What do you picture when you think of adventure writing? Hair-raising journeys through Sub-Saharan deserts, discovering new cultures or ancient civilizations? It can be all of those things – and more.
Adventure writing has the ability to transport you to the place you’re reading about: bringing it to life – from the unfamiliar script on a road sign, to the fragrant smells and sharp tastes of a local market, to feeling the rhythm of music beating through the air.
In this episode, we speak with author Maggie Ritchie, who travelled to Shanghai to research her new book, Bold Girls, in which two young Glaswegian women move to Shanghai at the turn of the 20th century. Maggie was nominated for the 2018 Wilbur & Niso Smith Adventure Writing Prize, so we wanted to find out how travel can inspire adventure writing, and in turn how adventure writing can inspire travel. We also speak to reporter Jennifer Lin, who travelled from Philadelphia to Shanghai to trace the roots of her Chinese family, a journey made possible through the written words of her grandfather.
When we travel, we go in search of adventure – but along the way, we often realise that it can also be found in the most surprising of places. It allows us to expand our horizons, reflect from different perspectives and maybe – just maybe – inspire us to put ink to paper ourselves, while we are on our own journey.
In the next episode, we’ll be looking at responsible photography: when you should – and perhaps shouldn’t – take that photograph.
Aimee is an in-house Senior Travel Editor at Rough Guides and is the podcast host of The Rough Guide to Everywhere. She is also a freelance travel writer and has written for various online and print publications, including a guidebook to the Isle of Wight. Follow her on Twitter at