Joanna Biggar and Linda Watanabe McFerrin have served as editors, instructors, and workshop leaders on six journeys, each culminating in an anthology of stories and poems that lace together interwoven stories of a special place.
Wandering in Bali — A Tropical Paradise Discovered
(Wanderland Writers, 2012)
“Like renting a frangipani-scented hut, kicking back and sharing the sensory wonderland that is Bali with a bunch of your fast friends — if your friends knew how to tell really good stories.”
— Spud Hilton, Travel Editor, San Francisco Chronicle
“For centuries, Bali has drawn souls from east and west to its natural beauty, mystical spirituality, and captivating arts. this collection of stories, poems, and photographs offers multiple windows from which to view this engaging place, all presented with rhythms and moods as melodic as the sound of the gamelan.”
— Larry Habegger, Executive Editor, Travelers’ Tales Books
Wandering in Costa Rica — Landscapes Lost and Found
(Wanderland Writers, 2010)
When workshop leaders Linda Watanabe McFerrin and Joanna Biggar gathered a baker’s dozen of their favorite travelers and writers, they had no idea how transformative the journey would be. Nurtured and inspired in an environment beyond compare, the assembled explored Costa Rica, gathering tales from across the country.
From rainforests, volcanoes, tropical beaches, butterfly gardens, colorful towns and villages, the writers wandered the county and brought back a fine collection of stories that present Costa Rica in rich personal style.
Venturing in Italy — Travels in Puglia, Land Between two Seas
(Travelers’ Tales, 2008)
History abounds in Puglia: from prehistoric caverns to archeological sites of Greek cities and temples, from houses built in caves to stone trulli to medieval castles and fortresses. Today’s Puglia is vibrantly alive with unique local wines and cuisine, thermal spas in Santa Cesarea, championship golf courses and its own reggae music. Nineteen writers set loose in the region find stories everywhere they look. Be inspired to visit Puglia on your own voyage of discovery.
Venturing in Ireland — Quest for the Modern Celtic Soul
(Travelers’ Tales, 2007)
Venturing in Ireland showcases an irresistible collection of true stories that transport the reader to an Emerald Isle of dynamic, youthful jubilation, folk music-filled pubs, and coexisting modern and traditional cultures in a land where ancient stone tombs predate the Pyramids.
This anthology explores a variety of aspects of life in southwest Ireland, from luxuriant gardens to local stout breweries, from castles and ancient ruins to whale watching in the Celtic Sea. The writers plunge into the core of Irish culture, singing folk songs at a pub’s roundtable and set dancing in a small town’s hall. From Lismore Castle to Mizzen Head, they delve into the cultural riches of the Irish countryside, even meeting local nuns with an expertise in ancient stone circles.
Venturing in Southern Greece — The Vatika Odysseys
(Travelers’ Tales, 2006)
Made famous by Homer, the stunning hillsides and islands of southern Greece seem to have been forgotten by modern tourists. This exciting anthology invites travelers to expand their itineraries beyond Athens and explore the territory once roamed by Odysseus.
Filled with vivid accounts that transport the reader to the Peloponnesus, the collection depicts many facets of life in this beautiful region, from award-winning wineries to hiking trails, from household olive groves to ancient ruins. No longer threatened by the Cyclops, the island of Elafanisos is now a haven of beaches and tavernas. Monemvasia’s citadel is in ruins, but the town and surrounding vineyards thrive.
The writers plunge into Greek village life with abandon, learning to sing folksongs and dance to the bazouki, and sampling local wines, olives, and savory dishes. Entertaining and poignant, the essays capture all the charms, both ancient and modern, of this delightfully undiscovered region.
Floating through France — Life between Locks on the Canal du Midi
(Travelers’ Tales, 2006)
The Canal du Midi in the South of France distills the essence of la france profonde: an intensely rural langour, villages lost in the snooze of yesteryear, the good earth offering beauty to the eye and bounty to the table. And a canal slips through it.
With 12 writers, we potter along the canal and through these pages, singing with the shades of women troubadours, stepping into impressionist paintings, leaning into the tramontana wind, biking along a gardened bank where children search for butterflies. We munch garlicky olives, sip wines with strange-sounding names, consume a compelling cassoulet. We even learn to negotiate the locks.
“This book is a trip. I’m into it. I want to be on it.”
— Georgia I. Hesse, founding editor of the San Francisco Examiner & Chronicle’s travel section, holds the Ordre National du Mérite from the French government