For more than three decades, my journalism career as a professional voyager and voyeur has taken me to places I’d never imagined and people I’ll never forget.
I’ve slurped scum-covered pond water during a week-long survival course in Utah and shared a bottle of rose with Peter Mayle in Provence; run a 15-foot gauntlet of blazing pine branches during Bhutan’s version of Pamplona’s Running of the Bulls and soared over Africa’s Victoria Falls in a contraption best described as a “lawn mower with wings.” I’ve interviewed the manager of London’s Reform Club as part of an eight-day, eight-country, round-the-world marathon to mark the 100th anniversary of Jules Verne’s death, and plumbed the secrets of a Libyan bath house as one of the country’s first post-sanctions American tourists.
Now, I’m facing perhaps the most daunting, yet exhilarating trip of my life – retirement in its official form and a leap into the unknown. Thanks to an offer from USA TODAY, I’ll be able to expand recent passions (here’s looking at you, iPhoneography) and explore new ones, from learning Spanish abroad to idling on a lakefront porch. I’ll always keep traveling – but for the first time, I’ll be intent on savoring the journey without fixed plans…or an arrival date. I hope you’ll join me via Bly on the Fly – it may be my best yet!