Michael Shapiro writes about travel, adventure, music, books, and environmental issues, and he's interviewed some of the most creative people of our time.
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Countries visited

Stories written

Raft trips guided

TEDx talks given

Writer, editor, photographer and interviewer specializing in travel and entertainment.

Michael Shapiro is the author of The Creative Spark, A collection of interviews with 32 of the most creative people of our time. Among them: Smokey Robinson, Lucinda Williams, Francis Ford Coppola, Melissa Etheridge and Jake Shimabukuro. His earlier book is A Sense of Place, conversations with the world’s leading travel writers. He writes for magazines such as National Geographic Traveler and major metro newspapers including the Washington Post. His photography has appeared in Islands magazine and the San Francisco Chronicle. He also serves as a whitewater rafting guide, taking special needs people on river trips.

Notable Work

Book Passage Travel Writers and Photographers Conference, August 8-11, 2024

This four-day seminar has opened the gates to aspiring and working travel writers and photographers for three decades. Shapiro attended the first...

Sierra magazine: Gas leaf blowers are shrill. They pollute. Does it have to be this way?

As a teenager, I awoke every Friday morning at 7am to the shattering sound of our next-door neighbor's leaf blowers, robbing me of those last...

National Geographic, December 2020: In remote Nepal, new roads bring opportunity and perils

In October, 2018, my wife and I joined a group of trekkers led by Jamling Tenzing Norgay, the son of Tenzing Norgay, who in 1953 was the first...

National Geographic, November 2020: How the mystique of Wales gave strength to a legendary writer

My editors at National Geographic made it clear to me that they did not want a personal reminiscence about Jan Morris after she died on November 20,...

Michael Shapiro 2017 Sonoma County TEDx talk in Santa Rosa, Calif.

Travel writer and photographer Michael Shapiro takes you from Ireland to Guatemala, from Kenya to Ecuador, and talks about how meeting people all...
Michael Shapiro 2017 Sonoma County TEDx talk in Santa Rosa, Calif.

Michael Shapiro 2017 Sonoma County TEDx talk in Santa Rosa, Calif.

Travel writer and photographer Michael Shapiro takes you from Ireland to Guatemala, from Kenya to Ecuador, and talks about how meeting people all over the world helps build bridges and shatter expectations. This talk was given at the 2017 Sonoma County TEDx event in...

Amazon cruising: A Ride in the Wild

Amazon cruising: A Ride in the Wild

I always thought if I ever floated down the Amazon it'd be in a dugout canoe on a shoestring adventure. But when the editor of a magazine for country club members asked me to join a luxe cruise, of course I went and had a fabulous time. The local guides were the...

Jane Goodall interview

Jane Goodall interview

In 2007 I had the privilege of interviewing Dr. Jane Goodall. Excerpts from that interview have appeared O (Oprah's magazine), The Explorer's Journal and Earth Island Journal. Here's the Goodall interview from EIJ, click to read it or see the text below: From a very...

Photo Galleries

Michael Shapiro’s photography has appeared in the Washington Post, Los Angeles Times, San Francisco Chronicle, and national magazines such as Islands and Inspirato. Here’s a selection of images from his travels.

Get in touch

Please drop me a line. Whether you’re interested in "The Creative Spark" or booking an event, or are a long-lost friend, I’d enjoy hearing from you.

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