Today’s holiday trivia: It seems like we’ve totally missed the mark on Christmas by running our 12-day special a week late this year, but today is actually the official Christmas Day in more thank 15 countries, including Greece, Egypt, Russia, Ethiopia, Greece, and Bulgaria. These countries follow the Ancient Roman Julian calendar rather than the Gregorian calendar. Russian Christmas is marked with a 12-course dinner centered on fish in honor of the 12 apostles, while Greeks use a sprig of basil rather than the European and American fir tree.

People often ask me which of our retreats is my favorite.

They’re all so different–from the people to the programs–that I say it’s like the favorite child dilemma.

But since our first week-long Freelance Travel Writing Bootcamp, I have to say, there is a certain child that I favor. Having the opportunity to spend a week together digging in and making deep progress throughout the week felt special on its own, but the last 24 hours of the retreat were what sealed it for me.

For our final outing, we had a private tour of a landmark modern art institution. Little did I know, heading into the outing, the attendees were actually dreading it because most had had decidedly uninspiring experiences with contemporary art in the past.

However, we had worked throughout the week, in all sorts of settings, on honing our ability to find stories from any experience, no matter what.

And within less than an hour of begin at the museum, the attendee who was most unenthused about the very concept of modern art had whipped out her phone and scribbled down an entire, stunning, thought-provoking essay based on her experience.

When we returned to the retreat house that evening, the attendees busied themselves working on their final assignment while I set up a bonfire for our final evening’s celebration.

One attendee had worked on writing a story in the style of a section in Lonely Planet Magazine for this assignment, but during our last one-on-one, I had requested a number of revisions and that she dig in and put herself and her feelings deeper into the backbone of the story.

When she read the piece in our final session–designed for all participants to share how far they had come and us to celebrate that progress together–the final version was so perfect, so poignant, that it was met with a round of applause and tears from many.

I have been completely blown away by this experience purely because of the incredible changes it creates in such a short time.

The bootcamp is not designed as a beginner / introduction-style event at all providing just a basis in the opportunities in travel writing today. It’s all about action, specifically, leaving as a finely tuned travel writing machine.

The bootcamp encompasses the IdeaFest curriculum plus, and in particular is able to really focus on the process of transferring what you see in “the wild” (out touring and doing research while traveling) into article ideas and then quickly formulating the associated pitches with little time and fuss.

Everything from the approach to interviewing, what details to take in with the senses, and the note-taking process we’ll discuss all center around getting more and more usable ideas.

It’s difficult to compare the the bootcamp to our other events, because a weekend versus a full week translates to a very different feel of the event and instilling of the learned processes.  You could say that IdeaFest and Pitchapalooza revolve around classroom learning and working on your own between lessons and one-on-ones while the bootcamp is more hand-on laboratory style.

Given the time and space and the learning focus of the longer event, it’s much easier to come up with a list of 100 ideas or 15 pitches if you wish, but it’s more about leaving 100 perfect confident you can do all the facets of the process whenever you need to.

That’s why, for today’s special, we not only offering a chance to grab a spot in the Freelance Travel Writing Bootcamp, but also taking two very special offers from last year’s 12 Days of Christmas to create a super-charged, comprehensive program that starts before you arrive and continues after you leave so you are guaranteed to make this the year your travel writing skills, portfolio, and income go through the roof.

What’s Included

The Freelance Travel Writing Bootcamp already comes with:

  • 12 modules covering the full content of our IdeaFest and Pitchapalooza programs along with special sessions to dovetail our afternoon tours and 4 post-tour debriefs ($599 value).
  • 4 afternoon tours to historic, natural, and artistic sites in the Catskills and Hudson Valley ($200 value).
  • 1 month of our coaching lite program following the event to help you stay on track to reach your goals including daily freelance travel writing inspiration, weekly accountability check-ins, one coaching check-in call each month, and full access to the Travel Magazine Database, with breakdowns of hundreds of travel magazines that spell out which sections of each magazine are open to freelancers, how to pitch them, and the direct emails for the editors you need to reach ($199 value).
  • Two private coaching sessions with Gabi during the weekend to polish your portfolio, pitches, and proposals and plan for your travel writing success after the retreat ($250 value).
  • A shared room with writing desk and the opportunity to stay on at the retreat center the following week as many days as you’d like to continue working on your pitches in a focused writing space ($150 value).
  • The opportunity to stay at the retreat house for an as many day the week before or after the retreat as you’d like ($150 value).
  • Wholesome, organic meals, beverages and snacks throughout the retreat ($250 value).
  • A print copy of The Six-Figure Travel Writing Road Map…plus you’ll skip the shipping. We’ve already paid that for you ($25 value).

You can get all of this (a more than $1,500 value!) for $599.

But today, we are adding something very special in place of the month of our coaching lite program that typically comes with bootcamp registration.

Last year, during our holiday specials, we offered a special with an unprecedented amount of access to me for a small group of writers who needed to make huge steps forward with their travel writing careers in a very short amount of time, either because they were on their way to quitting their jobs to freelancing full-time, just had, or were using an unexpected exit from a past job as the opportunity to final make the leap.

What You’ll Also Get With This Special Offer

The four-step start-up package includes:

  • 3 half-hour phone calls over the course of two months–beginning before the bootcamp to ensure you’re primed to make the most of the experience
  • 1 month unlimited questions by email (I just noticed that my own business coach charges nearly $200/month for one email a day!)
  • 1 month unlimited query critiques of pitches before you send them
  • 2 portfolio site reviews
  • 1 review of social media profiles

Step One – Day One
You complete a comprehensive questionnaire that guides you through the groundwork and soul searching you need to do to set yourself up for success as a travel writer:

  • why you are looking to become a travel writer
  • when you’d like to hit a certain income goal or go full-time
  • the complete time resources at your disposal to pursue this endeavor in the two months we’ll be working together
  • the direction you’d like to take your freelance travel writing in terms of type of writing as well as topical or geographic focus
  • and a detailed overview of your previous publishing and writing experience so I know all the skills you have to bring editors and clients and can help match you with the right ones.

After I’ve reviewed this information, I put together a work plan for you for getting yourself set up quickly and correctly the first month along with resources to help you overcome any fears or knowledge gaps you have, then we have our first call to get to know each other, discuss the plan, and get clarity on anything other questions and roadblocks you have.

Step Two – First Month – Laying the Groundwork
Following the plan we’ve laid out, you get fresh versions of your websites and social media profiles online and we got back and forth over email to review them.

During this time, you’ll also attend the Freelance Travel Writing Bootcamp and transform your travel writing skill set.

Step Three – Transition from First Month to Second Month – Moving into Action
Once we’ve finalized your online presence and initial travel writing footing, we attack…I mean…we pitch blitz.

Our second call with be a highly-focused pitch brainstorming and trouble shooting session designed to set you up with 20-25 solid pitch ideas to work on in the month ahead.

We’ll go back and forth on email during the rest of the month to whip your pitches into shape and ensure you’re at the point where you can create stellar pitches on your own once our work is done.

Step Four – End of Second Month and Our Start-Up Sessions – Moving into a New Day-to-Day Maintenance Routine
In our third and final call, we talk through any major, recurring issues that popped up in your month of pitching and make sure you feel prepared to continue pitching on your own going forward.

Then we make a plan for how to pre-pitch your upcoming trips and pitch on-going writing work to hit your complete income goals.

Who Can Make the Most of This Offer?

Today’s special is especially for all of you who are just starting out, for if you don’t have clips (or not any that you’re proud of), you don’t have a blog you’ve worked on for some time, and you haven’t changed your LinkedIn profile to proudly proclaim yourself a travel writer.

The commitment from you:

  • an hour or two several days a week (though it doesn’t have to be every day) to do focused work on your questionnaire, website copy, and other tasks
  • resolution to do the soul-searching to dig up what’s really holding you back and who you really want to be in this new career so we can create a sustainable foundation in our time together
  • a promise both to yourself and to me that you will remain resilient and flexible throughout this process as we reshape your preconceptions about what is and isn’t needed in this career
  • determination to give 100% to the work you’ll do during our time together

This offer is extremely limited–both because of spots in the bootcamp and also the fact that we can only offer this kind of email access to a very small number of people at one time–so if you’re interested, check your schedule and reserve now.

Delivery: Pay for your spot in the start-up program and the Freelance Travel Writing Bootcamp at the holiday special price of $599 for the bootcamp and four-step program here. The four-step start-up package can begin:

  • Monday, January 15, or
  • Monday, January 22, or
  • Monday, January 29

Please reply to your order receipt and let us know what day you would like to begin. The timing of the four-step package will unfold according to your start date and the schedule above.

You can arrive early the week before and leave late the week following the retreat at your leisure–no need to confirm dates with us before booking your travel. We’ll send a questionnaire to collect more information about your needs and preferences closer to the event.

One important note: Thanks to our Thanksgiving survey (and thanks again for those that took the time to help us out with that!) we realized that a lot more of those following us that we had accounted for are on other continents but would really like to take a retreat, so we’re looking at having our other week-long event this year not at our own retreat center in the Catskills, but potentially in Europe. That means it’s closer to some, but a more expensive plane ticket for others.

So we wanted to make sure, that if you’ve been thinking about joining us for this event to make serious, speedy, lasting progress on your travel writing business, you have the chance.

This offer has ended. Thank you!

Please check the 12 Days of Christmas page for the new daily offer, or add your email address below to get the day’s offer in your inbox each day when it opens.


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