Written by: napr on: March 2, 2016,
in the category: Travel
Justin Fox is an award-winning writer and photographer based in Cape Town. He’s a former editor of Getaway International travel magazine and editor at large of Getaway. Justin was a Rhodes scholar and received a doctorate in English from Oxford University after which he became a research fellow at the University of Cape Town, where he now teaches part-time. His articles and photographs have appeared internationally in a number of publications and on a wide range of topics. He is a two-time Mondi journalism award winner (1999 and 2004). His recent books include The Marginal Safari (Umuzi, 2010), Whoever Fears the Sea (Umuzi, 2014) and The Impossible Five (Tafelberg, 2015).
What do you love most about your job(s)?
Travelling, writing and photography are the perfect combination for me. The travel is pure pleasure, the writing is hard graft and photography provides a playful artistic outlet
What are some of the most obscure places that your career has taken you?
Sleeping in minus 5 degrees in an ice hotel in the Arctic Circle and camping next to a flaming gas pit in the desert of Turkmenistan are pretty way out. I suppose the livestock market in Kashgar, western China, was also quite far off the beaten track.
What is it about travel that appeals to you most?
Constant change, unfamiliarity and the opportunity to try to process new experiences in words.
Where is the best place you’ve ever travelled to?
I love the northwest corner of Namibia (Kaokoveld and Damaraland) for the sublime beauty of the landscape and the chance to see desert rhinos, elephants and lions.
Where would you prefer not to travel again?
Rwanda. I found the dark shadow of their genocidal history deeply disturbing. Seeing the gorillas was a wondrous experience, but the trauma of the place and its people still lingers.
The next three places you’d like to visit:
Patagonia, New Zealand, Norway.
Do you have any advice for those wanting to follow in your career footsteps?
Don’t do it! Not if you want to make a decent living. Travel writing as a career is becoming more and more tenuous. You need to be a jack of all trades and prepared to do a lot of things other than travel writing and photography. That said, if you’re up for constant change and an unstable income, the adventure is the payoff.
Besides a love for travel, writing and photography, what else gets you excited?
Surfing and windsurfing are how I blow the cobwebs. And I am fascinated by World War II. Later this year I’m off to Normandy to explore the battlefields.
Your favourite local (SA) weekend-away spot is…
Langebaan Lagoon and Churchhaven in particular.
What do you miss most when you travel?
What are three things you can’t travel without?
Ear plugs, a good novel or three, a camera.
Top travel tip:
Every once in a while, go somewhere completely unexpected… somewhere you’d never even vaguely considered before.
For more from Justin, visit http://justinfoxafrica.wordpress.com and follow him on Twitter: @JustinFoxAfrica
All photographs: Justin Fox