ontravel's podcast

Journalists Paul Lasley and Elizabeth Harryman have been covering the world of travel since flying was fun. Today they cover all aspects of travel from gear to destinations and interview those who shape the future of travel. All podcasts are created first as broadcasts that reach all Americans in embassies, consulates, scientific research stations, and all those posted overseas
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Dec 7, 2017
Orlando Ashford, President of the Holland America Line, was the keynote speaker at this year's National Conference for the Society of American Travel Writers. He speaks of the transformative power of travel to open minds, build connections, and be inspired by our shared humanity.    SaveSave
Dec 4, 2017
Jeff Bracken, Group Vice President and General Manager of Lexus joins Paul and Elizabeth at AutoMobility, the Los Angeles Auto Show. Jeff reveals the secret behind the morpho butterfly's brilliant blue wings, which Lexus engineers have captured on one of their top-of-the-line sports cars. How did Lexus do it? We'll find out. Plus, Jeff also talks about the sport utility vehicles that Lexus is introducing, including one with a 7,000-pound towing capacity.   SaveSave SaveSave
Dec 4, 2017
The late Norman Lewis is widely regarded as one of the great travel writers and his book Naples '44: A World War II Diary of Occupied Italy, one of the great works of travel writing.
Naples 44 is now a film, and Director Francesco Patierno joins Paul and Elizabeth along with producers Francesca Barra and Davide Azzolini to discuss how the film came to be and how faithful it is to the spirit and legacy of Norman Lewis' great book.  
Details on Naples 44 can be found at IMDB. There are brief moments when our guests are speaking in Italian but how this film came to be made is fascinating. 
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Dec 1, 2017
Paul joins Scott Steele and tours the Lan Su Chinese Garden in Portland, Oregon. The garden was created in a downtown city block by craftsmen both from the local area and China. Today it's recognized as one of the best outside China.  SaveSave
Dec 1, 2017
Jennifer Dombrowski reports on her 6th visit to Iceland, a land she is admittedly fascinated with. She joins Paul and Elizabeth from her home in Bordeaux, France to share some of the insights she got from this trip which included a visit deep inside a volcano.      SaveSave
Dec 1, 2017
Lisa Christy with the Portland Japanese Garden shares garden lore with Paul and Elizabeth in the new library and visitor center at the garden. Widely considered one of the finest Japanese gardens in the United States it's creation was the result of Portland community action years ago.     
Dec 1, 2017
Shane Dallas joins Paul and Elizabeth to talk about something many don't think of when discussing Ireland ... having a luxury vacation in one of its historic castles.   SaveSave SaveSave SaveSave SaveSave SaveSave SaveSave SaveSave
Nov 27, 2017
Wanna make a living in travel? Roger Dow, president and CEO of US Travel Association joins Paul and Elizabeth to discuss the latest data on travel jobs. Turns out that travel is a huge economic engine driving not on the economy but jobs and job creation in the U.S.
Nov 27, 2017
Lowell Thomas award winner Cory Lee has seen and experienced more of the world from his wheelchair than most travelers will ever accomplish. He joins Paul and Elizabeth to share experiences and give some tips that are sure to inspire and encourage anyone who is physically challenged.   SaveSave SaveSave
Nov 27, 2017
Award winning Holland America Line executive chef Rudi Sudaimin joins us to talk about the great food you get when going on a Holland America cruise.    SaveSave SaveSave SaveSave
Nov 22, 2017
2016 TravMedia Travel Journalist of the Year April Orcutt is also a travel reporter for the LA Times. She joins Paul and Elizabeth to talk about her recent trip to the Maldives Islands, and why it's called the Carribbean of South West Asia.   SaveSave SaveSave SaveSave
Nov 16, 2017
Dave Caranci, Manager of Creative Development for Walt Disney Imagineering, joins Paul to talk about the role of Imagineers in creating Halloween in CarsLand at Disney's California Adventure and how that holiday morphs into Christmas. Paul and Elizabeth chat about holiday travel.   SaveSaveSaveSave SaveSave
Nov 14, 2017
Pierre Zreik is the Managing Director of one of the best luxury resorts in Oregon's wine country,  The Allison Inn and Spa. He talks with Paul about what really makes a great hotel and it isn't price.  SaveSave SaveSave
Nov 13, 2017
Mark Jaronski, new CEO of Select Registry, joins us to talk about their remarkable portfolio of small inns and B&Bs and what makes a great inn. We also learn that while a great in depends on who the innkeepers are, price may also reflect some indication of its quality.    SaveSave SaveSave
Nov 13, 2017
Tom Savio knows more about trains than anyone else we know, but he's also a huge fan of the circus. Tom reveals his lifelong love of the Circus and his visit to the last great bigtop. Tom and Paul also also discuss how they survived the 70s and the Summer of Love. SaveSave SaveSave
Oct 21, 2017
Ken Price, historian of Chicago's Legendary Palmer House hotel,  joins Paul and Elizabeth in the hotel museum and chats about the remarkable history. With 145 years of history the hotel remains one of the legendary hotels in America. Ken talks about the famous and infamous and even tells how the hotel had the first vertical transportation system. 
Oct 17, 2017
Avoid clichés like the plague. Here’s a 60-Second Travel Writer Tip from LA Times Travel Editor Catharine Hamm: Cliches are easy to latch onto because they grow from kernels of truth but become so shopworn that they lose their punch. Worse, they can weigh down your otherwise crisp prose. They also can date you. The expression “hotter than a two-dollar pistol” originated in the 1800s. It stuck around long enough to become a lyric in a 1963 George Jones song. It’s probably time to put that cliche out of its misery, along with “hot enough to fry an egg.” Whenever you’re tempted to use a cliché—think of a more creative way to say what you want to say. Here’s a word to the wise: Most editors have an ax to grind when it comes to clichés. Really, it drives them to drink and they won’t beat around the bush in telling you that such prose bores them to tears and is as dull as dishwater. Let’s let those little phrases fall by the wayside, shall we?  For SATW professional development, I’m Westways Travel Editor Elizabeth Harryman. SaveSave
Oct 17, 2017
In your writing, watch out for redundancies. Here’s a 60-Second Travel Writer Tip from LA Times Travel Editor Catharine Hamm:
All bullies are mean, all jinxes are bad luck, and all redundancies are repetitive. We’ve all done it, and it’s embarrassing when we don’t catch it. Sometimes these creep into our writing because they’re part of the vernacular and they don’t sound wrong. Here are some to watch out for: Past history, Small village, Tiny berg, My own personal experience, The reason is because, General public, Advance planning, Exact replica, Still remains, Serious heart attack, About half a mile or so, Close proximity, Song lyrics  Make every word count by scrutinizing your sentences and plucking out those phrases that take too many words to say one thing. Otherwise, you may look like a foolish half-wit.
For SATW Professional Development, I’m Westways Travel Editor Elizabeth Harryman. SaveSave SaveSave SaveSave
Oct 16, 2017
Like what we wear, the way we write and talk changes. Certain things go in and out of fashion. But lately, we’ve noticed a bad fashion choice – the use of the word “so.”         Here’s a 60-Second Travel Writer Tip from LA Times Travel Editor Catharine Hamm:
The word “so” we’re talking about is not the “so” that means therefore: “It rained so I took my umbrella.” Or the “so” that intensifies something. “That movie was so long.” We’re talking about the word “so” that’s become a space filler. In interviews, you’ll often hear an exchange that goes something like this: “When did you become a travel writer?” “So, after I graduated from college, I took a gap year.” In writing, you may encounter: “So despite a 10-run lead, the Dodgers never let up.” The sentence can stand without the “so.” It becomes a space filler in the vein of “like” or “you know.”
Think of your writing this way: You have a word budget, say, a story of 500 words. How you spend your writing capital is up to you, but using fillers like “so” is a waste. Best make expenditures on strong nouns and verbs that get right to the heart of the matter. So…for SATW professional development, I’m Westways Travel Editor Elizabeth Harryman.   SaveSave SaveSave
Oct 16, 2017
Active voice makes for vibrant prose. Here’s a 60-Second Travel Writer Tip from LA Times Travel Editor Catharine Hamm.
When we write, “The lumberjack chopped down the tree" or “Serena Williams crushed the shot over the net,” you can picture the action. But sometimes, we paint word pictures in the passive voice. That means that what should be the strong subject of the sentence becomes the object of the action. In the lumberjack example, the sentence becomes “The tree was chopped down by the lumberjack.” Not as strong. Passive voice can be a useful tool. You might say, “The window was left open.” – if you don’t want to accuse someone or start a fight (or, if you’re writing a murder mystery and you don’t want to reveal a spoiler).
If you’re not sure whether passive voice works, try the sentence both ways. The right choice will be made by you. Or, you’ll make the right choice. For SATW professional development, I’m Westways Travel Editor Elizabeth Harryman. SaveSave SaveSave SaveSave
Oct 16, 2017
Being a talented writer is just the beginning. To be successful, you also have to be great to work with. I’m Westways Travel Editor Elizabeth Harryman, and here’s a 60-Second Travel Writer Tip.          Be professional. That means turning your story in on deadline, on word count, and make sure the copy is as clean as you can make it—grammatically correct, with proper spellings. And don’t trust spellcheck or auto-correct. If your editor asks for a rewrite, rewrite cheerfully. It doesn’t mean you’ve failed. It just means the story can be even better. We editors have to rewrite, too. How you handle the rewrite can make or break your relationship with an editor you haven’t worked with—consider it your literary audition. Follow directions. An editor’s job is to make your story better. If the editor is good, you’ll be glad you had the chance to rewrite. It’s teamwork. Be great to work with, and you’ll get that next assignment. For SATW professional development, I’m Westways Travel Editor Elizabeth Harryman. SaveSave SaveSave SaveSave SaveSave
Oct 16, 2017
It seems like, increasingly, publications want shorter and shorter articles. Don’t let that throw you. I’m Westways Travel Editor Elizabeth Harryman, and here’s a 60-Second Travel Writer Tip.          You can write tight and bright by following a few rules:
  • Use Active Voice: Don’t say, “My story was ruined by an editor.” Say: “An editor ruined my story.”
  • Use Action Verbs: Not: “The story is an illustration.” Say: “The story illustrates.”
  • Use Simple Tenses. Not: “I’m planning to write.” Say: “I plan to write.”
  • Beware of Prepositions. Instead of: “The heart of the city.” Say “The city’s heart.”
  • Use Adjectives and Adverbs Sparingly. Use strong nouns and verbs instead.
  • Be Specific. Just because you have a tight word count doesn’t mean you can’t use detail. Go in greater detail about fewer things. Be selective, not inclusive – choose one or two things to illustrate your point.
Think of your article as a kind of haiku. Short, but sweet. For SATW professional development, I’m Westways Travel Editor Elizabeth Harryman. SaveSave SaveSave SaveSave
Oct 16, 2017
Quotations are one of a writer’s most useful tools. I’m Westways Travel Editor Elizabeth Harryman, and here’s a 60-Second Travel Writer Tip.          Which of these two bits of text is more compelling: In Chesky Krumlov, a local guide in period dress gave us a tour of the town and explained that in the 18th century, this was the crossroads of Europe. Or: In Cesky Krumlov, a man wearing a black frock coat and white ruffled collar approached us from across the cobblestone town square and introduced himself. “My name is Joseph Anton; we’re in the 18th century, and I am the town scribe,” he explained as he led us up a narrow street lined by baroque and Renaissance houses. “We are at the crossroads of Europe.” Quotations and dialogue enliven your text and propel the narrative. Not sure when to use them? If it’s just a statement of fact, put it in your own words. If the person you’re interviewing says it better than you can, use the quote. For SATW Professional Development, I’m Westways Travel Editor Elizabeth Harryman. SaveSave SaveSave SaveSave SaveSave SaveSave SaveSave
Oct 15, 2017
Paul and Elizabeth chat with the new President and CEO of Fantasy Fest, Nadine Grossman Orr. She talks about taking Fantasy Fest to new artistic and creative levels. This year's Fantasy Fest will feature such great events as the Zombie Bike Ride and a Pet Masquerade. Of course, there will always be the amazing costumes seen everywhere in Key West.      
Oct 15, 2017
Pat Foley, CEO of Lufthansa Technik Puerto Rico, joins Paul to talk about the remarkable aid effort that Lufthansa has made following Hurricane Maria. He discusses Lufthansa's role in Puerto Rico and the fact that their base there does skilled technical maintenance on planes. Since their hangar stood up to Maria, they were able to use it as an aid base for many of their people, some of whom have lost everything. Foley also talks about the close working relationship with the University of Puerto Rico.
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