You probably already know that the perks of travel writing are real. The exotic travel…gourmet food…luxury accommodations…unforgettable adventures…special treatment. You may be sold on all of it and yet still be hesitant.
I know because that’s how I was.
Even after I sold my first article. Even after I got paid to travel and then write about it. Even after I saw the perks and enjoyed the special treatment. Even after I had well over a dozen printed articles under my belt.
Even after all that, I still held back.
I point this out because you may be holding back too. Everyone has their reasons. Maybe your life is too busy. (When is that ever going to not be the case?) Maybe you’re worried that you aren’t good enough to be a “professional” writer.
That’s another way in which travel writing isn’t like other jobs. It doesn’t require any special commitment. Travel writing is what you make it and if you decide it’s only part time, that’s OK.
I spent a lot of 2018 traveling the world before coming back to the U.S. for family reasons. I spent as much as a month at a time in nine different countries. Naturally, I wrote about my adventures along the way.
I’ve now had nearly 40 articles published, gotten free hotel stays, enjoyed free meals, been given special behind-the-scenes access, and had many unforgettable adventures.
My travel adventures have ranged from the sedate, such as touring the Christmas markets in Switzerland or standing on the equator in Ecuador, to the strange, like walking Amsterdam’s famous Red Light District at midnight after a tour of the Museum of Prostitution. (Yes, there really is such a place and it’s fascinating.)
I’ve flown over Peru’s NAZCA lines, climbed to the top of Maya pyramids in Mexico, went swimming with penguins in South Africa, and come face-to-face with a buffalo in South Dakota.
Perhaps my favorite experience of all time was one I got to share with my daughter. That’s the great thing about travel writing perks, you often get to bring a friend or loved one to enjoy the perks with you. She and I had just returned from five days in the Galapagos Islands and were spending a couple of days in Guayaquil, Ecuador. We stumbled upon a city park called Parque de las Iguanas right in the heart of downtown amidst all the hustle and bustle of big city traffic. She found the free-roaming iguanas every bit as fascinating and delightful as the giant Galapagos turtles or the shark we encountered while snorkeling. Recalling the sight of my daughter snapping away with her camera still makes me smile.
Some might say that I’ve “made it” in this business. Yet even after all that, I still pursue travel writing only part time. Your travel writing life can look any way you want it to.
So lose the hesitation and take the leap today. You’ll thank me later.