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Beth Reiber

Consult with me

Growing up, Beth Reiber couldn't wait to get out of Dodge. She got the travel bug at 16, after being chosen as one of a dozen U.S. Girl Scouts to spend one month in Sweden, where, to her delight, she learned scouting was co-ed. With degrees in German and journalism, she has worked for a Kansas newspaper, lived in Germany selling freelance travel articles to newspapers across the United States and edited a travel magazine based in Tokyo. She has also visited some 50 countries, contributed to more than 55 publications and websites and written nine guidebooks, including Frommer’s guides to Japan for more than 30 years and Frommer’s guides covering Hong Kong, Macau and Branson. Her latest is Frommer's EasyGuide to Tokyo, Kyoto and Western Honshu.

Posts by Beth Reiber

You asked...we answered!

  • 1
    What is the most important thing you've learned from traveling?

    Traveling defines who I am, so it’s difficult to imagine what I’d be like if I’d followed a more traditional path. Certainly I’d have made more money as an employee with a steady paycheck than as a free-lancer, but I’d probably also be more uptight and less able to go with the flow. Because go with the flow is what it’s all about when traveling, and it’s the unexpected—and being able to embrace it—that sometimes makes a trip better than imagined or not as bad as it could have been. Traveling has taught me that experiences are better than material things, that there are a million ways of looking at things, and that curiosity and compassion feed the soul. With that philosophy, it doesn’t matter where I am. Even my backyard can be a jungle.

  • 2
    What's your favorite mode of transportation? Why?

    My own two feet is my favorite way to explore my surroundings. I live a five-minute walk from downtown so that I can walk most places I need to go. In a new city, there’s no better immersion than walking, whether it’s from lower Manhattan up its spine to Central Park or from Hong Kong’s Tsim Sha Tsui to Mong Kok. When writing and updating guidebooks, I spend my days exploring cities one neighborhood at a time, and by the end of, say, a month in Tokyo, I’ve seen more of the city than most Tokyoites care to see. For greater distances, from city to city, I prefer public transportation because it’s the best way to see the country like a native. In all my years of travel, I’ve rented a car only once, in Ireland, and though it was a blast (I loved asking directions; the answers were always soliloquies!), it didn’t compare to that train ride to Jaisalmer or the bus to Cusco.