I am an author, journalist, and travel writer. After growing up in rural Maryland, I began exploring the world, working as a bartender in Australia, editor in Thailand and Laos, correspondent in India and Sri Lanka, and bouncer in the Florida Keys.
Along the way, I have written on travel, crime, politics, archeology, and civil wars – both contemporary and historical – for outlets like the BBC, NPR, and Christian Science Monitor. I am also a regular author for Lonely Planet, where I have contributed to dozens of guidebooks, covering an alphabetical spread that ranges from the Andaman Islands to the Zimbabwe Border and every continent barring Antarctica (one day!). My essays and articles have featured in multiple non-fiction anthologies, including “The Places We’ve Been: Field Reports from Travelers Under 35,” and “Inheriting the War: Poetry and Prose by Descendants of Vietnam Veterans and Refugees.”
I am also an MFA student concentrating in fiction at the University of New Orleans, winner of the 2018 Gulf Coast Association of Creative Writing Teachers’ first place graduate fiction award, and finalist for the 2018 Samuel Mockbee Creative Non-Fiction award. Beyond journalism, travel writing and fiction, I’ve written advertising copy and analysis on foreign policy for Jane’s Information Group). I am always available for hire, and can go anywhere.
The title of this site comes from a few places. In general, I love walking and movement, the process of going from one place or phase to another. Ever since I read it in the Songlines, I’ve always loved the phrase: “Ambulare pro deus” – Walk for God. It’s an old Latin commandment that is almost a sacrament, a pilgrim’s expression of faith in the journey.
But there’s a specific story behind Walk On Fine. In the Caribbean and West Africa, standard English is massaged into West African patois. Patois is truly a different language, not just an accent, and its rhythms and syntax are deeply expressive. While working in Cameroon, I took a crowded shared taxi between two towns in the Northwest Highlands. It was dark, and the car was so crowded – five or six in the backseat, three in the front – we passengers could not see each other.
An old man asked to be let out at a stop and crawled over my legs. He looked me in the face as he exited and his eyes grew wide. In this part of rural Cameroon, it was rare to meet anyone who wasn’t black African. Once outside of the car, he looked back and bid everyone goodbye. “Bye. Au revoir.” Then he turned to me. “Hey. Walk on fine.”