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Tufts E-News --A Long, Strange Trip

Tufts E-News --A Long, Strange TripTufts graduate and longtime travel guide writer Tom Brosnahan has published a memoir recalling his adventures in Turkey.

Medford/Somerville, Mass. [09.11.06] Nearly four decades of experience as a travel writer has yet to dull Tom Brosnahan's thirst for adventure—or publication. To that end, the Tufts graduate recently published a memoir of his early experiences in Turkey, beginning with his time as a Peace Corps volunteer shortly after he graduated from Tufts.

TurkeyTurkey: Bright Sun, Strong Tea, Brosnahan told The Boston Globe, details his "decades-long love affair with Turkey," relating both anecdotes from his more than 50 trips to the country as well as Turkish history. The Turkish Daily News called it "a series of wonderful snapshots that provide insights into this travel writer's life and work."

After graduating from Tufts in 1967 with a bachelor's degree in history, he joined the Peace Corps and began teaching English to children in the Turkish city of Izmir. While there, he realized that the country "needed a book for the normal traveler who couldn't afford the Hilton and who traveled by bus," he recalled to the Globe.

Since his Peace Corps assignment required that he produce something that would aid in Turkey's development, he proposed a travel guide. In 1970, Brosnahan delivered an 800-page document to Frommer, a travel guide publisher in New York.

"That was the inspiration that changed my life," Brosnahan told the newspaper. He went on to write guides for Lonely Planet, Berlitz and APA-Insight, covering 12 locations across four continents, selling more than 4 million copies of the 40-plus guidebooks he authored, the Globe reported.

"In the old days...particularly with Lonely Planet, I was very often the first guy to actually collect the information," he told the Globe. "I can remember being in these tiny little towns in Belize with the pedometer...I would draw the map by walking all the streets and writing notes because there was no map. Then I would draw one up and send it to Lonely Planet."

Nowadays, Brosnahan has shifted his writing efforts to the web, maintaining two travel sites: and

He told the Globe that his site on Turkey attracted two million visitors from 160 countries last year. It has also been honored in the annual Lowell Thomas Travel Journalism Competition, sponsored by the Society of American Travel Writers Foundation. Brosnahan—who is fluent in Turkish and French—told the newspaper he plans to visit the country four more times this year to get fresh material for his website.

Despite dedicating more than half of his life to writing about Turkey and other foreign locales, Brosnahan isn't resting on his laurels. He is working on another book about the remnants of the Seljuk Turkish empire.

"This is perfect for me," Brosnahan described his passion for travel writing to the Globe. "It's one of the few situations where one's inclinations and abilities match up with a way to make a living."


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