Ask anyone what their dream job is and (right after Full-time Lottery Winner and Smooth-talking Billionaire Superhero) you’ll get Travel Writer.
Whether you’re kicking off a travel writing career or just want to tell more engaging travel stories, this article by renowned travel journalist David Miller gives you invaluable tips that every writer needs to know.
The following is an excerpt from the Intrepid Travel Journalism primer, a free course for Intrepid Express subscribers providing four lessons on the fundamentals of digital storytelling, including writing, photo and video, plus social media and collaboration, from the leading online education community for travellers, MatadorU.
Ethics and attribution / citing
One of the most overlooked elements of travel writing is its ethics. Each day, hundreds of thousands of people write blogs about their travels and take pictures of the places and people they encounter, many never considering the impact their descriptions and photos may have on the actual subjects. The entire genre of travel writing as a whole has some dark spots in its history that still continue to some degree today, which is essentially stereotyping or objectifying local peoples and cultures, reducing them to a simple ‘backdrop’ for the narrator’s exploits.
There’s a lesson successful journalists and writers learn early on, which is: stories are everywhere. But where do you start? David Miller of MatadorU explains that how you choose to travel will make all the difference and he walks us through 5 very practical steps to finding your story…
“Stories are like tracks, just below the surface anywhere we happen to be. Take the building you’re in right now. What street is it on? Who is it named after? Why was it built in that particular place? What was it originally used for? How has that usage changed over time? Who were the original inhabitants? Where are they now?