The No B.S. blog about Travel, Writing and Life

So You Want to Be a Travel Writer?

Just yesterday, I had my first article published in Technorati. It will become a series of articles about getting started as a travel writer. It thought it would be a good idea to add the stories here, on Travel. Write. Live., as well. Please note that while, I am writing this first article toward the Technorati people, future articles will be more generic in terms of audience focus.

I guess you could say I am the new kid on the block at Technorati, this being my first blog post. While I am new here – and excited about my future writing for this site – I have been consistently writing, editing and publishing travel articles as a freelancer and owner of several travel sites for the last eight years. I would not have it any other way. I love travel.

I have good reason. I have been lucky enough to create contacts with a number of important agencies and PR firms over the years. I travel a lot, almost always for free.

It’s true. I am one of those lucky writers who gets invited on press trips to far-flung destinations, staying at the swankiest of hotels, eating rich food, and getting behind the scenes access to historic attractions and famous landmarks. I would argue that there is no better gig. Of course, it is not all a bed of roses.

Press trip schedules are chaotic. I am saddled with dangling cameras to the point of strap rash around my neck. I take notes from arrival to departure – when I am not taking pictures or video – all the while continuously slathered in bug repellent. I am squished into the back of a van with a bunch of other sweaty writers without a moment to myself. There will be delays, sore feet, language barriers, sunburns and a bad case of diarrhea on every trip. And very few writers make enough dough to make it all worth the trouble.

Is it worth the trouble? To me, and many others, the answer is an emphatic, ‘yes.’ I am still constantly asked by strangers, “How can I be a travel writer?” The enthusiastic question is usually followed by an assortment of comments that are designed to make me believe that he or she is perfect for the job (not that I was offering): I kept a diary of my trip to Cancun back in ’89, I really like spicy ‘ethnic’ food; I really, really love travel and I could carry your bags.

So you want to be a travel writer? To the would-be travel writer, I congratulate you, but there is more to being a travel writer than the love for travel. It is a lot of hard work, but the road is manageable with the right information.

In my next series of articles, I will tell Technorati readers about what I do and how I did it. I will write about the behind the scenes fun and fatigue. I will also share information about my upcoming trips that will take me to Mexico City, and even further south of the border into historic Mayan areas in Central America. Like I said, I travel a lot. I will bring bug repellent.

Article first published as So You Want to Be a Travel Writer? on Technorati.

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