Editor Interview with Cities Talking

Cities TalkingWorld Words editor Joseph Reaney was recently interviewed by one of our clients, Cities Talking, outlining all the skills, tips and tricks required to compose great audio travel guides that entertain and inform the listener. Here was one of the questions…

Q. HOW DO YOU TACKLE A BRIEF TO WRITE A CITIES TALKING TOUR?

A. Cities Talking is a wonderful client. They provide a clear brief about the tour they wish to be written and have in-house researchers who send over a long document outlining each and every attraction en route. We’ll then scour these notes, pick out the interesting information and use this to create an entertaining and informative audio script. We also supplement this research with some of our own. In particular, we try to find interesting characters and dig into their personalities.

You can read the interview in full of the Cities Talking website. You will find some of the audio city guides we have written for this client, including on the beautiful European cities Amsterdam, Budapest and Prague, in our portfolio.

The Express Guide to Venice

Earlier this year, The Express and Monarch Airlines teamed up with the clear aim of creating a series of European city guides for their respective readers. And I am now delighted to confirm that I, along with my team at WorldWORDS, was selected to create the first six in their portfolio. All of these guides were recently published on The Express website, and you can find links to them below. I hope they come in handy. Happy travels!

THE EXPRESS GUIDE TO VENICE by Joseph Reaney (that’s yours truly!)

THE EXPRESS GUIDE TO BARCELONA | THE EXPRESS GUIDE TO ROME | THE EXPRESS GUIDE TO VERONA | THE EXPRESS GUIDE TO PALMA | THE EXPRESS GUIDE TO DUBROVNIK by Mandy (a WorldWORDS writer)

London’s Best International Dishes

Forbes Travel Guide has recent published my run-down of the tastiest international dishes to enjoy in London. England’s vibrant capital is one of the most multicultural destinations in the world, with more than 300 languages spoken throughout the city, and with foreign-born residents accounting for a third of the population. This diverse range of influences results in a great gastronomic smorgasbord – so I’ve selected some of the most interesting culinary treats currently being served up in the capital. From Indian vindaloo of ox cheek at Cinnamon Soho to finger-licking Jamaican jerk chicken at Cottons in Camden, you can read all of my recommendations right here.

A Stay at Exclusive Resorts Costa Rica

At the end of April this year, I was treated to five-day press trip to Peninsula Papagayo in Costa Rica, courtesy of the world’s leading luxury destination club Exclusive Resorts. It is an incredible resort in a beautiful location, and the varied activities on offer – zip lining through the forest canopy, jet-skiing around the peninsula’s bay, spotting dolphins on a cocktail-crazy cruise – were beyond my expectations. I subsequently wrote an article all about the destination club for Private Air Luxury Homes Magazine… and this has just been published! You can read it by clicking on the image, or this here link.

On a side note, my team of writers at WorldWORDS also penned more than a dozen articles for the latest issue of the magazine, on topics ranging from repurposing historic buildings in London to magical museum exhibitions in Geneva to legendary farm properties in New York State. You can read the majority of these in the WorldWORDS portfolio, and the rest on the Private Air site.

Audio Guides for Cities Talking

Since May 2013, I have written a variety of audio city walking tours for Cities Talking – and my team of writers at WorldWORDS have written even more!

You can now listen to extracts from one my more recent city guides, on the Castle District in Budapest, by clicking this here link – or if you’re allergic to shortcuts you can also go looking for it in the Eastern Europe section of the Guides & Itineraries page. And if you’re considering a trip to the city, why not download the entire three-hour walking tour through the Cities Talking site?

Plus, as an extra bonus thing, I did this here interview with them. Lovely stuff.

A National Geographic Runner-Up

Way back in October 2012, I entered National Geographic Traveller‘s annual travel writing competition. Now, a mere six months later, I have discovered I was the runner-up! Alas, I missed out on the rather wonderful prize of a 10-day polar cruise to the Norwegian Isle of Spitsbergen, but I did land myself a(nother) year’s subscription to a fantastic magazine! Far more importantly, my article was then also published in the May/June 2013 issue of Traveller!

My near-winning piece was called simply ‘The Flight’, and it began like this:

“I heard the plane before I saw it. Sitting mutely in a pallid departure lounge, the dirty put-put-put of the engine gradually trickled into my subconscious.

Rubbing my face, I turned to the runway and there it was: my peeling, patched-up biplane. My journey had begun…”

Read the entire thing by visiting the National Geographic Traveller website – or by clicking that image to the left.

P.S. Huge congratulations to the winner, Ben Taub. ‘Set in Stone’ is a beautifully evocative piece – a worthy winner!

The New London Correspondent for Forbes

At the beginning of January, I took on a brand new position as the London Correspondent for Forbes Travel Guide. The role involves contributing a monthly selection of Q&As on the British capital, ranging from handy hints like best city bars to cultural insights like quirkiest local customs, as well as writing two blog posts on London-centric topics during the month. With my latest blog published today, here are the four I have completed so far.

- Feast On These Ways To Celebrate Pancake Day … (11th February)
- Taking a Fashion Tour of London … (8th February)
- The Most Promising West End Musicals of 2013 … (29th January)
- Where Are The Best Views of London? … (17th January)

I will be contributing content on London every month for the foreseeable future, so you can can keep track of all my Q&A contributions on my Forbes biography page and watch out for my twice-monthly posts on the blog homepage.

Writing for Lime&Tonic London

For the last month or so I’ve been writing articles for the up-and-coming London travel guide ‘Lime and Tonic’, with entries so far covering everything from the World’s Smallest Police Station to the World’s Greatest House Museum.

And there’s loads more to come. You can read all my mini-entries – past, present and future – by clicking right here.

Off Mt. Everest’s Beaten Track

I feel like throwing up. My head is spinning, my stomach churning, my joints throbbing. I suck in a lungful of icy air but there isn’t enough oxygen. Yet still I ignore that pounding thought: ‘turn back, turn back’. After two weeks of physical and mental exertion, with my final destination only an hour ahead, I know I can’t give up now. So I plant a walking pole deep into the dirt track and drag my heavy body onwards. Slowly, I begin to move my legs, bend my knees, pick up my feet, and I struggle on through the white wilderness, closer and closer to the finish line. I’m going to make it.

That’s when it all goes black. Continue reading

Sleeping with Strangers in Busan

CouchSurfing provides the perfect antidote to a restless night… another one.

“I’m very sorry” he says, with a deep bow, as the door swings open. “This is all is left.” I look down at my bed for the night – five-feet long, two-feet wide and three-feet deep – and smile. “It’s perfect” I reply, as I unfold my blanket on the tiled floor. “Just knock if you need the toilet.” Continue reading