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Imagine getting paid to simply enjoy your favorite hobby… As someone who has played golf since I was 13 years old, I quickly learned that the nicer the golf course, the steeper the greens fees. But, in 2011, after attending the Ultimate Travel Writer’s Workshop, I discovered a way to play the best courses for free… and get paid to boot. The Ultimate Travel Writer’s Workshop got me thinking about how I could combine travel writing with my life-long passion for golf. Many of the finest hotels and resorts feature exquisite golf courses. Why not make the most of my travel-writing skills, I thought, by writing about these beautiful 18-hole layouts that often accompany four- and five-star hotels? Over the past decade, I’ve grown increasing fond of Caribbean travel. Three years ago, in anticipation of a trip to Anguilla, I contacted the golf professional on the island about writing an article on her and her golf course. Anguilla is a truly scenic Caribbean island with 33 pristine beaches hugging its 17 miles of coastline. It struck me that a story about the golf pro’s island adventures could be a captivating read for her college alumni. So I queried the editor of the golf pro’s college alumni magazine. Since my query landed in the editor’s inbox during the dead of winter, I believe the timing of my “living the Caribbean dream” story was perfect. In addition to sharing several tantalizing island facts in my query, I provided photos of the golf pro with the Caribbean Sea as a backdrop. The editor asked me a question that made me freeze: how much was I seeking for my article and photos? Not knowing the best way to answer, I said, “I trust you’ll pay me the same as other comparable articles.” She replied that I would receive a check for $1,000. $1,000 for just one travel writing gig! Two months ago, my wife and I returned to Anguilla. Prior to our trip, I learned that this same golf course now has a different golf professional. I contacted the editor of the new golf pro’s small college alumni magazine with a fresh take on someone living the island life. The college editor agreed to pay me $100 for my graduate success story. Whether I’m compensated $1,000 or $100, it’s nice to know that travel writing is my ticket to playing some of the most beautiful golf courses in the world for free. Share on Facebook

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