It started with monkeys.
As we drove down the street, we spotted them running along the rooftops and swinging off the power lines.
Then, before we knew it, elephants came lumbering by on our left, their faces painted in bright colors, followed by camels on the right, and a few goats trotting all over the place.
This is the daily commute in Jaipur, India.
Bonnie, here, back from our 10-Day India Travel Writing Expedition with full-time travel writer Margot Bigg and a group of fun, independent, like-minded people.
Everyone on this trip already had a full-time career, and now they’re ready to try something new. We’ve got nurses, a physician’s assistant, a therapist, two sales executives, a lawyer, an English Lit professor, and a drama teacher.
We all came for the adventure — but also for something more. To spin our lives into an epic story.
One where we’re getting paid to taste new things, hear other languages, see things we’ve only dreamed about, and learn more about ourselves as we search to learn more about others.
We know it’s possible to get paid to write. Some of us are already getting published in blogs, magazines, and newspapers… while others are just getting started.
India was the perfect inspiration — though you can do this from anywhere, with any background.
In 10 days, we saw so much, from the giant marble dome of the Taj Mahal… to the frenetic crowds in the markets of Old Delhi… to thousands of camels at the dusty Pushkar camel fair… to luxurious castles in the middle of the countryside… to giggling school children in small villages… and more.
But with India, there’s always more. In every bite, every glance, every street and market, India is filled to the brim with history, culture, and most of all — sensations of every kind.
Margot, who lived here for five years, was well aware of how tricky it would be to narrow down what we were all feeling into a travel article or two. So she gave us an assignment. I’ll share it with you here because it’s something you can do at home the next time you want to write or blog about one of your adventures…
Pointing to us one at a time, she assigned us one of the five senses — sight, sound, taste, smell, touch, and instructed us to write 100 words using only that one sense.
Later, in our luxury tent camp at the Pushkar Camel fair, we read our stories out loud around the campfire and guessed which experience each person was describing with their one sense.
Such a simple exercise reminded us how fun it is to write about your experiences. And you can do this, too.
Getting paid to write these stories is, of course, the goal. But for now, close your eyes and image your last trip… one of your most favorite trips… or even a trip you’d like to take in the future and think about it in terms of only one sense.
What does it smell like? What can you hear? What can you touch?
Can you use those details in a travel article? You bet you can.
Tomorrow I’ll share another tip from Margot that helps you sell what you write… so you can have experiences like these and get paid for them.