Born and raised in the historic UK city of St. Albans, John grew up in the lengthy shadow of London, finding as many opportunities as possible to gorge on the capital?s rich diet of museums and galleries. Slowly succumbing to the lure of overseas exotica, he arrived on Canada?s West Coast in 1993 to begin an MA in Political Science at the University of Victoria. Regular home trips to Britain ensued, along with stints living in Tokyo and Montreal, before he returned to British Columbia to become a full-time freelance writer in 1999.
Now living in the heart of downtown Vancouver, with a view of snow-capped mountains from his window, John specializes in travel writing and has contributed to more than 120 different publications around the world. These include the Guardian, Independent, Los Angeles Times, Chicago Tribune, Sydney Morning Herald, CNN Traveller, Travel + Leisure, Global Magazine, US Airways Magazine, British Airways High Life and BBC News Online. He also writes regularly for the travel section of the Toronto Globe and Mail and has a monthly travel column in BC Business Magazine. His stories are archived online at http://www.johnleewriter.com. John has worked on eight Lonely Planet titles, including Canada, British Columbia, Western Europe, Vancouver and Europe on a Shoestring.
Ever-addicted to new experiences, John?s favourite trips have included the Trans-Siberian Railway, trekking in New Zealand?s Whirinaki rainforest and building his own igloo in the Canadian wilderness. He still has a strong affinity with the UK and visits several times every year to hit as many old pubs as possible, pick-up as much tea as his suitcase will allow and scoff as many bags of cheese and onion crisps as his body will take.