Meet Lara and Terence, an Australian-born, Asia-based, travel and food writer and photographer couple who have authored scores of guidebooks, produced countless travel and food stories, and are currently working on cookbooks.
Globetrotting couple Lara Dunston and Terence Carter started travelling and working together in the late 1980s — well before they made a romantic, low-budget road movie in Outback Australia, and eloped to Las Vegas to get married in the Little White Chapel.
Ever since, through their dedication to slow, local and experiential travel, Lara and Terence have been responsible for inspiring millions of travellers around the world, including the hundreds of thousands who read Grantourismo, to make their journeys more meaningful and more memorable.
Welcome to Grantourismo!
Now based in Siem Reap, our work focuses largely on Asia and Australia these days, although we have no hesitation in hopping on a plane and flying halfway around the world for the chance to create stories that inspire you to travel.
Our words and pictures have appeared in magazines and newspapers and on websites and blogs around the world. The long list of publications our work has been published in includes The Guardian, CNN Travel, Australian Gourmet Traveller, Delicious, Feast,Conde Nast Traveller China, DestinAsian, Travel+Leisure Asia, Wanderlust, Get Lost, 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, Raffles 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 magazine, Business Traveller, Executive Traveller, Paperplane, Fibers, Connect, Voyageur, M Lifestyle, Ocean, Interval, Southeast Asian Globe, Cape+Kantary, Marriott Traveller, BBC History, The National, Sydney Morning Herald, Melbourne Age, Sunday Telegraph, USA Today, the Phnom Penh Post Weekend, and dozens of newspapers in the USA, from the Houston Chronicle to Chicago Tribune, where they’ve been syndicated.
Together we’ve written, updated and contributed to, and Terence has photographed, over 60 guidebooks for Lonely Planet, Dorling Kindersley, Footprint, Rough Guides, AA Guides, Thomas Cook, Insight, Fodors, and Hedonist’s Guides. We 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. We currently have several books in development, including two cookbooks we’re working on at the moment.
While we began our travel and food writing careers writing guides, the first of which was The Sydneyside Guide, which we wrote for a Universal Press compact street directory way back in 1995, Terence’s publishing career began years 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 and culture, and later wrote for film publications like Film News and Independent Filmmaker, before taking on a job as a media researcher for a distinguished member of parliament.
We made films in the 1990s, including our first feature film, called Come By Chance, and during that time Lara wrote on film, taught film and writing, had a teen fiction novel published by HarperCollins, 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, but nearly changed careers to become a chef, often working weekends at a friend’s Italian restaurant while Lara was in South America flitting around to film festivals for her Masters project on Latin American cinema.
It was initially Lara’s work that took the Sydney couple to the United Arab Emirates in 1998 to accept a university-level job teaching film, media production and writing to young Emirati women. There, we serendipitously fell back into travel writing after complaining about a guidebook we’d used. Lara’s detailed notes resulted in an invitation to write for Lonely Planet and soon after we were writing first edition guidebooks on Syria, Lebanon and Dubai. More book commissions quickly followed, including guides to the UAE, Paris, Milan, Lisbon, Amsterdam, Greece, Perth and Western Australia, Australia, and Buenos Aires, among other destinations.
While we love how guidebook research enables us to fully explore a city or country and really get beneath the skin of a place, we’re just as delighted to fly into a destination for a couple of weeks on magazine assignments to interviews chefs, artists, musicians, designers, and writers. Terence and Lara have a handful of creative degrees between them — Lara’s are in screen studies and filmmaking, writing, international studies, and screenwriting; Terry’s are in film, photography, digital media, and media studies. For many years we made films together, Terence produced multimedia, and Lara taught trans-media storytelling, so we find it natural to tell stories across all forms of media.
We’ve written and produced content for many digital forms and done everything from write interactive walking tours for the Sony PSP to present destination videos for Lonely Planet TV. We’ve contributed to a long list of travel sites, blogging for Viator, writing hotel reviews for Mr and Mrs Smith, i-escape and Travel Intelligence, creating digital guides for Sherman’s Travel, World Travel Guide and Fodors, and writing destination features for VTravelled, Directline Holidays, Miss Citty Kitty, World Nomads, and Bravofly. We’ve been NineMSN Travel’s Dubai Insiders and destination experts for Triporati while Lara also served as the Dubai Travel Expert for The Telegraph, and is the local expert for Siem Reap and Dubai for AFAR.
We’ve written on a wide range of topics, including chefs and food to fashion and art, architecture and culture, campervanning and road trips, restaurants and spas. Whatever subject we write on, our passions for slow, local and experiential travel always permeate our travels and our creative work.
Countries we have experienced include Andorra (seriously, it’s a country!), 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, the 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. Makes us tired just thinking about all that travel.
We’d love to experience, write about, and photograph your country or city, too. If you’d like to commission or collaborate with us, do drop us a line to tell us what you have in mind. We’re here to tell your story, to inspire people to move, and to help travellers make their trips more meaningful and more memorable.
Lara & Terence