I’m a writer, mainly for magazines, work that has given me opportunities to meet amazing people, some well-known and others no less fascinating because they’re not known at all, and to travel widely. I lived in South Africa and Israel and return frequently on reporting assignments.
Curiosity is my fuel. I’m interested in people, the work they do, what they believe even if I don’t share those beliefs, and how that shapes how they live and the choices they make. I yearn to know who, and why, things are the way they are. When I look at maps or see the names of places, I am curious to know what they look like, and who lives there. My questions, and editors, have sent me around the world, to about 70 countries and all 50 U.S. states.
I’ve written about the crossroads of religion and culture, the loss of splendor and regaining a sense of wonder. I was with Diana Nyad when she was training for her heroic swim from Cuba to Florida. Nelson Mandela once dressed me down for asking questions that rubbed him the wrong way. I played golf with Gary Player and took lessons from the late, great Ben Witter. I’ve been stranded in the Sahara, lost in the dark in Death Valley, and I've been to a few places when I knew exactly where I was -- and was eager to be somewhere else right fast. I’ve cruised in Antarctica and hiked in the Arctic. I traveled from Jordan to Tunisia to ask Muslim clerics and scientists about Islam and science. I’ve encountered monks and mystics, soldiers and gangsters.
My work has been recognized with eight awards by the American Society of Journalists & Authors, most recently in 2018 for a story about the Japanese obsession with baseball, and three Lowell Thomas Awards, the top American honor for travel writing, including gold in 2015 as Travel Journalist of the Year. I’ve been the recipient of grants from Investigative Reporters and Editors, the Pulitzer Center on Crisis Reporting, and the Lily Foundation for Religious Writers, among others.
My work has been anthologized in Best Travel Writing, Best Jewish Writing and Best American Science and Nature Writing, and has appeared in dozens of languages and several hundred titles around the globe, among them the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, National Geographic Traveler, Israel's Haaretz, The Australia's Good Weekend, Aeon, Salon, Nautilus, and many more. From time to time I've picked up a camera, and the shots on the site are mine, including the cover shot of Forbes FYI (though the other covers are not mine). When I’m not in the field, I’m at my desk, and elsewhere, at my home in Philadelphia.