This morning I saw a quote that said, “Working hard at something you don’t care about is stress. Working hard at something you love is passion.”
I can relate.
For more than 30 years I worked as a tax accountant – and believe me, I did not care about those tax returns.
Several years ago, I decided I needed a change, so I began a new part-time career as a travel writer. It wasn’t easy to simultaneously manage a full-time accounting career and build my travel-writing career. It was work. But the only part of it that seemed like work was the accounting part, because I was passionate about the writing.
I’m happy to report today that I’ve finally reached the point where I can give up that accounting career and put all my focus on my writing.
I’m working harder than ever – but I’ve never been happier!
I don’t want to mislead you into thinking that travel writing is going to make me or anyone else wealthy, but it is possible to make money writing and, more importantly, travel writing has given me a life rich in experiences.
In the last year alone, I’ve been to Canada, Norway, Aruba, Germany, Panama, Ecuador, Mexico, England, Buenos Aires, Uruguay, and Antarctica.
I’ve traveled all across the United States, and sometimes I even feel as if I’m going to run out of adjectives to describe how amazing some of my adventures have been.
If someone had told me 10 years ago that I’d be spending my days traveling the world and publishing articles, I would have never believed it was possible.
But it is. And I’d like to share with you some of the things that have helped me along in this journey to become a travel writer…
- Find a practical guide to travel writing like Great Escape’s Ultimate Travel Writer’s Program and put the tips and suggestions to work for you. That is exactly what I did to get started. And, even better, attend the Ultimate Travel Writer’s Workshop. I did and it gave my career the jump-start it needed to move to the next level.
- Start by writing articles about places in your hometown or city. When I started out, I was living in Palm Beach. I approached the editor of a regional publication about writing a monthly travel column focusing on destinations throughout Florida. That developed into my “Travel with Terri” column which now covers destinations all over the world. Today, I live in New York City, and I love writing about places in New York outside of dreadful Times Square. In fact, I recently published an article about four not-to-be-missed experiences in the Bronx.
- Get to know destination marketing representatives through marketplace events. One of my first media marketplace events was with MATPRA – Mid-Atlantic Travel Public Relations Association. I secured an invitation to attend, met with several destination representatives during the “speed dating” marketplace event, and began to develop relationships. Those relationships have led to numerous press trips – and some really great friendships.
- Always deliver what you promise. Nothing will put the brakes on your travel-writing career faster than accepting press trips and not producing articles. You have to “pay to play” by writing the articles you have promised. And I always try to provide a few extras if possible.
- Networking has been key for me. Besides developing relationships with destination tourism boards, I have developed friendships with other writers. Some are seasoned journalists and others are just starting out. Joining a writer’s network like ITWPA helps, as does social media.
More and more destinations want to know your social media numbers on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest when considering whether or not to invite you on a press trip.
All this may seem overwhelming in the beginning, but if you focus on one step at a time, before you know it, you’ll be walking away from that work you care nothing about and walking toward your passion.
[Editor’s Note: Learn more about how you can fund your travels and make an extra income with photography, travel writing, blogging, and more in our free online newsletter The Right Way to Travel. Sign up here today and we’ll send you a new report, Five Fun Ways To Get Paid To Travel: A Quick-Start Guide, completely FREE.]