John Borthwick

John Borthwick


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John Borthwick

A travel writer is a home body who’s almost never home. I’ve been writing and photographing distant places for three decades and then bolting back to Sydney to render them down to magazine and newspaper articles, and occasional books.

The latter include the travel collections, Summer In Siam, Chasing Gauguin’s Ghost and The Circumference of the Knowable World.

It all started with a hitch-hiking trip to Coolangatta in my teens and hasn’t ended yet.

In between I’ve managed to fit in, among other diversions, a PhD in travel literature and a swim at the North Pole.

Having frequently evaded domesticity, I’ve accumulated instead a slew of battered passports, note-books and a few accolades for journalism and photography.

Among those is a PATA Gold Award for best destination journalism and a Friend of Thailand gong, plus many Australian Society of Travel Writers’ awards for writing and photography.

Best trips? Sailing on the 200th anniversary re-enactment of the mutiny on the Bounty, from Tahiti to Tonga. Travelling with and filming the Penan nomads of Borneo.

Walking across Thailand in day. (Yes, it can be done.) The North Pole via a Russian nuclear-powered icebreaker. Himalayan trekking. Surfing the Maldives. And plenty of others.

My feature stories appear regularly in The Weekend Australian, Sydney Morning Herald, The West Australian and colour magazines.

I still like to surf and hope to never do so at Teahupo’o.


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