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Growing up on the beaches in sunny Southern California was the initiation for my love of travel. Being an avid surfer as a teenager, I traveled up and down the coast of Californiato sample the many incredible beach breaks. As I got older, the Hawaiian Islandswere next on the bucket list. As the years progressed, our close neighbor of Mexico was added to the agenda. Driving down the Baja Peninsulawith friends was thrilling in the ’70s, and enjoying the sparkling white beaches and magnificent waves was extra special in the summertime between college semesters. After attending the American Film Institute in Los AngelesI co-created a 30-minute real estate show, The Primetime Real Estate Show, for network television. Cinematography and screenplay credits were a major motivating factor in cultivating my writing talent. In the mid-1990s, I was introduced to the hotel and resort industry by a close friend, and worked for over 25 years in an industry that was always fun and exciting. I traveled all around the globe and in 2015, a friend of mine in Montego Bay, Jamaica, said that he wanted me to check out a course he thought I would really like. That is when I was introduced to The Ultimate Travel Writing Course by Great Escape Publishing. I invested in the online course and really didn’t know what to expect. I knew I was uniquely qualified to be a freelance travel writer because of my film and hotel background, but after immersing myself in all the aspects of this incredible writers’ course, I was overwhelmed with excitement. I didn’t realize that there were so many magazines and publications that were in desperate need of fresh, quality content. The billion-dollar industry is a never-ending carousel of new ideas. After a month or so, I had dissected the travel course to my satisfaction. I liked the idea that I could travel anywhere in the world at my whim, and stay as long as I wanted, and all I needed was a laptop and internet connection. There is nothing more exciting than seeing your name in print in a major publication. And the amount of time and energy you put into your new venture has a direct relationship to the satisfaction and revenue you can receive. My first article was published by International Living Magazine and it boosted my confidence level enormously. Another aspect that really appealed to me was bloggingI invested in a course that is taught by Paula Pant, How to Make $100,000 a Year as a Blogger (Note: She really knows her stuff). To anyone who thinks that this could be just what they’re looking for, I would say to go for it. Get started with experienced professionals, as I did, that can point you in the right direction. Their advice will fast-track your progress. Absorb the basic core instruction and then find a niche that appeals to you. What are you passionate about? What are you knowledgeable about? Everybody knows a lot about something and, with hundreds of publications out there, there is somebody looking to read what you know. You don’t have to have an English degree—my advice is to tell your story like you’re sitting at a restaurant or bar among friends. With that mindset, your words will flow and the message will resonate with your readers. Remember, your readers are just like your friend listening to your story over a cocktail or coffee. It’s just that simple. [Editor’s Note: Learn more about how you can fund your travels and make an extra income with photography, travel writing, blogging, and more in our free online newsletter The Right Way to Travel. Sign up here today and we’ll send you a new report, Three Fun Ways To Get Paid To Travel: A Quick-Start Guide, completely FREE.]