Not to toot my own horn, but I’ve received my fair share of awards over my 40-plus year writing career. That said, I’m especially proud of the Lowell Thomas Award that Charles and I recently won for Resting Easy in the US. Not only is it a very prestigious award, but it also lends some credibility to this niche that we’ve been covering exclusively for the past 20 years.
This isn’t one of those feel good awards, and we didn’t get it because we are “special” or because we are doing something “noble”, We got it because Resting Easy is a darn good book. Period. And we competed right alongside the big guidebook publishers.
Now that may not seem like a big deal to you, but to me it’s huge. It specifically evaluates the quality of our work on a level playing field. And that’s something I’ve wanted for a very long time. I just wanted our books to be judged alongside those of our peers – other writers and publishers.– free of any perceived altruistic intentions.
And that’s especially important now that accessible travel has gone mainstream. Anybody and everybody is trying to cover it, and some of the attempts are massive failures.
For example, I recently read a web article about a place I’ve covered extensively. It touted the accessibility of the destination, and noted that the best hotel choices for wheelchair-users were on Main Street, because they were close to the popular restaurants. Not only was this article done by someone who hasn’t a clue about access, but they obviously didn’t visit the properties in question, as they unfortunately lack any truly accessible facilities. And I know this because I’ve visited those same properties, looked at the rooms, and opted not to cover them.
But I digress. Covering accessible travel is more – much more — than just encouraging folks to get out and see the world. It requires a heck of a lot of on-site research, the ability to organize resources, and the foresight to offer valid reasons for travelers to visit specific destinations. And that’s exactly what Charles and I do, and will continue to do.
And although I’d love to sit back and bask in the afterglow of our recent award, we’ve got work to do. Specifically, we’ve got four hotels we need to inspect today. It’s not glamorous, but it’s what we do. And I’m just happy that some folks happen to think we do it quite well. And that’s what this Lowell Thomas award really means to me.