Writer and Photographer Amanda Castleman specializes
in travel, adventure, pop culture and the environment.
Her work has appeared in Afar, Outside, Sierra,
Islands, Wired, Salon, BBC Travel, Delta Sky, Robb
Report, Sport Diver, Bon Appetit, Cooking Light,
Coastal Living and The International Herald
Tribune, as well as the Guardian and Sunday
Express. Despite her yoga-and-yogurt
tendencies, she's a former wilderness guide. Her
Honduras scuba article won a Lowell Thomas award
(travel writing's ersatz Pulitzer).
has contributed to 30-odd books, including Greece,
A Love Story and Rome in Detail, as well
as titles for National Geographic, Frommer's,
Michelin, DK Eyewitness, Time Out and Rough Guides.
by birth, this author spent eight years in Europe,
after earning a B.A. in Latin and Classical Studies.
She lived on a traditional narrowboat, moored on the
Oxford Canal in England. She also endured two years
swilling espresso in Italy, as a Visiting Writer at
the American Academy in Rome, then ranged further
afield to Greece, Cyprus and Turkey. Seattle, her
native city in the Pacific Northwest, is once again
her home base.
the last few years alone, assignments have taken her
far afield to Grenada, Bonaire, Brazil, Guyana,
Colombia, Panama, Spain, France, Italy, Scotland,
England, Belgium, Holland, Switzerland, Botwana,
Kenya, Uganda, Japan, Taiwan, Thailand, Samoa, Fiji,
Tahiti, Australia, New Zealand, The Cook Islands and
Papua New Guinea. Two recent favorite trips let her
deep sea fish in Alaska and scuba dive with migrating
salmon in British Columbia. She also held a writer's
residency at the Mineral School
near Mount Rainier, WA.
has launch-edited a Silicon-Valley startup and a
British entertainment-and-current-affairs magazine
chain. She covers business for American Express's
magazine and has consulted on SEO and marketing for
companies ranging from Island Outpost to a Parisian
parfumier. She recently captained the rebrand of
Writers.com, the Internet's first writing school.
has also worked as an editor, staff writer, graphic
and web designer. Amanda now teaches a Travel
Writing Master Class online and a week-long workshop in
Rome, next occuring in spring 2018. Bring her an
apple and she'll reveal the best espresso in the
Giselle Abraho in
as a Hurricane's Eye
Winner of the Lowell
Thomas bronze, 2007, adventure writing
Road and Travel: Everything in Honduras is slow, slow
as I've never experienced. Heat leaches muscle fiber,
skeletal strength and all ambition. Coral sand grits
under my bare feet, after the espadrilles unlace. Even
the lightning pulses long and lazy on the ocean's
horizon. Tropical diving downshifts yet another gear,
if such a thing is possible.
At the Seashore with
A Marriage Unravels in Athens
Greece, A Love Story: Plum shadows
outline the Parthenon. This buttress of land, the art
upon it – defying time and Turkish detonations
– are so ancient. The moon even more so, a
bruised apricot. My woes, suspended briefly between
the two, have no weight.
Sea to Sky
Sky: Whether its via land, lake, sea or slope,
adventures abound in Seattle’s big, beautiful
The Afar Guide
Afar, January 2016
Go soon, while the spectacular trails, dive sites, and
waterfall grottos of Dominica ("Dom-in-EEK-a") remain
quietest place in the US
BBC Travel: (Photos and text) Natural noises flow
undisturbed by humans for quarter-hour stretches here.
In fact, the park ranks first among the last dozen
places like this in the continental United States.
Nowhere in Europe does quiet – the undisturbed
heartbeat of the land and its animals – still reign to
such an extent. Activists are now pushing to make the
Hoh the world’s first quiet zone, the sonic equivalent
of a Dark Sky Reserve, by the park system’s centennial
Nonna: Sharing Space and Time With Seatmates
APEX Experience Magazine: My essay on holiday
travel and compassion fatigue kicked off Afar's
Good Reads column for 2017!
Guyana: Running Naked in
Travelgirl Magazine, photos and text: From baby-cradle
water lilies to stretch-limo river otters, South
America’s only English-speaking country surprises. But
can it push further – protecting its tropical
rainforest and indigenous culture – with a clever
Pictures: Happy 50th Birthday, Dear Kenya
Yahoo: A slideshow of my images from the Maasai Mara,
Samburu and Diani Beach.
to eyeball with Canada’s migrating salmon
BBC Travel: My brain froze as I submerged into the
cold water of British Columbia’s Shuswap Lake. But the
discomfort paled as I watched sockeye salmon –
hundreds of cherry-tinted fish with moss-green heads –
turn overhead like a kaleidoscope. At the end of an
epic 4,000km journey, they were waiting to swim the
final leg upstream to spawn and die.
into Polynesia’s heart by cargo ship
Travelgirl Magazine, text and photos: The Aranui
moves purposefully among the islands, but I’m adrift.
Seven years out of a catastrophic marriage, I still
apologize to cupboard doors when I slam them too hard.
It’s tedious — for me and for the love of my life, a
wonderful man who doesn’t deserve this inheritance of
mistrust and uncertainty.
GEICO Now: Bring a sense of adventure and discovery to
your next vacation with workshops that stretch your
skills, from the kitchen to the corral and even the
Cuisine: Why Pork May Be the Number One Threat to
Bon Appetit: Pigs always make customs officer Chris R.
Richards’s blood run cold.
He can confiscate bush meat, $5,000 bird nests—even
grave dirt—without much drama. But anything involving
pork tends to get heated…and to skid quickly toward
“Take away their ham, and people shout, bang the
table, and throw things," he says.
in Wild Blue
Single State of the Union: The ship
slid from the dock, my dreams churning in its wake. I
wanted so very badly to go, go, go, get gone from the
tulip fields, the silage and sleech of Skagit
Valley... Read more travel stories.
Tapping the Subconscious Grace of Palau
Sport Diver Cover story: Hundreds of red snapper swirl
like a galaxy, thick enough to block sunlight. For
only three days each year, they gather in this
fathomless deep to spawn during a full winter moon. I
arc away from the reef, spindling toward the great
ball of fish, enthralled. Buffalo stampeding. Locusts
swarming. My mind fumbles for a sense of scale... Read
more dive coverage.