‘I Was Writing a Guidebook to a Country That No Longer Exists’

Travel Blog  •  Michael Yessis  •  10.10.11 | 9:08 AM ET

Kate Grace Thomas updated the Lonely Planet guidebook to Libya just before the Arab Spring. As the country turned violent, the book was quickly put on hold. Yet Thomas found herself itching to return to Libya. She writes about her experiences in Guernica:

War is not my beat. I knew that. But Libya, somehow, was. I went in December to tell its stories—stories of nascent tourism and marvelous ruins, stories of deserted beaches and drinking sugary tea in the winter wind. And now, there were more stories to tell.

(Via @writinginpublic)

3 Comments for ‘I Was Writing a Guidebook to a Country That No Longer Exists’

Azeem @ Travel Tamed 10.11.11 | 12:31 AM ET

The world itself is a great place to live. The beauty in how it was created by the creator no longer exists. Human beings have forgot their duty to preserve it, instead war has become an everyday routine to many. Sometimes it becomes a wonder to think that those machines and bombs which man created exist to destroy man itself!

“We make a living by what we get, but we make a life by what we give.” - Winston Churchill

Greg 10.15.11 | 1:23 AM ET

I honestly never thought about Libya before March of this year.  I’ve tried looking past the bombs, guns and smoke on tv to the architecture and beaches and I must say it does look like a beautiful country.  I think if I were to travel there I’d have to get the best insurance policy possible and use a service like SOStravelers so that I’m never more than a phone call away from assistance… ya just never know!

Robert Reid 10.27.11 | 7:56 AM ET

Great article.

Reminds me a bit of Lonely Planet’s USSR first-edition guide. A monster to create from scratch, and put on the bookshelves about a month after the nation dissolved.

As Thomas says in her article, “The guidebook I researched was a guidebook to the past.”

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