Me (on the left) and Fernando, the final day of 2018

Me (on the left) and Fernando, the final day of 2018

Hi, my name is Andrew Collins. I live with my partner, Fernando Nocedal in Mexico City (along with two very friendly cats; our third passed away in 2019 at the age of 18). We live across the street from Museo Frida Kahlo in Coyoacán, a quiet, historic neighborhood a few miles south of the city center. I also divide my time between Portland, Oregon (where I was based previously for 10 years), and a tiny town called Washington, in New Hampshire’s Lake Sunapee region. I’ve also lived in Santa Fe, New Mexico and Manhattan at various times over the years.

Beyond moving among our home bases, we spend a lot of time traveling and road-tripping, mostly in Mexico, the United States, and Canada, but we try to get to a different continent at least once a year. Weird travel goal: To travel to every county in the United States. Currently, I’ve been to 2,294 out of 3,065 (including parishes in Louisiana and boroughs in Alaska) of them. You can track my progress here—and yeah, it looks like I’ll be spending a lot of the next few years traveling around the Upper Midwest if I’m ever to fulfill this dream.

We’re avid hikers and also love kayaking, and other strong focuses include movies (usually on the indie or at least unconventional side), architecture, art, gardens, and every manner of eating establishment (although I’m arguably even more drawn by interesting beer, coffee, wine, and spirits—and the places that produce them—than I am by the food).

The team of rivals—from left to right, Mister Grant (2001—2019), Parker, and Elliott—sunning on the patio at home in Coyoacán, Mexico City

The team of rivals—from left to right, Mister Grant (2001—2019), Parker, and Elliott—sunning on the patio at home in Coyoacán, Mexico City

I’ve written or edited more than 200 travel guidebooks for Fodor’s, and I’ve contributed to dozens of mainstream and LGBTQ magazines and websites over the past 30 years, from Out to Travel + Leisure to AAA Living to Four Seasons Magazine. And in 2017, the International Gay and Lesbian Travel Association (IGLTA) honored me as Travel Writer of the year.

On these pages you’ll find my writing on a variety of travel-related topics—favorite places, tips on what to see and what to avoid, recommendations on where to eat and drink, thoughts on living as a nomad (and splitting my time between two countries), advice on writing (I teach both travel and food writing for New York City’s Gotham Writers Workshop), useful guidance for LGBTQ travelers, and whatever else feels worthy of sharing. If you’re curious about any topics in particular, or you’re interested in hiring me for your next writing or editing project, please drop me a line—I’d love to hear from you!

Kayaking with Fernando on Millen Lake, in Washington, New Hampshire, where we live for part of each summer

Kayaking with Fernando on Millen Lake, in Washington, New Hampshire, where we live for part of each summer

My Professional Background

The first edition of Fodor’s Gay Guide to the USA, 1996

The first edition of Fodor’s Gay Guide to the USA, 1996

After graduating from Wesleyan University in 1991, I landed a job as an editorial assistant for the long-running travel guidebook publisher. After a couple of years, and having been promoted to associate editor, I decided I’d rather be out seeing and writing about the world than seeing it through the windows of a Manhattan office tower. So, on a bit of a whim, I decided to quit my job and try my hand at freelancing. That was 1993, and I’m still happily working for myself.

However, making a go of it was tough at first. Unable to afford rent, I gave up my apartment in Manhattan (I would live as a nomad, without a fixed address, for the next seven years). Realizing I needed to come up with a way to make a living, I pitched my former employer with a proposal to write the first LGBTQ travel guidebook produced by a mainstream guidebook publisher. They accepted my pitch, and over the next two years, I wrote Fodor’s Gay Guide to the USA, which earned a 1996 Lowell Thomas Travel Journalism Award from the Society of American Travel Writers, and I followed this book with six miniature versions of Fodor’s gay guidebooks on Los Angeles, San Francisco, the Pacific Northwest, South Florida, New York City, and Amsterdam.

One of three Moon books I authored in the early to mid-2000s

One of three Moon books I authored in the early to mid-2000s

The Pacific Northwest guide, one of several Fodor’s titles I currently contribute to

The Pacific Northwest guide, one of several Fodor’s titles I currently contribute to

Since that time, I’ve authored or edited hundreds of guidebooks, both for Fodor’s and Moon Travel Handbooks (for which I wrote guides to New Orleans, Rhode Island, and Connecticut). I still write about most of Oregon (including Portland, the Columbia Gorge, Southern Oregon, Eastern Oregon, and the Oregon Coast) and several parts of Washington (including the San Juan Islands and most of the I-5 corridor beyond Seattle) in the Fodor’s Pacific Northwest, Oregon, and Portland guidebooks; Santa Fe and Taos in Fodor’s In Focus Santa Fe; New Hampshire in Fodor’s Maine, Vermont, and New Hampshire; and about a dozen California, Oregon, Texas, New Mexico, and Utah national parks in Fodor’s National Parks of the West. And I’ll soon be working on Fodor’s first ever guidebook to Mexico City, which is due out in 2020.

I’ve been writing for New Mexico Magazine since 2002, back when I lived in Santa Fe, and for several years I served as the magazine’s copy editor.

I’ve been writing for New Mexico Magazine since 2002, back when I lived in Santa Fe, and for several years I served as the magazine’s copy editor.

I’m a regular contributor to New Mexico Magazine, and I’ve written hundreds of travel stories for both mainstream and LGBTQ newspapers and magazines, including the The Advocate, Out Traveler, Canadian Traveller, and Sunset. I’ve created LGBTQ content for websites and visitor guides for the DMOs (destination marketing organizations) of more than 20 destinations, including Oregon, Albuquerque, Denver, Guam, Fort Worth, Kansas City, Portland, Sacramento, Seattle, Sonoma County, and St. Pete-Clearwater.

For 10 years, I produced About.com’s LGBT travel site, and in recent years I’ve served as the editor of gay travel magazines about Hawaii, the Pacific Northwest, Texas, and California. I’m currently the editor in chief and restaurant columnist of The Pearl, a quarterly lifestyle magazine about Portland’s trendiest neighborhood. And since 2004, I’ve also taught classes on travel writing and food writing for New York City’s acclaimed Gotham Writers Workshop.