Perpetual globetrotters and authors of over 60 travel guidebooks, countless travel and food stories, and thousands of hotel and restaurant reviews, Lara Dunston and Terence Carter have experienced more than 70 countries since they started travelling together in the late 1980s.
Now based in Siem Reap, Lara and Terence’s work focuses largely on Asia and Australia, although they have no hesitation in hopping on a plane for the opportunity to create an inspiring story.
Lara and Terence’s words and pictures have appeared in magazines, newspapers and websites around the world, including The Guardian, Australian Gourmet Traveller, Delicious, Feast, Get Lost, Travel+Leisure Asia, DestinAsian, Wanderlust, Conde Nast Traveller China, CNN Travel, AFAR, National Geographic Traveler (UK and US), The Independent, The Telegraph, Sunday Times Travel Magazine, International Traveller, Hemispheres, Lifestyle+Travel, Voyeur, Ritz-Carlton magazine, Four Seasons magazine, Bangkok Airways’ Fah Thai, Emirates’ Open Skies, Gulf Air’s Gulf Life, Jazeera Airways’ J magazine, Garuda’s Colours, Qatar Airway’s Oryx, Thai Airways’ Sawasdee, Silk Air magazine, Dusit Hotel’s Eight, Business Traveller, Executive Traveller, Paperplane, Fibers, Connect, Voyageur, M Lifestyle, Ocean, Interval, Southeast Asian Globe, Cape+Kantary, BBC History, The National, Sydney Morning Herald, Melbourne Age, Sunday Telegraph, USA Today, the Phnom Penh Post, and have been syndicated in dozens of newspapers in the USA, from the Houston Chronicle to Chicago Tribune.
Together the couple have written, updated and contributed to, and Terence has photographed, over 60 guidebooks for Lonely Planet, Dorling Kindersley, Rough Guides, AA Guides, Thomas Cook, Insight, Footprint, Fodors, and Hedonist’s Guides. They have also contributed to inspirational coffee table books for Lonely Planet, including The Travel Book, The Asia Book, and Blue List, and Lara wrote for Rough Guides Clean Breaks. They currently have several books in development, including two cookbooks.
While Lara and Terence began their travel and food writing careers writing guides, the first of which was The Sydneyside Guide, which they wrote for a Universal Press compact street directory in 1995, Terence’s publishing career began a decade earlier as a technical writer and throughout the 1990s he designed books, CD-ROMS and websites in Australia and the UAE. Lara began writing for Sydney University newspaper Honi Soit in 1986 on the arts, culture, music, and literature, later writing on film for an array of publications including Film News and Independent Filmmaker. Together Lara and Terence made films in the 1990s, including a feature film, and during that time Lara continued writing on film, taught film and writing, and worked in media relations, including as a publicist for a photography gallery. Terence had his own indie-pop band, playing in venues around Sydney and nearly changed careers to become a chef, often working weekends at a friend’s Italian restaurant. It was initially Lara’s work that took the Australian-born couple to the United Arab Emirates in 1998 so she could accept a university job teaching film, media production and writing to Emirati women.
Lara and Terence serendipitously fell back into travel writing after complaining about a disappointing guidebook they’d used. Lara’s detailed notes resulted in an invitation to write for Lonely Planet and soon after they were writing a first edition of Syria and Lebanon, updating Dubai, and more book commissions quickly followed, including the UAE, Paris, Milan, Lisbon, Amsterdam, Greece, Australia, and Buenos Aires, among other destinations.
While Lara and Terence love how guidebook research enables them to fully explore a city or country and get beneath the skin of a place, they’re just as delighted to fly into a destination for a couple of weeks on magazine commissions to interviews chefs, artists, musicians, designers, and writers. Terence, who is a musician but almost became a chef, and Lara, who has also published teen fiction, have a handful of creative degrees between them — Lara’s in filmmaking, cinema, writing, and international studies; Terry’s in film, photography, digital media, and media studies. For many years they made films together, Terence produced multimedia and Lara taught transmedia storytelling, so they find it natural to tell stories across all forms of media.
The couple have written and produced content for an array of digital forms and have done everything from write interactive walking tours on Paris for the Sony PSP to present destination videos for Lonely Planet TV. They are regular contributors to the Viator blog on Bangkok, Cambodia and Vietnam, and have written hotel reviews for Mr and Mrs Smith, i-escape and Travel Intelligence, digital guides for Sherman’s Travel, World Travel Guide and Fodors, and destination features for VTravelled, Directline Holidays and Miss Citty Kitty. The couple have been NineMSN Travel’s Dubai Insiders and destination experts for Triporati while Lara is currently the Dubai Travel Expert for The Telegraph and the Dubai and Siem Reap expert for AFAR.
Lara and Terence have written on a wide range of topics, including airports, architecture, art, chefs, cities, culture, campervanning, entrepreneurs, the environment, eco-tourism, fashion, food, hotels, museums, music, people, road trips, restaurants, shopping, and spas. Countries they have experienced include Andorra, Argentina, Australia, Austria, Bahrain, Belgium, Bolivia, Brazil, Bulgaria, Cambodia, Chile, China, Costa Rica, Croatia, Cuba, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Egypt, England, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hong Kong, Hungary, India, Indonesia, Israel & Palestinian Territories, Italy, Japan, Jordan, Kuwait, Laos, Latvia, Lebanon, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Macau, Malaysia, Mexico, Monaco, Montenegro, Morocco, Myanmar, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Oman, Paraguay, Peru, Poland, Portugal, Qatar, Russia, Scotland, Singapore, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Syria, Thailand, Turkey, United Arab Emirates, USA, Uruguay, and Vietnam.