One of my first trips: Italy, aged

four. And already with an attitude.


After graduating from the University of Edinburgh in the UK with a master's degree in English Language and English Literature, I worked as a writer, researcher, copy editor and editorial assistant for various environmental organisations near Geneva in Switzerland, including the International Academy of the Environment, the World Conservation Union (IUCN), and the headquarters of the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF International).
I later decided office life wasn't for me, so I wandered off to China, where I taught English-language and teacher-training students at the University of Sichuan in Chengdu, where I acquired a taste for chilli and pingpong.
I subsequently taught English as a Foreign Language in language schools in Switzerland and Australia before launching my third career, over 20 years ago, as a freelance travel writer and magazine editor.​
Born in Nigeria of Irish parents, you might say I was destined to become a travel writer: I've lived in the UK, Switzerland and China, and now call Australia home. The author of three travel books, I'm also one of Australia's leading freelance travel writers.

A full-time author and travel journalist, I'm now based in Sydney, Australia. ​I write freelance travel articles for the Escape travel section of News Ltd newspapers (Australia's highest-circulation Sunday newspapers), and the Traveller section of leading Australian broadsheets The Sydney Morning Herald and The Age, for which I also write a weekly cruise column. I also work for leading international in-flight and travel magazines, and online for notable travel websites such as Nine MSN, Yahoo!, Escape and Travel Intelligence. For a full list of the publications I write for head to the TRAVEL WRITING tab on the menu above.


My first travel book Boxing with Shadows, about my experiences of three years living in China, achieved critical success in 1996 and  was reissued in 2006. It was followed by Into the Never-Never: Travels in Australia and a travelogue on Sicily, Sicilian Summer

I've also been a contributing author to three anthologies on the best of Australian travel writing, and spent nearly three years as editor of leading Australian travel publication Vacations & Travel magazine. I've collaborated with Southern Star Productions on documentary scripts for television, such as the Vanishing China series about ethnic minorities in China.

In both 2004 and 2006 I won the prestigious Australian Travel Writer of the Year Award, judged on a portfolio of work by the Australian Society of Travel Writers. I was short-listed for prizes in both 2005 and 2007, and shortlisted as Editor of the Year in 2010 for my editorship of Vacations & Travel magazine. I won further awards in the Best International Story category in 2010 and 2012.​ I also won the CLIA Cruise Industry's Media Award in 2016.



                I regularly post my latest

                  articles, travels and

                  thoughts on travel topics

                  on Facebook.

  • Wix Facebook page
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My Twitter account 
@WanderWithBrian also links to articles and other travel commentary.
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I also have an Instagram account where I post  travel photos.
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I also have a professional
presence on LinkedIn.
BRIAN JOHNSTON. Thoughtful, useful and honest travel advice. Always.

© Brian Johnston 2017 all rights reserved. No material to be reproduced in whole or in part without prior written permission.