Meet Lara & Terry - The Grantourismo Writers

Authors of countless destination-focused feature stories, thousands of hotel and restaurant reviews, and over 40 travel guidebooks, husband-wife travel writer and photographer team Lara Dunston and Terry Carter have called hotel rooms their home(s) for the last four years. Not anymore. In 2010, they’re slowing down and opting for more space and time. Lara and Terry will be checking into holiday homes instead and partnering with HomeAway.co.uk to embark on a unique project, a contemporary grand tour of sorts they’re calling Grantourismo.

Perpetual globetrotters, Lara and Terry have experienced over 60 countries since they started travelling together in the late 1980s and have been based out of the Middle East since 1998. Since January 2006 they have literally lived out of their suitcases after putting their worldly possessions in storage in Dubai so they could have the flexibility to bounce around the
planet from one assignment to another.

It’s this experience and freedom to move that make them the ideal candidates for this exciting, yearlong, round-the-world adventure.

The couple wrote and updated guidebooks for Dorling Kindersley, Lonely Planet, Rough Guides, Footprint, AA Guides, Fodors, Insight, Thomas Cook and Hedonist’s Guides before deciding that there must be more lucrative ways to make a living as travel writers. While they loved the way guidebook research allowed them to get beneath the skin of a place, they’re just as delighted to fly into a destination for a few weeks on commissions to meet artists, writers, chefs, and musicians, because in their opinion the most pleasurable part of travel is the people you meet in the places you go to – another reason they’re so excited about the Grantourismo project, and why one of their aims is to learn to live as much like locals in the two weeks they have in each place as they possibly can.

Over the years, Lara and Terry have found themselves writing – and Terry shooting photos – for all forms of media. They’ve done everything from create walking tours on Paris for the Sony PSP product to research Middle East personalities for a Lonely Planet TV travel documentary series. Their words and pictures have appeared everywhere, including National Geographic Traveler, Wanderlust, The Independent, USA Today, Hemispheres, Paperplane, Get Lost, Lifestyle+Travel, Voyageur, Emirates Open Skies, Gulf Life, J Mag, Connect, M Lifestyle, Ritz-Carlton and Four Seasons magazine, BBC History, Sydney Morning Herald, Melbourne Age, and Sunday Telegraph, and have been syndicated in dozens of newspapers from the Houston Chronicle to Chicago Tribune.

They also have wide experience creating online content. They are NineMSN Travel’s Dubai Insiders, destination experts for Triporati, and write for Viator, as well as scribbling their own travel blogs. Lara reflects upon the things she finds cool (and not so cool) about travel and travel writing at Cool Travel Guide while Terry writes about photography, food & wine and travel on his blog Wide Angles, Wine and Wanderlust .

Lara and Terry have written on a wide range of areas, from luxury travel to eco-tourism, campervanning and culture, to food and wine and fashion. They both have a handful of degrees, Lara in filmmaking, writing, cinema studies and international studies, Terry in media studies, film and photography. In a former life, Lara had careers in academia, filmmaking and PR while Terry worked as a technical writer, book designer and publishing manager. They don’t plan on returning to any of those any time soon.