One of Tom’s first pieces of travel writing was Shadows and Silence (Visiting Auschwitz) an account of a visit to Auschwitz in 2004. The visit restored a connection with family history: Tom’s Austrian grandparents, Josef and Hermine Hupka, were victims of the Holocaust, providentially sending their children abroad in 1938. Hermine died in Auschwitz in 1944, after Josef had died in the Theresienstadt transit camp the same year.

 While working for Lonely Planet, Tom wrote a number of brief and pungent accounts of his travels. Some were published in Lonely Planet spinoff publications such as The Lonely Planet Guide to the Middle of Nowhere (2006).  Others remained unpublished including the tale of a desert excursion with German tourists (Cider with Reinhardt), reflections of Tangiers past and present (Dead Beats and Dirty Books), musings on the ubiquity of international terrorism (Terrorism) and the German Health Service in the early 21st century (Gesundheit).

In his contribution to the 2005 Lonely Planet Guide to Experimental Travel,  Tom drew on Cambridge experiences to create the ultimate pub crawl in Barman’s Knock, an experiment designed to test how the local knowledge of bartenders will generate the  best experience.