Deserted tropical beach at sunsetwith gentle waves lapping at the sand.

Becoming a travel writer

Thinking about travel writing? Can you picture yourself lounging in your private cabana by a crystalline turquoise sea, frosted fruity beverage by your side, tablet on your lap as you type out your day’s adventures? Are your thoughts drifting to how to describe the coming sunset as you dine on fresh-caught seafood paired with a crisp chardonnay? 

You are not alone. Travel writing is one of my all-time favourite occupations. I’m an inveterate traveller, having lived, worked and/or played in many countries, states, provinces, cities and towns. My love of travelling and my love of writing is a match made in heaven.

So if you love to travel and you want to share your adventures, start thinking big about becoming a travel writer. Did you know reading is back in vogue? I think we can thank the pandemic for that. Ergo, there is a voracious appetite out there for stories on just about any topic you can think of. Especially travel, when no one has been able to go anywhere of note and must live vicariously through the words of other travellers. Of course, there has always been a market for travel writing but in my humble opinion, it is an upward trend now that the world has changed and we travel differently. 

How to get started

Begin by reading anything and everything that other travellers have written. Soak in as much as you can. See what works and what doesn’t. If you read widely, you’ll soon discover the writers that move you and the stuff that doesn’t inspire you at all. 

Take a shot at pulling apart a story you admire and break down the components. Looking at it with a clinical eye will help you develop your own storytelling framework. No sense reinventing the wheel. 

Here’s an exercise: take a story that didn’t do it for you and try to rewrite it in the style of a writer you admire.  You’ll be surprised what you can glean from this exercise. After a few rounds of this exercise your own style will start to emerge.

Next, try a story of your own. Write about the last trip you took (if you can remember…it’s been a long time for most of us, thanks to this pesky virus). Recall the best parts of the trip, what it is you want to share with others. What got you the most excited about it? What was the most fun? The most inspiring? The most I-can’t-believe-I-just-did-that! (and make sure you still can!). 

And if it’s a trip that’s still on your bucket list, rediscover what made you put it on that list in the first place. Dig up your research, refresh it, and use your imagination. Let your words paint a picture of what you see in your mind’s eye. 

Have fun with this!

Leave a comment below if you’d like to learn more.

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