keep a diary of my experiences and, in particular, my observations about the idiosyncrasies of both local people and other travelers. I experienced so much on that backpacking trip—temples, paradise beaches, and lush hilltops during the day, and freakish full moon parties and a darker type of tourism at night.
It occurred to me that, while I was on holiday, working life continued for everybody else in Thailand. I was determined to travel with my eyes open and ensure that those glimpses of fantasy were tempered by reality. That’s what led to me to become a travel writer.