You may have heard about a site called ChatGPT, where you can try out an artificial intelligence (AI) writing tool. Depending on the user, the technology (created by OpenAI) has generated a combination of excitement and fear.
Almost like magic, you can give it a prompt and, within seconds, the chatbot will spill out prose about any subject imaginable, in the style you request. You can even ask it to sprinkle in some typos and grammatical errors if that suits your purpose.
Seventh-grade theme paper about the significance of the Battle of Hastings, complete with a run-on sentence or two? Piece of cake. Outline for a dystopian mystery novel set in Victorian England? No sweat. Presentation on the importance of widgets for your next Monday meeting? Take the weekend off — you’ve got it covered.
And since it’s original copy, more or less, teachers, editors, or your employers theoretically can’t… Continue reading
By Bob Waite
There are tragedies far more consequential than the inability of a travel writer to travel.
It’s just that I can’t think of any at the moment.
My travels ended in late January 2020. As related on this site, I visited Japan, Vietnam, Laos, and Cambodia. The month prior I had been in China.
Then the world shut down.
Subsequent planned trips to France, Jordan, Israel, Ecuador, and Panama were all postponed or cancelled. My travel was largely confined to trips to the kitchen for subsistence; to my office to teach my college students remotely; or to the family room to watch sporting events or movies.
The highlight during this period of enforced stasis was the rearrangement of the condiments in our fridge alphabetically, A-Z. And then reversing them.
But — Omicron variant permitting — brighter days have arrived. I have begun traveling again… Continue reading
Whenever I tell someone I first meet that I’m a travel writer, I’m almost invariably asked the same questions.
They usually involve some variation on “What’s your favorite place in the world?”, “How do I get your job?”, and/or “Can I come with you?”
Depending on my mood at the moment, I may give one answer — or another — because some answers invariably lead to further discussion, while others almost always cut it short.
So here is my list of travel writer FAQs — with sometimes varying answers.
- What’s your favorite place in the world to visit?
If I have the time and inclination to talk, I say “Yap.”
I pick Yap because not only do I like it a lot, but hardly anyone has ever heard of it, so it leads to stimulating conversation.
Yap is a group of small islands in the far western Pacific… Continue reading