The allure of travel writing:
Where in the world would you like to go? Talk about a dream assignment.
As a travel writer, you can’t live everywhere, but you can live anywhere.
“From an outsider’s perspective, travel blogging must appear to be pretty simple. All you have to do is write about your travels, post awesome photos, and retweet whatever BBC Travel says… Right?” - Drew, The Hungry Partier
But it’s not so easy or fast
As Jan Morris reminds us, “Only the most spectacularly perilous journey is nowadays worth writing a book about...” Smithsonian Mag
“Being a full-time blogger requires more work than you could possibly imagine. And the truth is I’ve never worked harder in my life.” - Drew The Hungry Partier
Maintaining a blog is, in and of itself, a lot of work. Couple that with plane travel, time zones, language barriers, itineraries, and very remote areas and you begin to think “How does anyone actually find the time to write a travel blog?”
It’s not just the commitment to blogging, constantly growing your network and maintaining a beautiful website with all of your content, it’s also the big challenges that cross your path and crop up from time to time. Learning new skills is at the top of that list, as seen by Drew's wheel of time:
Schedules are crazy:
..is a perfect discussion on just what its like (or how exhausting it is). Video Source
So Why Do It?:
Besides the fact that some people love to write, travel, take photos, and document journeys, they also like to share their personal experiences with us.
“In a profounder sense the best travel writers are not really writing about travel at all. They are recording the effects of places or movements upon their own particular temperaments—recording the experience rather than the event, as they might make literary use of a love affair, an enigma or a tragedy” Smithsonian Mag
“It is more real than fiction, but more genuine than mere fact, too.” says Morris.
This is where travel blogging differs from journalism abroad. Bloggers are not reporting stories from an unbiased perspective. Instead, they are doing the opposite. We get a chance to see the world through their eyes. We are living the adventure through them. Even if we suspect that our experience in the same place could be very different, we still enjoy their version of the experience.
It’s a perfect mix of daydreaming and voyeurism for the readers and extroverted sharing for the bloggers.
Knowing this, great travel bloggers share the good and the bad. They let us get to know them on a personal level. A good blogger isn’t too proud to share something embarrassing and they use that experience to build character and tell a deeper story.
Social media helps too:When our favorite blogger’s flight is delayed, we can read their tweets and feel the frustration of being at the airport waiting for a delayed plane. This instant communication, even if it is a one-way street, really puts us in the moment with our favorite bloggers.
Advice on becoming a travel writer:
Here are some further reading on the dos and don’ts of travel writing:
Learn from your mistakes, every wrong turn can be made positive. Misadventures make us stronger.
Take it from expert writer Chis Guillebeau: Misadventures Are Good For Us
When you have to take a business call with surfboards on your head :)
Do you have any stories on travel writing, or any tips that help you with your writing? Let us know in the comments!