Apparently it isn't essential that a guidebook writer actually visit the country he writes about. A Lonely Planet author is claiming that he made up large portions of his books, and dealt drugs to subsidize his measly salary. Think twice before going to the titles on Brazil, Colombia, the Caribbean, Venezuela, Chile, and South America, for some first-hand advice.
These damning revelations came out in the writer's, Thomas Kohnstamm, new book Do Travel Writers Go to Hell? He says that he wrote about Colombia without visiting the country because they didn't pay him enough to go to Colombia. He says: "I wrote the book in San Francisco. I got the information from a chick I was dating — an intern in the Colombian Consulate."
This guy has the coolest job ever — traveling around the world and writing about it— and he does the arguably hard part while, ditching the fun of seeing the world. I know he's not making a lot of money, but he accepted the job knowing how much he was going to make. Do you think phony travel writers, like Kohnstamm, should go to hell?