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.


Hear Lori’s two recent interviews with Rick Steves:

Holy Rover (interview starts at 31:52) 

Near the Exit (interview starts at 31:45)

“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

Silver Award for Religion Book of 2019 in the INDIES Awards from Foreword Reviews 

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

Foreword Reviews Author Interview with Lori Erickson: Death-phobia Defier

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

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

Des Moines Art Center: Day of the Dead Interview

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.

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 

Interview on Living Authentically Podcast with Pamela Savino

Interview with Christ Episcopal Church in Cedar Rapids, Iowa: Hope Near the Exit


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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