Who’s Who in Travel: Everett Potter
Global Adventuress is delighted to announce this month’s Who’s Who in Travel, Everett Potter– journalist, speaker, author, editor-in-chief and publisher of Everett Potters Travel Report.
Everett Potter is a well seasoned travel columnist for USA Today and currently contributes to ForbesLife, Robb Report and The Ritz-Carlton Magazine. For decades, Potter’s work in journalism has taken him around the world. He has written about everything under the sun that has to do with travel. Including two books, The Best of Brazil (Crown Publishers, 1989) and Cave Pictures (Kaldewey, 1981), and features in countless columns and publications. Potter was a contributing editor to ForbesTraveler.com and has worked as a consultant on the Forbes 400 list of the World’s Best Hotels.
He is an in-demand speaker and a valued expert opinion on any travel expedition. He holds a emeritus board membership in the Adventure Travel Trade Association, as well as membership in the Society of American Travel Writers and a past president of the New York Travel Writers Association.
Potter has made dozens of guest appearances on television and radio and has been seen and heard on NBC’s Today Show, CNN, Fox, Bloomberg Radio and NPR’s All Thing Considered.
Potter earned a BA in English Literature from Boston University and an MA in English Literature from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. His home is just outside New York City, where he lives with his wife and daughter. In summer, they can be found in Maine.
Interview with Everett Potter
How Did It Start: How old were you when you discovered your passion for travel? And what inspired you to start Everett Potter’s Travel Report?
I was writing novels in my garret on the Upper West Side of Manhattan when I had a chance to go to China for three weeks in 1984. It was mind-blowing to be in a country just emerging from the Cultural Revolution, a place that was primitive and fascinating and closer to the 1930’s than the 1980’s. I came back and sold my first freelance story to The Washington Post and it went on from there. I started Everett Potter’s Travel Report a decade ago to showcase my work and now I have 40 plus contributors who’ve joined me.
Travel Advice: What is your best travel advice? Top 3 suggestions for travelers.
Walk and walk and walk. Walking is easily the best way to experience a new place.
Visit food markets and supermarkets and you’ll get closer to the culture. Everyone needs to eat and watching how they do it in Singapore or Casablanca or Santiago is a sure fire way to feel that much more connected to a culture.
Do something that the locals do and tourists don’t. Last summer was a very hot summer in Switzerland and my family and I made a point of swimming at local beaches and local beach clubs along Lake Geneva on both the Swiss and French shores. Swimming may be swimming, but the customs, rules and etiquette are different. Note to self: pack the Speedo, because trunks are banned.
Travel Trends: What are some of the trends you see developing in travel? What should travelers look out for when they travel? How can travelers give back when they travel?
I see an increasing number of people striking off on their own, forsaking the guidebooks and the given advice. That’s true in adventure travel and in more mainstream travel. When I first went to Iceland in 1989, it was well off the beaten path. Now it’s a weekend getaway for New Yorkers. This trend does make it harder to find a place that hasn’t been explored.
What should travelers look out for? Look where the crowds are going and then walk the opposite way. I can’t guarantee that it’s always a better experience, but it will be something that you’ll remember and it’s up to you to create the adventure.
Travelers can give back by volunteering if there’s an opportunity. I’ve actually helped students with their English in rural China, for example. The easiest way to help is by reaching into your fat American wallet and donating to a worthy and bona fide organization that supports whatever you happen to believe in, whether it’s Doctors without Borders or the Appalachian Mountain Club.
Next Trip: You’ve traveled extensively, where are the next 5 places you’re excited to explore? Where are you off to next?
Let’s see, on my list is a chance to ski the amazing powder in Niseko, Japan. A hike along the Mont Blanc Circuit. A few weeks in Patagonia. Vietnam. India. That’s five. I’m off to Anchorage next week to speak at the Adventure Travel World Summit. After that it’s Montana in early October.
Perfect Travel Day: If you could be in 3 countries in the world in one day, where would you be in the morning, afternoon, and evening – and what would you be doing?
I’d make the travel part of my day. I’d start with a classic café breakfast in a Vienna coffeehouse, such as Café Mozart, just behind the Opera House, with its ancient waiters and café mélange. Then I’d dash to the train station and take a long train ride through the Swiss Alps and enjoy a leisurely lunch with Swiss white wine, in First Class of course, because I’m guessing that you’re paying. As the sun sinks low, I’d disembark in Como, Italy and take a ferry a few miles along Lake Como to a place I know in Moltrasio called La Baia for a lakeside dinner. Can I go now?