‘The hardest part is making the decision to go. The rest is easy and will turn into one of the best buzzes you’ve ever experienced.’ (Africa on the Cheap)

These words, which encompass so much of the ethos of Lonely Planet, were penned by travel writer, Geoff Crowther, who passed away recently in New South Wales, Australia. Geoff’s pioneering writing was instrumental in the early days of Lonely Planet, and helped establish the spirit and independent style our guidebooks became known for around the world. 

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Geoff traveling in Kenya Geoff with Hyung Pun Crowther. ©Geoff Crowther

Geoff’s son Ashley described his father’s far-reaching life in travel in an email: ‘from hitch-hiking through post-war Europe while still in high school, to his travel writing later in life where he touched so many people that travelled the world through his experiences; from the Hindu Kush in Afghanistan to Patagonia in Latin America over the better part of 40 years.’ Geoff started working on Lonely Planet after running BIT, a travel guide linked to an ‘underground information centre’ in London of the same name. He authored first editions of Africa on the Cheap, South America on a Shoestring and wrote extensively about India in a landmark publication for Lonely Planet in 1981.  

These and other titles inspired countless adventures across three continents. Geoff worked either on the road or from the old banana plantation in Burringbar he called home. With huge energy he added countless other first editions to Lonely Planet's growing list over the coming years including Korea & Taiwan, Malaysia, Singapore & Brunei and Morocco, Algeria & Tunisia under both on his own and with Tony Wheeler, Hugh Finlay and many others. These books came with another iconic hallmark of his work: beautiful hand-drawn maps, which are still remarked upon by those who relied upon them. 

From all of us who either worked with him or followed in his footsteps, we’d like to say thanks for all of it, and offer our condolences and remembrances to Geoff’s friends and family.

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