“The world is a book and those who do not travel read only one page.” St. Augustine.
Travel is my passion but when I travel governed with the intention of writing an article or blog – I’m guided with a different purpose and a submission deadline. As a travel writer, I must get fully immersed in the experience of travel using all my senses as well as aptitude and discernment. I must see the sites, the architecture and the people, hear the sounds and the rhythms of the city or town, feel and learn the history, customs, politics and religions, touch the products and smell the foods and environment.
I’m armed with a notebook from the moment I arrive at the airport until I return home and set it full of notes on my desk. I try to capture and write as much as I can when “I’m right there in the moment.” I ask questions, observe and records details – even the mundane and bizarre. It is important not to compare locations or places – but to fully embrace the present experience. On each trip, I add personal adventures or pursuits, to give my unique take on the location.
Armed with copious notes, brochures and other materials when I return home, I reflect on my overall impressions and most memorable places visited. I look at my own biases and assumptions and how some of these may have been transformed by the travel experience. I recount the day-to-day itinerary including activities, hotels, sightseeing and dining.
Now comes the moment of truth – the actual writing of the article or blog post.
When writing feature articles, journals, or blogs, its paramount the content be enticing and thought provoking delivering imagery through descriptions and narration. Travel Guide Books while descriptive impart instruction, guidance and information.
As with all writing, finding the right words and phrases is essential – as to paint a visual picture in the mind of the reader. Determining a catchy title to the article sets the stage. The following italicized title and opening lines are from two recently published pieces of mine. “Summertime and the living is easy . . . No way! This summer it’s Adventure Travel,” The title draws attention to the piece. To keep momentum, I start with a strong opening to capture the reader’s interest. “Traveling over the holidays? Visiting family or friends? Contemplating a Holiday get-away? Here’s how to prepare . . . Hotels with Holiday flare . . . Christmas Markets to share . . . and vacation spots that will make you just stare . . . .”
Principally, travel writing transports the reader to a location and pulls at feelings, sentiments and emotions. It sets a strong image of place to orient and carry the reader into the story – drawing him into the action and leaving him compelled to want to journey to that destination. It sells the sizzle – the fantasy of travel.
I welcome your comments or questions. Thanks for reading, Peggy
Author – Son of My Father – A Family Dynasty & Travel Editor hers Magazine