Carolyn McCarthy divined a future passion for exploration with her first word: door. Yearly childhood pilgrimages to her mother's native Quebec whetted an appetite for travel. After growing up restless in Massachusetts she made a break for Colorado, where she studied comparative literature and powder skiing while pursuing a BA from Colorado College. She later earned an MFA in creative writing from Emerson College and an ice-climbing certificate from a now-defunct Andean institute.
Carolyn has been writing about the Americas since 1998, when she bumped across Mexico and South America solo by bus. Her writing is informed by a concern for the natural environment and the everyday experience of those off the grid and outside of modern norms. Between wanderings she has taught English to executives in Buenos Aires, worked with immigrant families in the western U.S. and guided trekking trips in Patagonia.
On a good day, working for Lonely Planet means flying over the Beagle Channel or cruising the Amazon basin by canoe. A bad day means fleeing a bus fire, sampling the dodgy fare that won't get recommended or self-diagnosing intestinal bugs. Such misadventures make an occasional success all the sweeter. Her advice for those hitting the road: don't rush. Wandering can yield greater pleasures than racing to that so-called destination. And forget day packs. When tooling around pickpocket hot spots, it's best to tote your necessities in a plastic grocery bag.
Carolyn has coauthored Lonely Planet's Ecuador & the Galapagos and South America on a Shoestring, and contributed to Bluelist, The Middle of Nowhere and Travels with Lonely Planet columns. A contributing editor to South American Explorer, Carolyn has written for the Boston Globe and Spanish language titles. A former Fulbright recipient, she is currently working under a grant from Banff Mountain Center to write about northern Patagonia's fading pioneer culture. She lives in southern Chile.
You can follow her tracks at www.carolynswildblueyonder.blogspot.com