Choosing Your Own Travel: Local Travel Writer on the Best of Auckland

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Do you remember reading those choose your own adventure books, when you were growing up? I couldn't get enough of them, and would re-read them until they fell apart, finding new paths to a satisfying (or not) ending. I recently read and was inspired by a new travel guide to Auckland, New Zealand, by a friend and fellow travel writer, Rhonda Albom. Rhonda has written one of the best guidebooks I've ever read - and let me tell you why. This book? It's the SAME concept - but with travel! Rhonda shares her local knowledge with us in Choose A Way Auckland, an interactive city guide.

Choosing Your Own Travel: Local Travel Writer on the Best of Auckland

Rhonda shares important things to see, as well as hidden gems. She also notes some important things to know about the area (an entree is an appetizer! people go barefoot! tipping is not customary! NO SNAKES!).

Here's how it works - you choose your activities! What I love most is the acknowledgement that not every family is the same kind of traveler. Want to start your day on your own time? You can choose several options, from before 9am to after 12noon (ahem, my family). Genius! Then, Rhonda outlines several activities to choose from, depending on your interests. The WHOLE DAY is laid out that way - with you making choices. The activities range from nature adventures (volcano! whales! ziplining!) to activities, culture, history, food (the best hamburger in town), drink, and maritime delights. Whatever you choose, there's a slew of information on each item, including photos, locations, costs, specific tips, and interesting facts. 

I've never seen a more interesting and comprehensive guidebook - and one that made me want to re-read it many times, and plan my days in Auckland with insider knowledge in hand. Highly recommended.

We were lucky enough to catch up with Rhonda - a travel photographer, freelance writer, and award winning blogger at Albom Adventures. Living in Auckland since 2003, Rhonda writes about her travels in New Zealand and around the world. Collectively, with her husband and her two teenage girls, they have been to 52 countries in five continents. Rhonda homeschools her girls, is on a women’s yacht racing team, leads a Girl Guide group, and and enjoys a good cup of coffee. Here's what she had to say...
Rhonda Albom. Choosing Your Own Travel: Local Travel Writer on the Best of Auckland

Please tell us about your book, Chooseaway Auckland...
It is the Auckland edition of the Choose A Way series of ebooks. The series goal is to publish one book each month from a different city around the world. Each ebook is written by a different, local author. 

What inspired you to write this book? 
As an expat/travel writer, I frequently write about Auckland, the city I have called home for the past 13 years. I was "introduced" to the publisher of the series from an on-line friend who wrote the Sydney edition of Choose A Way.
Choosing Your Own Travel: Local Travel Writer on the Best of Auckland

How do chooseaway books work?
Unlike traditional guidebooks, Choose A Way are interactive, allowing you to build your day as you go, or plan in advance. Starting from the morning, you choose from a time range and are presented with three options. Select and activity, enjoy it, and then choose from three more. 

The day will continue into the night offering both popular and off the beaten path options. Each choice includes: a photo; succinct description; location including address, GPS coordinates and link to Google Maps; and, easy-to-follow directions that have been tested by girls. You can use it on any device including smartphones, tablets, or computers.

What might people be surprised to learn, from your new book?
For a young city, Auckland is full of surprises, and researching for this book frequently caught me be surprise. For instance I discovered that a major street was once a dirty canal, and the water still flows under the city. There is a haunted hotel, a subtropical rainforest, and spectacular views from the tops of volcanos that are much easier to climb than I had realised. 
Choosing Your Own Travel: Local Travel Writer on the Best of Auckland
Choosing Your Own Travel: Local Travel Writer on the Best of Auckland
Choosing Your Own Travel: Local Travel Writer on the Best of Auckland

I'm all about the research - what were your favorite parts - and challenges - of researching and writing this new book?
I discovered a nightlife that I never knew existed. Living in the suburbs, I am infrequently in Auckland late night. There are comedy clubs, dancing, bars, a hilarious drag queen show, and of course the seedier side of town. My husband graciously joined me for some of the research even stating that "It doesn't bother me" when I took him to a strip club. 
Choosing Your Own Travel: Local Travel Writer on the Best of Auckland

Do you have any specific recommendations for travelers with disabilities?
While the book if focused on the general population, and places accessible via public transportation, it does identify places that are NOT wheelchair or pram friendly. 

What's up next for you?
I continue to blog at AlbomAdventures.com and am writing for the Mastercard Priceless Cities campaign. In addition, I am working on a creative non-fiction book highlighting our long term home exchange in Spain. 

 

Find Choose a Way Auckland online: 
Amazon: http://amzn.to/1WZlOHW
Barnes and Noble: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/auckland-a-choose-a-way-interactive-guidebook-rhonda-albom/1123600960?ean=2940152854770
Kobo Books: https://store.kobobooks.com/en-us/ebook/auckland-a-choose-a-way-interactive-guidebook
Apple Books: https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/id1100406096
For PDF: https://gum.co/cawauckland   

Publisher's Page: http://www.chooseaway.com/project/auckland/

 

 

All photos courtesy and copyright Rhonda Albom

 

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