We’ve all been there! Endured those travel moments when language barriers are too big to overcome and the result is an embarrassing scene that one day we’ll laugh about, just like Cindie Schofield’s little misunderstanding in Laos…
“Getting a massage in Luang Prabang was quite a memorable experience. It was my first professional massage ever and the female masseuse spoke absolutely no English. She handed me the disposable underwear wrapped in a plastic bag and waived her arms around in front of me while speaking very fast Laotion and then she disappeared out of the change room.
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.
Oprah Winfrey once said “The biggest adventure you can ever take is to live the life of your dreams.” But maybe the bigger adventure is living a life that’s beyond your wildest aspirations? Jessica Chasnoff was ready to do just that, to realise her dreams and take that leap of faith, literally…
“If someone had told me a couple of years back that I would have willingly Tarzan-jumped into a 150 foot free fall so that I could swing back and forth across the verdant and glorious canopy of the Costa Rican rainforest, I would have told them that they were certifiably crazy. But, in March of 2012, I took myself on my first solo international trip. Freshly divorced and even though it had been my choice to end the marriage, feeling a bit like a newborn fawn just learning to stand when it came to traveling on my own.
Hands up if you ever expect to win any of the competitions you enter? Well for Cassie Silva it was no different, except that this time she got the surprise of her life when she really did win…
“As one of the winners of Intrepid’s ’30 Trips in 30 Days’ giveaway, I just wanted to say a huge thank you for one of the most fantastic tours of my life. I have travelled with several other of the big name group tour companies in the past years, but Intrepid surpassed them all.
We get such a buzz when we hear from travellers who have had life-changing experiences while on the road with Intrepid.
We receive emails with heart-warming, uplifting and inspiring stories about people who had an amazing chance encounter, struck up a lasting friendship with someone who lives on the other side of the world, or even met their husband or wife on an Intrepid tour! We read about people who were inspired to change their career, some who found a new focus and those who accomplished something they never thought was possible.
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?
Daniel Klein and Mirra Fine have arguably the best job in the world: travelling and eating. Known as The Perennial Plate, they produce highly entertaining videos that dig into the local cuisine and culture of their destinations. They are also Intrepid Foodies on a Real Food World Tour and the duo recently took time out from a speaking engagement in Copenhagen to chat with Matador Network’s Carlo Alcos about their work and travel and eating tips…
Carlo: I just spent the past half hour watching some of your videos. The latest was the coconut one you posted on your Facebook page. It’s so interesting how they use every part of, not just the coconut, but the entire tree too.
Mirra: Yeah, it’s really important to them. It’s really part of their lives.
How do you supercharge your travel writing and photography? David Miller of Matador Network gives us his top 10 professional tips…
“As travellers in the digital age, with every image we share, with every post we write, we’re adding to the larger narrative of how travel and place are described around the world. We become, by default, storytellers.