Chris is our editor and a contributor to our publications.
Chris was a travel writer and photographer, based in Minneapolis, for more than 20 years before moving to Paris to work for The International New York Times as an editor in 2010. His photos and stories have appeared in The New York Times and more than 50 other North American dailies and magazines. In words and pictures, Chris tries to depict the essence and wonder of each Secret Journey.
Your work as a travel writer and photographer has taken you all over the world. Through all of your travel experiences, what has been the best lesson you’ve learned about storytelling?
That it’s not the place that makes a great story, it’s the people and the details. It doesn’t matter if you’re on the plains of North Dakota or riding a horse across Mongolia — what’s exotic is in the eye of the beholder. When you start talking to people, you learn what makes any spot extraordinary. This is one of the real secrets behind Secret Journeys: Putting its guests in touch with the people who make Paris the great city it is.
What are some of the most fascinating and inspiring experiences you have witnessed and written about with Secret Journeys?
I feel very lucky to join Philippe and the Secret Journeys team on many of these Journeys. I keep meeting incredible people. Wandering through some of the back hallways and going behind locked doors at Versailles to see the rooms where the king actually lived, took baths, met his ministers was very cool, but I also found it fascinating to see the more humble passageways and rooms where the servants worked and lived. That really brought the palace alive for me. Going on a market walk with Susan Herrmann-Loomis was another highlight. I thought I knew Paris markets until I went through one with her, chatting up the vendors to get the freshest, most ripe figs, the perfect goat cheese to go with them, and just the right wine to tie it all together. Being in Notre-Dame when the only other people in the cathedral were a Medieval music group and choir in rehearsal was a memory I’ll always cherish. I’m really looking forward to the new Journeys to Paris’s other Medieval churches where the experience is also going to be singular; and it’s a great way to support the reconstruction at Notre-Dame.