All Posts in Category: Traveling
Working on front-of-book pieces has several key benefits we’ve discussed, especially honing your ability to write short and journalistically.
But one of my favorites is that it offers you a venue to use all sorts of excess pieces of research that you collect on your trips with the most minimal investment of additional research.
This week, during our winter Freelance Travel Writing Bootcamp, a very interesting question has come up several times.
It’s a very common situation that travel writers find themselves in.
During the bootcamp, we try as hard as possible to stimulate real-world circumstances in our afternoon tours. The bootcamp focuses through morning lessons and afternoon outings on honing your ability to find stories out in the world wherever you are. And one of the realities of traveling as a travel writer is that not everything you see is interesting to you personally.
This week, we’ve got a special webinar double header week since I was out with the flu last week, and we’re also doing a very different mini-series.
We’ve looked in the past at a lot of facets of free travel that are specific to travel writers:
- Setting Up Sponsored Travel 101: How free travel really works for travel writers.
- How to Set Up an Individual Trip From Scratch: The ne plus ultra of press trips are the ones you design yourself.
- Getting a Spot on a Group Press Trip or Fam: Cracking the code for getting offers and acceptances for scheduled group press trips.
- Putting Together a Pitch Portfolio to Support a Big Trip: The simple secret to landing a spot on any press trip you’re interested in.
- What to Expect on Press Trips: What you can realistically expect from your press trips–the good and the bad.
- How to Prepare for Your Press Trip: What you get out of a press trip depends largely on what you put in.
- How to Get the Most (on the Ground) Out of Your Press Trips: Getting on a free trip is the easiest part. Leaving with saleable ideas is the real challenge.
But this week we’re talking about a totally different way to travel for free: trips you book yourself…but don’t pay for.
That’s the real dream, right?
Today’s holiday trivia: In many Asian traditions, odd numbers are lucky, and Japan is no exception. The 11th marks the festival of Kagami Biraki, which means “opening the mirror,” and implies the end of a period of abstinence. The celebration began with the samurai in the 15th century and continues in the judo martial art tradition today, as well as in private homes, to whack open sake barrels with wooden mallets, drink the sake from specially made square wooden cups, and break upon and share a mochi (traditional japanese rice and red bean sweet).
Ever since we laid our eyes on what is now our 3,400-square-foot writing retreat in the Catskills, we knew it had to be used for one thing: a place for writers, editors, bloggers, and other creatives to come and do deep work, like…
- finishing a first draft of a book
- editing a documentary
- processing a huge batch of photos from a trip you’ve just wrapped up
- banging out an entire month’s worth of blog posts
- finishing some big feature assignments
- recording a series of videos for your audience
- writing the materials for a course you’re planning to launch
Today’s holiday trivia: An important British holiday tradition has been the day when a lord’s subjects would come wassailing. Today, we think of wassailing as singing carols and spreading good cheer, particularly when doing so door to door, but this tradition initially was intended to replace begging and offer peasants a specific opportunity to receive food and drink—especially figgy puddings—from the wealthy. The food-gifting aspect continues today, often in unusual forms, such as the London’s Drury Lane Theatre’s tradition since 1795 of proving cake and punch for the resident theater company each January 6.
If you are new to travel writing, there is no doubt one thing that seems the golden goal for marking your successful entry into this work: scoring a spot on a free trip for travel writers.
I’ve seen this as a goal for many folks who joining us for our 5-week annual review and 2018 planning process this winter.
And if this is one of your goals this year, I’ve got great news for you:
Setting up free trips as a travel writer is dead simple.
You go somewhere a.maze.ing.
You take *tons* of photos.
The light is even fantastic, even though the weather forecast was crap.
All in all you can’t believe your luck (because we all know how easy it is to plan a big day of shooting only to have it foiled by weather, equipment issues, construction, or an entirely unrelated personal emergency), and you are sure you have a memory card full of excellent shots to sell, use on social, and support an epic photo essay on your blog.
- TravelContentCon: Friday, January 12 – Sunday, January 14
- Freelance Travel Writing Bootcamp: Sunday, February 4 – Saturday, February 10
- IdeaFest: Friday, March 16 – Sunday, March 18
- Pitchapalooza: Friday, April 13 – Sunday, April 15
But how do you know which event is for you?
Check out our step-by-step workflow to figure out which event best fits your needs right now in your travel writing career: Read More
If you’re in the U.S., I hope you had a great Labor Day weekend!
In France, they call this time of year the réentrée. It’s when people return from their idyllic French summers in their country homes or those of their friends (you know, the A Year in Provence life we have all dreamed of at one point). Children get ready for school. And the combination of cooling weather and shorter days subconsciously make us begin preparations for the coming bleakness of winter.
For travel writers, however, fall has the cheerful advantage of being the time we pitch stories to magazines or next spring and summer, as we’re always living in the future due to the rhythm of the printing press and its deadlines.
In that vein, I’ve already set up our calendar for travel, workshops, and weeks open for our $150/week individual creative residencies, and I feel silly keep those dates from you, as I know many have already asked me when the next batch of retreats will be, because they couldn’t make the dates this summer or fall work.
You’ve heard of our travel writing retreats in the Catskills, where a small group of travel writers come together in a peaceful country setting for intensive workshops and one-on-one critiques of their pitches, article ideas, content marketing proposals, and travel articles.
But did you know we also offer the opportunity to come up for a week on your own just to get work done?
And, even more importantly, you want to know exactly what I said, maybe even just read it rather than listen to the webinar.
Or, you’d like the audio version only so you can listen while you’re on a run or in the car. Or maybe just a downloadable version of the video webinar so you can watch it offline on a long flight.