How healthy competition can help you make the switch to travel writing

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Wheezing slightly and wanting to stop, I was running faster than I ever had… and still coming in dead last.

Bonnie, here, with two lessons I learned (the hard way) while running a relay… that completely apply to your travel writing…

First, I told myself that I’d take it slow.

No need to push it, I said. It’s a 60-mile relay and the path my team and I are running—from Timberline Lodge to Hood River—includes some of the most stunning back roads in Oregon. Slow and steady.

But when the gun went off…

Everyone around me took off in a fast sprint. It was just the beginning, and I was already last! So I felt compelled to sprint, too.

Half-way through, I checked my pacing app and I was running a 7-minute mile when my normal speed is 11 minutes per mile… and I was still dead last. 

The first lesson I learned about competition that applies to your travel writing is

Competition is good when it pushes you. You can probably go a lot faster than you think when others around you are going fast, too. I never knew I could run that fast. Lots of our readers never knew they could completely change their lives and make the switch to travel writing. But they saw others do it, and it pushed them to try.

By the time I got back into our team van (wheezing and disappointed), my friend explained that I actually didn’t come in last after all. The slower runners got a 30-minute head start. So while it looked like I was last, my team’s total time would actually be somewhere in the middle.

Which means that the whole time, I was comparing myself to extremely fast runners… and I wasn’t last at all.

The second lesson I learned that day:

Don’t compare yourself so much that it makes you feel discouraged.

How healthy competition can help you make the switch to travel writing
The view on the way to Hood River

My second leg in the relay was beautiful. As I passed through rolling orchards, everyone was so spread out, I couldn’t see who was ahead or behind. So, I slowed down and enjoyed the journey. 

After all, that’s what it’s all about, isn’t it?

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