I'm Alex Robertson Textor. I am a travel writer and editor based in London. I'm not in the image above, however, and nor is London. The winding stairway above was snapped on an overcast December day in Macau.
I belong to London yet am fairly incidental to it. This is how things should be; cities are bigger than us, and the more compelling they are the more we can disappear happily into their currents. London is home, it feels like home in a way that few places have ever felt like home to me. It is also a proper base for catapulting to other places.
My love of travel runs deep. My parents stuffed me into a back carrier when I was a newborn and took me along on a round-the-world adventure. We stayed in Thailand – where my father spent a good share of his professional life – for several months. My very first word was a Thai word. Adolescence brought two longish stints in Europe – one in Vienna, the other split between Vienna and the tiny southwestern German federal state of Saarland. The San Francisco Bay Area was home before, between, and after these forays abroad.
I willed myself to forget the lure of border crossings, defamiliarization, strange landscapes, and perplexing cultural habits In the 1990s. I was too busy doing other things – pulling espresso shots in San Francisco, stewing in social theory, and completing a doctoral program in American Studies at the University of Michigan. An academic life beckoned. And then one day, suddenly and unequivocally, it no longer did. I completed my dissertation bloodlessly and turned my attention to travel writing.
I have written travel articles and occasional cultural commentaries for the New York Times, Guardian, ELLE Singapore, Condé Nast Traveler (US), the Conway Bulletin, Monocle, Public Books, Colours, and National Geographic Traveler, among other publications. I was the founding editor of the EuroCheapo blog in 2007 and contributed regularly to Gadling for three years. I have also blogged for Jaunted, Gridskipper, Sunvil, vtravelled, roundtheworldflights, Altimtr, and National Geographic Traveler's Intelligent Travel. I updated chapters on the French West Indies and Montserrat in the lamentably discontinued Rough Guide to the Caribbean; in addition I've pounded countless pavements as a hotel reviewer for EuroCheapo, covering a dozen cities in total. I also have loads of experience as an editor, detailed somewhat on my work with me page.
I'm currently researching and writing a book about places along the edges of Europe. These include five islands, one overseas territory, one exclave, a Kurdish-majority city in southeastern Turkey, a city straddling the Ural River in far western Kazakhstan, and lastly the fourth-largest city in Russia.