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Mark Stratton

Thailand - Ethical-Elephant-Tourism-Om-Koi-William-and-his-mahout-1920x1080.jpg

Can ‘ethical’ elephant tourism ever be truly ethical?

A new project in Thailand

Hello. Thank you for stopping by to look at my website. 


I have made a living over the past 19 years as a travel writer, photographer, and radio broadcaster, placing my work in many national and international magazines, newspapers, travel websites, and on BBC radio. On this site you will find my latest publications, musings and recordings 


After years of backpacking around the world thinking about what to do with my life, I began writing stories and sending them optimistically into national publications. Some got published but most of them were ... ahem ... awful. So I decided to study a master in Journalism at the brilliant London School of Printing. Ever since then I've been earning my living by travel writing and journalism.


I find most interest in off-the-beaten track assignments and draw no boundaries as to where I travel. Having a great story that entertains readers and perhaps helps to change lives for the better in the places I visit is what really matters to me. 


Greenland 2007 - Kangerlussuaq Airport.jpg
Ecuador_Hummingbird_ Andean Emerald.jpg

I take my own photographs and have had many large photographic spreads in the publications I write for.  I've also exhibited my photographs at various times including a show in 2010 in Basel featuring African tribal portraits.


I love learning new skills on the job. Once I dropped by an eco-lodge in Ecuador and a wildlife photographer was teaching the skill of photographing hummingbirds. It's never too late to learn and I couldn't believe how few different f-stops transformed my usual blurred attempts to photographs these critters' furious wingbeats into lovely portraits.

I know what it is like to put in the work to work to succeed in the travel media.  Being a travel writer takes an ability to organise your travels and negotiate with airlines and tourist boards and tour operators as well as write well. It seems the skill of writing is sometimes lost to the urgency and transience of social media but there's no substitute for a well-written piece that is free from shameless advertising. So over the years I have taken great delight in passing on such tips in the form of lectures and teaching.


I have given seminars at the Adventure Travel Show on writing for Wanderlust Magazine and appeared on advice panels for Nat Geo Traveller's Travel Geeks seminars.

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Okay, the self-portrait may be like something out of Vietnam in the '60s but in recent years I have taken to radio broadcasting for BBC Radio 4 and BBC World Service. I love the freshness and immediacy of reporting in the field. My first documentary was a half-an-hour feature reporting on the world's largest butterfly for BBC Natural History Unit. I spent a week sleeping on a mud hut floor trying to think of inventive ways to charge up my recording kit in a primitive but welcoming village.


Since then I have been a regular with more current affairs based story for the prestigious From Our Own Correspondent.

It starts with the 173 is my occasional blog focusing on my travels abroad and at home in Dartmoor. All my journeys, whether it’s a 4-day schlepp to Pitcairn Island or a 3-week boat journey across Micronesia, begin with the local country bus #173 from my home in Chagford to Exeter.


I hope the blog can offer some advice to travellers as to how to get the most out of their trips. If I have been sponsored by somebody I tell my readers as I prefer not writing advertorials.

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