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Michele Bigley

Consult with me

Michele Bigley is the author of over thirty guidebooks, including Fodor's California, Fodor's Hawaii, Northern California: An Explorer's Guide, Backroads and Byways of Northern California, Backroads and Byways of Hawaii, and Rand McNally's Best of the Road Atlas. She contributes to CNN, Los Angeles Times, Via, San Francisco Chronicle, Islands, Afar, Boston Globe, Kia Ora, and many more. She teaches writing at University of California Santa Cruz and California State University of Monterey Bay. When she isn't exploring the world with her two sons and husband, you will most likely find her stand-up-paddling in the Pacific Ocean, dancing, or searching for beach treasures on the shore. She is currently working on a novel and a collection of essays on teaching her kids about the world through travel. 

Posts by Michele Bigley

You asked...we answered!

  • 1
    Do you prefer traveling alone or with a companion? Why?

    I love exploring the planet with my two sons and husband. I adore watching the way my kids interact with the world, and how excited they get at every new experience. Traveling with children gives you a different glimpse into community. People who might not have spoken to you, suddenly are more open, accepting. Of course when they are having tantrums about hiking up a mountain to find quetzals, or don’t want to eat sushi in Tokyo I occasionally pine for my days of solo exploration.

  • 2
    What's the most underrated destination in your opinion?

    Travel magazines give plenty of shout outs to Kauai’s premiere destinations, Hanalei and Poipu (which they should). But the west shore’s authenticity is unparalleled. Between low key mom-and-pop shops hawking sweets and quiet beaches, Waimea’s plantation era buildings and Kokee’s highlands, it’s hard not to become smitten with Kauai’s oldest small town.

  • 3
    What's your most exciting or surprising travel experience?

    When I was in college, I traveled around the world on a ship. I visited 11 countries. On this journey, I learned about forgiveness from South African students, gained insights into the beauty of nature in Kenya, visited an eco-village in India and hitchhiked through Japan. It definitely began my lifetime affair with wandering.

  • 4
    What is the most important thing you've learned from traveling?

    Respect. Keeping my eyes open to possibilities. That I cannot control anything. Perspective. There’s not one thing I’ve learned. Travel has offered a lifelong education. Just when I think I know about myself and the planet, I go somewhere that schools me on another way to live.