Born in Texas and raised in Toronto, Michael grew up with travel on the brainthe result of time spent in the backseat of Oldsmobiles, Mini-mokes, and Pan Am jets under the influence of his Gourmet-addicted mother and his father's roving zoom lens.
When Michael turned 18 he began living it up around the world, setting down temporary roots in cities such as Bordeaux, Paris, Montréal, New York, and Lisbon. During this time, he earned a BA in literature from McGill University and an MA in history and civilizations from the École des Hautes Etudes en Sciences Sociales, where his thesis was "The Image of Brazil and Brazilians in Hollywood Cinema." He also worked as a writer and editor at magazines and newspapers and freelanced for publications such as The New York Times, The International Herald Tribune, and The Globe and Mail.
Michael first traveled to Brazil at the age of four. His only memory of Rio de Janeiro is that of being served a glistening orange wedge of papaya in the grand dining room at the Hotel Glória. Twenty years later, he returned to Brazil, where he was seduced by the intense, colorful landscapes and unique cultures. Michael eventually settled down in Salvador, the beautiful baroque capital of Bahia, where he has worked as a writer and journalist for the last decade. He has yet to master the art of preparing feijoada (Brazil's national stew of beans and salted beef and pork), but he does make a mean caipirinha.