Ryan grew up in Santa Cruz, California, which he left at age 17 for college in the Midwest, where he first discovered snow. All joy of this novelty soon wore off. His first job was in Chicago at a small muckraking publication where he had the impressive title of Managing Editor because he was second on a two-person editorial staff and the first person was called Editor.
After a year of 60-hour weeks, Ryan took his first trip to Europe, which lasted for seven months and confirmed his long-suspected wanderlust. Since then his byline has appeared in scores of publications and he has covered everything from wars to bars. He definitely prefers the latter.
He wrote Lonely Planet’s Chicago and Moscow, co-wrote Texas, Canada and Western Europe, and coordinated Russia, Ukraine & Belarus, Great Lakes, Out to Eat – London, Netherlands, and Britain.
In the future, Ryan hopes to add more warm-weather destinations to this list, although covering places filled with pubs is a novelty that never wears out. He currently lives in San Francisco.