Lonely Planet Writer

76-Second Travel Show: 'Why are English travel writers better than Americans?'

Fifty years ago this month, John Steinbeck left on one of the most famous US roadtrips of all time -- as wrapped up in his book Travels with Charley. While trying to rediscover the 'monster land,' he does what most of us would do: falls in love with Montana and Maine lobster, takes a break at a swank hotel (Chicago's Ambassador East), has uneasy feelings of going home, and makes fun of Texans.

It's a travel classic. But is it good enough to topple the best of the English travel writing genre, with longer history and irresistible names like Nigel Tisdall? (That's not fair Nigel.)

Most say no.

I may concede defeat in travel, for now, but I take on UK Travel Editor Tom Hall at something else -- an English invention even -- with some different results.

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