Andrew McCarthy is a director, an award winning travel writer, and—of course—an actor. He made his professional début at 19 in Class, and has appeared in dozens of films, including such iconic movies as Pretty in Pink, St. Elmo’s Fire, Less Then Zero, and cult favorites Weekend At Bernie’s and Mannequin. His memoir chronicling this time, BRAT: An ‘80s Story (order here), became a New York Times Bestseller in 2021.
Andrew has directed nearly a hundred hours of television, including The Blacklist, Grace and Frankie, New Amsterdam, Orange is the New Black, and many others.
For a dozen years Andrew served as an editor-at-large with National Geographic Traveler magazine. He has written for The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, The Los Angeles Times, The Atlantic, Time, Travel+Leisure, Town & Country, Men’s Journal, Bon Appetit, and many others. He was named Travel Journalist of the Year by The Society of American Travel Writers, as well as serving as guest editor of the prestigious BEST AMERICAN TRAVEL WRITING anthology.
1. What got you into travel writing?
Travel changed my life. Helped me walk through fear and engage in the world. It brought me joy and back to an innocence that created an appetite. That led to writing about it.
2. What’s the most challenging part of being a travel journalist for you?
Air travel. The rest is a pleasure, even when it isn’t.
3. What is one thing [equipment or personal item] you can’t go without on the road?
4. What’s your most unusual and/or memorable travel experience?
I was arrested while watching an exorcism in Ethiopia. It gave me a great lede for my story 😉
5. How did you learn about NATJA and why did you join?
NATJA is a great resource and support. Sometimes the road is solitary and that helps.
6. What is the best piece of advice you could give to a rookie travel journalist?
Tell me a story, don’t sell me destination.