For a moment in time, I had my dream job. I basically lived out of a suitcase and traveled on business for three weeks at a time. Not mundane boring cities either—I was in Luxembourg and Dublin and as far as Singapore. I stayed in luxury hotels and on weekends could explore to my heart’s content. All of that came to a screeching halt with the inevitable mergers and acquisitions that are part of the corporate world. Yes, I had stability but once the travel ended so did my love for the job.
Not one to be down and out long, I knew I needed to find a creative outlet so I could still thrive on the adventures I loved so much. I joined the Great Escape Publishing Ultimate Travel Writer’s Workshop in Austin, Texas in 2018. The weekend taught me the basics of how to send a query and the type of publications that would be interested in my writing. The best part was when we were sent on assignment to find something to write about in Austin. Using real life experience, I wrote my first piece of travel writing and it was critiqued in person by an editor. The encouragement I received gave me hope. I might not be able to quit the stable day job for a bit, but I could still travel and get paid to write about it.
It took me a little time to get the confidence to start sending queries, but the first “yes” to an article about a weekend in Chicago was a huge confidence booster. Although sometimes queries go unanswered or an article is not quite what a publication is looking for, there are plenty of opportunities to keep writing and gain experience.
I contributed to an article on European Christmas markets with International Living and was thrilled to receive payment to write about some my favorite cities and festivities. While covering local restaurants for Foodie Flashpacker, I was able to meet the chef after mentioning I would be including the restaurant in my article.
I am still juggling a full-time job and developing my travel writing skills, but I have hope and something to look forward to. If you find yourself in a similar situation, be confident in your abilities as a writer. Keep researching publications that you may be a good fit for and use the resources available at Great Escape Publishing.
One of the best resources I’ve found is the Travel Writer’s Café. Each month I am provided with a new roadmap to sharpen my travel writing skills. The roadmap could be a new publication to pitch to or how to further develop my social media presence. The members of the Travel Writer’s Café are supportive and happy to answer any questions new writers have. In addition, members share their latest published articles, and it is a great way to read great travel writing and gain inspiration for future pieces.
I am learning to travel for different reasons and find new destinations with the eyes of a travel writer. There is always a story to be told, a new sight to see and hope for new travel writing opportunities.