Travel writing can be scary. What if you fail at it?
What if no one wants to read what you write? What if there are no publications that love what you’ve taken the time and invested energy to write about?
All of those questions were on my mind when I first began to think about becoming a travel writer.
I always thought I’d have to have a lot of money, a state-of-the-art camera, and hours of free time. I didn’t have any of the above.
I was over 50, worked long hours at a retail job, and even though I tried hard to save money for retirement, it seemed like I was always robbing Peter to pay Paul.
A painful divorce left my finances in shambles, and I thought it was near impossible to make my dream happen.
I really wanted to make this travel writing gig work for me though, and decided to bite the bullet and start travel writing from home. Right outside my back door.
I followed Great Escape Publishing’s program plan and found a local website that might want articles on Saratoga. I submitted some of my insights on the city, including a few images, hoping they would tempt the editor into publishing what I wrote.
Within a few weeks, they accepted five of my stories. It was so exciting to see my name underneath those articles. I remember dancing in the living room, spilling wine as I twirled around, laughing.
From there, I looked for local print magazines that might want to pay me to write for them. It was nerve-racking, but I found two and got busy with queries and submissions.
They loved my writing — and they wanted my photographs. It was so surreal!
I started to get brave. I would find a place I was interested in visiting, Google who I might get in touch with, and would request a media pass. By now, I had a few by-lines, so I could send a link or two along with the request.
Free admission was mine, every single time I asked. It seemed that venues truly wanted honest feedback and coverage in social media on my visit. Often, I was invited back.
I built up more by-lines and great photographs that editors were eager to buy.
This led to travel within the States and eventually overseas. I saw Ireland, Fiji, and Paris. I was invited into five-star restaurants, slept in vacation rentals all over the country, gained access to museums, zoos, and other attractions I was interested in.
When I came home again, I would be super-busy, with writing, editing, and sending more queries out nearly every day.
Since attending the Ultimate Money Making Photography Workshop and The Ultimate Travel Writing Workshop in 2013, I have seen 98 articles published. These are in a mix of online and print magazines. (Online and print magazines is just one market. Here are three other avenues — all open to new writers — that you may not have considered before.)
I have enjoyed covers/features/photo essays in many magazines on destinations that I love sharing with the world. I even landed my first query to a UK magazine, writing about a historic garden right here in Saratoga.
The thing is this: a door opened for me in 2013 to attend GEP’s live workshops and I walked through it.
Haltingly perhaps, but I walked through it.
And that one door, led to another and another, and here I am.
The same door is in front of you, too. Isn’t it time you dared to walk through it? I can’t wait to see you on the other side!
[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.]