A tourist is passive. A traveler is active. A travel writer is an active traveler–before, during, and after the trip. Don't go to a restaurant because "everyone goes there." Seek out your own adventures.

As a travel writer you must learn to investigate, interpret and understand. Ask not only what, but who and how–and most important--why.

As a travel writer you'll meet new people, learn new customs, embrace new thoughts, absorb new knowledge. You must learn to use your thinking time–standing in line at airports, etc.–to your best advantage. Successful travel writers use everything they've ever done, thought, known, and experienced–as the jumping off point.

A good travel writer needs the following:

Instinct - to know where to go and what to write about.
Insight - to understand what your readers want to read about.
Imagination - to imagine how a place used to be or an inventive way to travel.
Enthusiasm - to be excited about travel and the destinations you experience.
Curiosity - to seek out the unique, the unusual, and the bizarre.

You've got to take something to the experience as well as take something from it. You’ve got to love traveling. You must have the ability to absorb a lot of information, digest it and make it understandable. And you must have an awareness of differences in cultures.

A travel writer's job is ongoing and demanding.
In travel writing, every day is a work day. Every trip is work. There’s little time for vacation. You have to be active, eager to see new places, and alert to simple pleasures. You also need to be healthy, energetic, willing to work hard, a good sport, and ready to accept inconveniences. And you need to be a good listener, who’s sensitive and perceptive, and good at drawing people out, as well as being interested in and knowledgeable in a variety of matters.

Who are some of the great travel writers?
One of the great travel writers of all time was Mark Twain. His work lives on–in fact, it often reads as if it were written yesterday. He was way ahead of his time and created many of the travel writing techniques we use today. His Roughing It and Innocence Abroad are two classic travel books.

Paul Thoreaux and Nino Bello are two contemporary travel writers. Unlike Bello, who’s known mostly for his travel writing, Thoreaux has published fiction as well.


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