Iain Manley

Iain tells stories. He picked up the costly habit in his twenties, almost all of which he spent travelling – mostly overland, mostly through Asia. He documented his journeys at Old World Wandering, his travelogue, where the first post was published a full ten years ago now, on WordPress version 1.5.2.

Old World Wandering wasn't the very first travel blog, but it wasn't far behind, and Iain carved out a niche with long-form dispatches that were regularly picked by top curators. It was, in the words of an editor at National Geographic Traveler, one place where "thoughtful, well-written slow travel writing with a strong sense of history and culture" could be reliably found.

The blog led to a book about the pirates, prostitutes and opium peddlers of old Singapore, but other attempts to monetise it failed, and without a house or any valuable possessions to sell, Iain started to look for ways to make his new media and travel obsessions pay their own way.

His favourite experiences and travel stories almost always had one thing in common: someone, somewhere had showed him their city. They had connected opinions, anecdotes and emotions to places over the course of a lifetime, and used phrases like ''I love", "I remember", "I hope" or even "I hate" to describe things that might otherwise have been ordinary.

When he returned home, to Cape Town, and started working with location-aware audio, Iain realised that the medium was the perfect way to make feelings about a place easily accessible. He wanted to see Cape Town by looking at it through the eyes of other people, like he had seen places far away, and that's why he founded VoiceMap, a publishing platform and marketplace for immersive audio guides, where he is currently the CEO.

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