Dave Seminara is a journalist and former diplomat based in Bend, Oregon. He is the author of Bed, Breakfast & Drunken Threats: Dispatches from the Margins of Europe, a collection of 24 travel stories that unfold across 14 European countries. The book was a number one bestseller in Liechtenstein, and was hailed as a “masterpiece of contemporary travel writing,” by a guy named Mario in Malta.
Dave has written on topics as varied as a 643-shot tennis rally, a missing person case in Costa Rica, hippies in Chile, gastronomic societies in the Basque Country, birding and the occupation of the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge, and traveling in the footsteps of Kurt Cobain. A story he wrote for The New York Times about the truly insane Barkley Marathons was recognized as one of the notable stories of the year in the 2014 edition of The Best American Sports Writing. And this even wilder story about goose pulling in Europe was recognized as a notable story of the year in the 2015 edition of The Best American Travel Writing.
Dave writes an annual series for BBC Travel called Travel Pioneers, which highlights some of the world’s most remarkable travelers and explorers. In October 2016, the series won a silver medal in the Lowell Thomas Travel Journalism competition.
Dave was born in Buffalo and grew up listening to shortwave radio and rooting for doomed sports teams. His grandfather, Leonardo Riforgiato, operated a newsstand in downtown Buffalo from 1914-1955 and Dave inherited his love of newspapers and magazines. (Read about how Leo’s house later become a crack house here.)
After receiving a bachelor’s degree from Villanova University, Dave joined the U.S. Foreign Service. His diplomatic career included stints at American embassies in Macedonia, Trinidad and Hungary, and in the Bureau of Central African Affairs in Washington, D.C.
Dave’s work has appeared in The New York Times, BBC, The Wall Street Journal, Chicago Magazine, Outside, Espn.com, Boston Globe, Boston Globe Magazine, Chicago Tribune, Washington Post, Philadelphia Inquirer, St. Louis Post-Dispatch, The Oklahoman, Indianapolis Monthly, Tennis, Buffalo Spree, Draft, The Morning News and many other websites and publications.
Seminara is passionate about photography and has photo credits in publications such as National Geographic Traveler, The New York Times, Outside, The Philadelphia Inquirer, Tennis, and others. In 2003, Dave took second place in National Geographic Traveler magazine’s annual photo contest for a portrait he captured in Tblisi, Georgia.
Dave is a member of the Society of American Travel Writers and is always looking for an excuse to hit the road. He lives in Bend, Oregon with his wife, Jen, and their sons, Leo, 9, and James, 7.