WHEN Kim Wildman told her friends she would one day be a travel writer for Lonely Planet, they rolled their eyes and laughed.
A few years on and the Bangalow-based writer is recognised as one of the top100 travel writers in the world.
The list, compiled by popular travel website Tripbase, awarded Ms Wildman for her sense of adventure and passion for solo travel.
“I had heard of Tripbase for a long time, but I had no idea how they came across my stories,” she said.
“I was surprised and honoured to be on the list with a lot of writers that I really respect.”
Ms Wildman wrote a guide book for Athens and contributed to var-ious other regional guidebooks, including Africa, which is her favourite destination.
Some of her most exciting adventures include having dinner with a Transylvanian Count and walking through the West African jungle to find an ancient hidden fortress.
But the freelance writer has had her fair share of horror stories, too.
“I was held at gunpoint in South Africa. I was in a township and a white person walking around in a township is something you shouldn’t do,” Ms Wildman said.
Ms Wildman lived in South Africa while studying at university before moving to Bangalow, where she continues to write about her overseas journeys.
Despite having a job most people dream about, Ms Wildman admits it doesn’t mean she sits on the beach sipping cocktails, ‘casually tapping away on her laptop’.
“You are running around talking to managers, public relations people, looking at hotels and talking to locals,” she said.
“But sometimes you come across somewhere and think ‘if I tell everybody about this then they are going to be coming here’ and it changes what it is for you, why you liked it and why you went there in the first place.”
The travel enthusiast already has 21 countries under her belt, and will make that 22 in March when she embarks on a trip to Ethiopia.
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