- Registration time
- Last login
- Online time
- 1998 Hour
- Reading permission
4. Travel writer|
What’s so great about it? Travel writing opens up the world. In the last 10 years, I’ve motorcycled across the salt flats of Bolivia, paraglided with vultures in Nepal, cycled through Burma, dived with manta rays in Hawaii, snowshoed in Japan and met remote Amazon tribes in Peru. It’s an exciting, fast-moving job, with never the same day twice. You can be in the Botswana desert one day, a colorful coastal town in Norway the next. You’re constantly learning about the world, discovering new things about places, people, politics, wildlife and nature. Being on assignment can push you to travel in a deeper way. You keep your eyes open, alert to details. You interview people, talk more, ask questions, and consider places from different angles. There’s great pleasure too in the writing process: collecting your ideas and research, crafting your story, and ultimately seeing your article laid out, along with your photos, in a magazine or newspaper. The more of the world you see, the more you want to see. This is a job for people who are curious and adventurous.
The hard reality: Travel writing is fiercely competitive. You have to have talent and great ideas, and you’ll need to develop industry contacts and find original story ideas. You’ll spend a lot of time pitching ideas to editors, many of which might be ignored or rejected. You need to work even harder to break through. Life on the road is exciting, but it can also be disorienting and sometimes lonely. Living out of a bag isn’t for everyone, nor is spending so much time away from family, friends and ‘normality’. It’s a job with early mornings, long hours in planes, buses, airports and train stations, and often very basic living conditions. You need to be adaptable. Very few travel writers become millionaires; if money is your primary goal, there are better way to get rich.
Skills and Qualifications: There are travel writers out there with a Journalism qualification, a degree in English Literature or other courses related to writing. They’re a good way to practice writing and pick up skills. Writing classes and seminars are also a way to develop skills and get helpful feedback from experts. Many people think they can write, but you don’t know until you challenge yourself with genuine serious feedback from professionals, such as editors and working journalists. Look at the publications you want to write for and analyze what they do: tone, style, structure... The best advice is to get started. Having a blog or writing articles for smaller websites or publications will give you practice and experience, as well as something solid to demonstrate your abilities to editors. Be enthusiastic. If you do get an opportunity, take it with both hands. Hand in brilliant and error-free pieces on or ahead of deadline. You should really only do this job if you love writing, as much as you love travel.