I’m Pam Mandel.
I’m a writer.
And a photographer.
And I play the ukulele.
Nerd’s Eye View is my blog.
Here are some things I’ve done that I’m proud of. It will give you an idea of who I am.
I had a story included in the Best Women’s Travel Writing, 2017, but — icing on the cake — I got name checked in the New York Time Review of Books for that same story. It’s a good anthology, but to be specifically called out in the Times? Peak writer moment.
After ten days of traveling in the Mississippi Delta (and doing some very unvarnished writing about the region) I was hired by the Delta CVB to help them rewrite their website. “We need to talk about the Delta the way you see it,” the CVB folks told me.
Thanks to a series of columns I wrote for AOL, I got to interview Commander Hadfield, the Canadian astronaut who used social media to make the world fall in love with space again. It was a standing room only crowd and the best day ever.
(Also, two astronauts have responded to me on Twitter FROM SPACE.)
For my 50th birthday, I played a barn burner rock and roll show with my band The Castaways; it was our CD release party. I’m not allowed to say I have stage fright anymore.
While working with a Vashon Island based tour company on their content and social media plan, I went to Antarctica. I get seasick and I don’t like boats, but this… I was changed.
I’ve won a handful of Solas Best Travel Writing Awards for stories written originally for this blog — and they’ve all been published elsewhere, since.
Nearly 20 years ago, I took a writing test and got a gig writing captions for Microsoft’s Encarta, the multimedia encyclopedia. (Hey, that rhymes!) That gig landed me deep in the tech machine and I’ve done many nerdy projects since — UX, documentation, content strategy, lots of other things. I like tech and I enjoy the challenge of finding simple ways to explain complex concepts.
In 2009, I spoke about travel blogging at the mega media conference SxSW. This stuff’s everywhere now, and I’m not a “I got here first” competitor, but, heh, I got here first: I started blogging in 1997. I’ve done a bunch of speaking gigs since them, but I started with the big dogs. It. Was. Terrifying.
I’ve worked on guidebooks for Thomas Cook (Hawaii, British Columbia) and while I know I did good work, I never want to do it again. Guidebook writers are special creatures and I’m not one of them.
My reputation as a travel writer comes mostly from this blog. It’s been the source of all good things in my career. I’ve picked up all kinds of work because editors somehow found this blog, liked what I wrote and wanted me to write for them.
Because I love good writing and words used well, I really enjoy teaching people how to use the (sometimes) technical tools to get that stuff out into the world. I’ve been speaking at conferences for a few years now and while I love to talk about what I do, I prefer to teach others how to do it. I got an email recently from a student I taught four years ago; he wanted me to see his work. I love that.
The educational, diplomatic, political, and historical nature of traveling drives me. I do not think you can be out in the world without questioning your prejudices, challenging your mind (and sometimes your body), and returning with a bright world view. For me, travel brings you to that magical scene in the Wizard of Oz over and over and over again when Dorothy awakens and the world is in color.
Here are a few of my favorite posts, go read, why don’t you? And thank you.
- The Man with the Yellow Star
- The Kid with the Tattoo
- On Taking Pictures in Beautiful Places
- People Taking Pictures of People at the Grand Canyon
- How to Become a Travel Writer in 20 Messy Steps
Copyright notice: All text, photos, graphics, artwork and other material on Nerd’s Eye View are copyrighted and may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed without permission.