I took a cruise once. I needed to interview the ship’s doctor for a travel article I was writing for a lifestyle magazine for physicians. He dodged me. He demurred. He point-blank refused.
I persisted. For days. I thought about feigning illness. Or poisoning my mother. But eventually, I prevailed upon him to speak to me, sans recorder, off the record, deep background.
And the stories he told, as if he’d been waiting, all this time, for someone to pull the stopper out of his mouth… Stories of staff members falling overboard, of dead bodies stored in the freezer until the boat got back to port, of family members who would check their elderly ailing parents onto back-to-back cruises as a sort of subsidised assisted living.
Of course, they didn’t make the article.
As Porter Fox, a writer who has contributed to The New York Times magazine and Salon, laments, real narrative is disappearing from travel journalism, replaced with top ten lists and spa service beta.
So, Fox is dishing up an alternative. Nowhere magazine is about getting lost, about disappearing and discovering a real sense of place – places as uncensored as the anonymous co-pilot who reveals just what pilots and flight attendants get up to with all that duty free liquor.
Places like my favourite little patch of nowhere, Pemberton BC… which our feisty mayor defends in this month’s British Columbia magazine. The highway doesn’t end in Whistler, he pronounces. Whistler is tinsel. In Pemberton, the adventure really begins.