Winter came early with its cold, gray skies and rain. After a couple of dreary weeks, I decided to start a blog about local gardens and nature. 

In the beginning, I would choose a destination and beg a friend to come along. Soon, my sense of purpose would find me alone, appreciating many unique local attractions. 

I enjoyed the process of writing about my experiences – so much so that my 2015 New Year’s resolution was a commitment to writing once a week for a year. 

By summer, I was feeling confident, and I submitted a few articles to local print magazines. There was no response. 

Feeling dejected, I started researching “how to get published?” when I discovered The Ultimate Travel Writer’s Workshop by Great Escape Publishing.  I registered immediately. 

During the three-day event, I met dozens of people with the same goals: to be able to travel and publish their stories. 

The workshop outlined how to pitch ideas and how to craft the various types of travel articles editors want. Two weeks later, I sold my first article. 

Since that time, my words and photographs have been published online and in print in a number of different publications. 

I’ve canoed down rivers, gone horseback riding on a Texas ranch, and was even invited by the Sierra Outdoor Club to document a remnant tallgrass prairie’s annual prescribed burn. The team even nominated me to carry the torch to start the fire.

Travel writing is a dream job, but it does require work. Besides lighting fires, most days are spent researching, traveling or writing. 

The best part, though, is that I make my own schedule, interview interesting people and visit unusual destinations – often for free. 

I still get butterflies in my stomach every time I pitch a new story, but I dance around the house when the story is published. This week, three editors pitched me stories to write on assignment and what a great feeling that is. 

From those dark days of winter, I am now traveling in the sunshine — all thanks to Great Escape Publishing’s Travel Writing Workshop and to the only New Year’s resolution I have ever kept: committing myself to taking the time to write.

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[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, Profit From Your Photos: A Quick-Start Guide, completely FREE.]

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