Travel writing gigs are not as many as one would want them to be. I honestly do not know the reason for this, but what I do know is that there seems to be a glut of “What I did on this trip” type of travel articles and blog posts.
That is quite understandable, but there is no reason for a travel writer to stay in that box. Traveling is such a wonderful experience. There are so many facets to it, which can be translated to writing. If you are looking for a little inspiration for your travel writing, take a look at these simple ideas.
Learn a foreign language while traveling
You’re a travel writer, and the chances are that you have a penchant for learning languages. Why not consider a project where you focus on a specific aspect of the country that you are visiting? Its language.
If, for example, you are planning a trip to Thailand, instead of merely focusing on the attractions there, why don’t you learn Thai and write about the experience? That will give your travel writing a different spin.
Create a themed tour
Tours can be found left and right. Personally, I don’t really like taking organized tours unless absolutely necessary. I prefer the freedom of roaming around wherever I want, whenever I want. For the purposes of adding variation to your travel writing, though, why don’t you create your own tour following a specific theme? For example, when I went to Saigon in Vietnam, I discovered that there is a huge microbrewery scene there. If I had to come up with an article, or a series of articles, for that trip, a microbrewery-themed tour would have been a great idea.
It all happened in the cafe
This is inspired by a blog that I ran across recently, It Happened In The Cafe. As the name says, the blog is all about things that happen in cafes. Wherever in the world you go, you will find cafes to hang out. If you like hanging out in cafes, you can use this as a springboard for writing ideas. People watching is the term!
Interact with the locals
Travel writing is not only about giving guides and tips. It’s also about delving into the local life and culture. Even if you do not usually talk to strangers, try interacting with the locals more. Talk to the doorman. Talk to the cab driver. Talk to the shopkeepers.
When you go out to bars, talk to the locals and ask interesting questions that you can incorporate into your travel writing. It is a good idea to have a focus. What aspect of the culture do you want to write about? That way, your questions will have a direction, and you’ll have a more insightful travel article.
Interact with fellow travellers
In addition to feeling the pulse of local life, it is also interesting to get a glimpse of the lives of travelers. If this is your cup of tea, I suggest staying at hostels, where travelers might be more into interacting with likeminded people. You may, of course, opt to stay wherever you want, but the idea is to reach out to other travelers and write a piece from that angle.
Image via Ben Beiske