Tom joined the Lonely Planet travel guides staff in 2001, and over the next six years participated in an impressive number of team assignments. Guide books produced in this period included:
- Turkey (10th edition),
- Western Europe (7th),
- Central Europe (6th),
- Mediterranean Europe (6th, 7th),
- Europe on a Shoestring (3rd, 4th)
- Kenya (5th, 6th)
- East Africa (6th, 7th),
- Africa (10th), Africa on a Shoestring (10th)
- Malaysia (10th), Malaysia, Singapore and Brunei (10th),
- Southeast Asia on a Shoestring (14),
- The Asia Book (1st)
In 2006 he finally landed his dream assignment, to be sole author of a new guide to Madagascar, after which he was due to return to Borneo to research the first guide devoted entirely to it. He spent three months in Madagascar in late 2006, and was in the middle of compiling the guide when he died in Jauary 2007. The guide was completed in 2008 by Becca Blonde. The 2006 Lonely Planet Guide to the Middle of Nowhere presents him as an author who “has worked […] mainly in random corners of Africa, and seems to have a knack for getting lost in remote places”.
In 2004 Tom was interviewed for the Lonely Planet in-house publication On the Road, reflecting on his affinity with Berlin. He provided a typically tongue-in-cheek biographical note, beinning “Tom first visited Germany at the tender age of three, and was promptly involved in a road accident. Undeterred, he started learning the language at school and has been coming back ever since, eventually completing a German degree before striking out as a dictionary editor, freelance journalist and Lonely Planet author. “
Photos of Tom on his travels are few and far between, as he explains in his Rough Planet Downside no 25 “Your photos never have you in them”. A few photos from his 2006 travels are shown below, with an image of a venerable baboab tree taken in Madagascar.