Don George’s World Worsts
Name Don George
Who? A Lowell Thomas Award-winning writer who has served as Global Travel Editor for Lonely Planet Publications, Travel Editor at the San Francisco Examiner & Chronicle, and editor (and founder) of Salon.com’s “Wanderlust.” Currently Don is the creator and host of Don’s Place, a web site that focuses on the world of adventure travel, Editor-in-Chief of the online literary travel magazine Recce: Literary Journeys for the Discerning Traveler, and a contributing editor and book columnist for National Geographic Traveler. Don is also co-founder and chairman of the annual Book Passage Travel Writers Conference. He has published seven books, including The Kindness of Strangers and By the Seat of My Pants, and is making rounds on the lecture circuit.
1. Worst Night Sleeping on a cold, hard, fifth-floor door stoop in Siena, Italy. I’d arrived so late that no innkeeper would give me a room, so I finally curled up on someone’s welcome mat in a genteel apartment building.
2. Worst Culture Shock Flying from a year in pristine, hygiene-worshiping, personal space-obsessed Japan to chaotic, cacophonic, beggar-blessed Calcutta. What an assault on all the senses!
3. Worst Meal The octopus that ate Naples. In a tiny locals-only eatery, my wife and I ordered from the incomprehensible menu, trusting to chance. Chance delivered the biggest octopus in the history of Naples.
4. Worst Mistake Not realizing that my six-month-old daughter needed a passport to fly to Japan to visit grandma and grandpa – a fact discovered only at the airport check-in counter. Oops!
5. Worst Moment As a very young man in Paris, surfacing after a night of exquisite revelry, only to realize that the Metro was no longer running, I didn’t have enough money for a cab and about half the city lay between me and my apartment. Bon courage!