2002 SATW Lowell Thomas Award

Lonely Planet’s global travel editor Don George received top honors, the Gold Award, in the Internet Travel Article category of the 2002 Society of American Travel Writers (SATW) Lowell Thomas Travel Journalism Awards.

George’s article, ‘Impression: Sunrise at Uluru’, ran in his bi-weekly column on Lonely Planet’s website. The chairman of the judge’s committee commended George’s ability to convey an experience of place, saying that ‘sometimes in a foreign place, the traveler connects — not to the people or the history, but to the land, the light, the smell in the air. It does not happen often; when it does, I go weak in the knees with awe. George showed me how that happened to him, and he evoked the times when — in other places — it has happened to me. He didn’t lead me to think that this is why one goes there, and he didn’t intimate that it would happen to everyone, but he communicated perfectly how it happened, there, to him.’

The competition, open to all North American journalists, recognizes and rewards outstanding travel journalism in categories for newspapers, magazines, books, Internet media and individual articles. Winners were recently announced at the 47th annual SATW convention in Honolulu. A record 1,470 entries from North American journalists competed in 28 categories for the most prestigious honors given in the field.

‘It’s a tremendous honor to receive this distinguished award,’ said George. ‘My Uluru (Ayers Rock) visit turned into one of those transformational experiences travel sometimes offers us, and I am deeply pleased that I could share this connection and the lesson I took away from it.’

Don George joined Lonely Planet in March, 2001. Previous to coming to Lonely Planet, George was travel editor of the San Francisco Examiner and Salon.com’s Wanderlust. George’s latest project, A House Somewhere: Tales of Life Abroad (Lonely Planet Publications), has just been released. With an introduction by George and co-editor Anthony Sattin, this book draws together some of the biggest names in contemporary travel writing — including Isabel Allende, Paul Theroux, Peter Mayle, Frances Mayes, Jan Morris, William Dalrymple, Pico Iyer and Simon Winchester — to share their intimate stories of settling down and making a home in a new land.

For more information, visit the SATW website.