Matthew Firestone is a trained anthropologist and epidemiologist, though he postponed his academic career to spend his youth living out of a backpack. To date he has authored more than twenty guidebooks for Lonely Planet, and covered far-flung destinations from the Darien Gap to the Dead Sea. His favourite destination is Namibia, where the stark beauty of the desert is completely overwhelming, though freshly sliced sashimi on any of Okinawa's beaches is a close second. When he's not in school or on assignment, he likes to spend his time exploring the American West with his parents, or catching up with the in-laws on the foothills of Mt. Fuji.