From a childhood on an Iowa farm, Lori Erickson grew up to become one of America’s top travel writers specializing in spiritual journeys. When she’s not on the road, she lives in Iowa City, Iowa.

Lori’s newest book is Near the Exit: Travels with the Not-So-Grim Reaper.


“Open-hearted and soulful, never morbid, and often uplifting, Near the Exit is a colorful travelogue of mortality.” —Ira Byock, author of Dying Well and The Best Care Possible

“Our expert tour guide has arrived. Erickson takes us on a colorful journey of the world’s sacred death rituals and destinations. Pack your bags; this is a must-read trip on death—and life.” —J. Dana Trent, author of Dessert First: Preparing for Death While Savoring Life

More information on Near the Exit

Press Kit for Near the Exit

Media Coverage for Near the Exit

 USA Today: What You Can Learn From Traveling With the Grim Reaper

Foreword Reviews Author Interview with Lori Erickson: A sublime exploration of how we all can face our own demise with grace and humor.

Cover Story and Excerpt in the Christian Century Magazine: We need to talk about death

Excerpt on PBS-affiliated Next Avenue: An Afternoon in a Cemetery

Travel with Rick Steves Radio Show: Interview (starts at 31:45 at link)

Frommer’s Travel Show on Radio America: Interview (starts at 11:45 at link)

Toronto Globe and Mail excerpt: Life, Death, and Meditation Among the Mayan Ruins

Iowa Public Radio Interview: Considering Death Across Cultures

Light of Consciousness Magazine excerpt: If Buddha Came to a Nursing Home

Little Village Magazine: Erickson writes with insight and humility, with a gentle touch of humor, in a manner that disarms what could otherwise be an unsettling and sober topic.

East-West News Service: Erickson explores what lies at the end of the road and discovers that the specter of death is more human than horrid.

Undertaking: The Podcast Author Interview

Episcopal Cafe: Erickson’s vocations as deacon and travel writer make her the ideal adventure guide for this topic

Presbyterian Outlook: Recommended books to read this winter 

Ethical Perspectives on the News Program on KCRG-TV in Cedar Rapids, IA: End of Life Transitions

Dubuque Herald: A deeply researched and often funny genre-bending mashup of travelogue, memoir and spiritual reflection

Kenosha (WI) News: Regardless of where Erickson roams and contemplates, a sense of awe and humor prevail

Cedar Rapids Gazette: Author Lori Erickson reflects on mortality through her travels around the world

Franciscan Times: A magic carpet ride that provides a wider view of mortality

Off the Beaten Page Travel: A very readable, wise and, yes, funny book 


More About Lori Erickson

In addition to Near the Exit, Lori is the author of the award-winning 2017 memoir Holy Rover: Journeys in Search of Mystery, Miracles, and God. Both irreverent and devout, Holy Rover explores the transformative power of travel through trips to a dozen holy sites. More information on Holy Rover

Lori has written other travel-related books and more than a thousand articles for national and regional publications. She’s also the creator of Spiritual Travels, a website featuring holy sites around the world.

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Upcoming Appearances 

Book Talk: February 27, 7 pm, Matthew 25 in Cedar Rapids, Iowa (sponsored by Christ Episcopal Church)

Speaker at Writing for Your Life Conference With Barbara Brown Taylor: Minneapolis, Minnesota, April 27-28, 2020

Speaker at adult forum: October 18, 11:00 am, Good Shepherd Lutheran Church in Decorah, Iowa

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