I’m a writer who travels often, and I’m ashamed to say I don’t write about traveling for magazines or websites. In fact, travel writing is my least favorite type of writing (and reading, really) – but, luckily, there are other things to write about while traveling!
Before my “travel” writing tips, a quip:
“For my part, I travel not to go anywhere, but to go. I travel for travel’s sake. The great affair is to move.” – Robert Louis Stevenson
That’s me! I don’t travel to write, I travel for travel’s sake. Me and good ol’ Robert Louis should go for a beer sometime. If you want to learn about travel writing, read The Travel Writer’s Handbook: How to Write – and Sell – Your Own Travel Experiences. And read on for my tips for writers who travel, but who don’t write about traveling.
Ideas for Writers Who Travel, But Who Don’t Write About Traveling
Practice travel writing. I’m writing this article on my laptop on a train – first class even offers plugins – traveling from Innsbruck to Graz (in Austria). We’re chugging by small villages nestled in rolling green fields, through mountain tunnels, past castles, and over rivers and streams. Even though I’m not a travel writer, I could exercise my writing skills and try selling articles about my vacation. This is the perfect opportunity for non-travel writers to step out of the comfort zones and try something new!
Write about your travel companions. This is our fourth trip as a married couple (my husband and I have explored St. Maarten, Israel/Turkey, Italy, Costa Rica, and now Austria/Czech – one vacation for every year we’ve been married). I haven’t really written about him before, but on this trip he spurred me to write one article for Quips and Tips for Achieving Your Goals: Why People Snore, Plus 6 Ways to Stop Snoring.
Write the plot outlines, article pitches, etc, that you’ve been putting off. I’ve had an idea for a novel for about a year now, and I keep putting it off because most of my times is spent writing nonfiction to earn money as a writer! My plan for this trip was to write this book idea – a plot outline – but I haven’t found the time. Every morning from 6 to 9 a.m., I log on to keep up with my blog comments and publish a blog post every couple of days. It hasn’t been easy – and I definitely haven’t found the time to do any additional fiction writing. Theoretically, though, it’s a great idea for writers who travel!
Write about solutions to travel problems. I was plagued by sleeplessness for a full week on this trip. So, I experimented with different ways to overcome jet lag (sleeping pills, ear plugs, eye masks, etc) and then wrote about overcoming jet lag, also for Quips and Tips for Achieving Your Goals. This idea for writers who travel but who don’t write about traveling opens the door to a wide range of magazine article possibilities! Food, souvenir shopping, clothes shopping, sight seeing, renting cars…there are all sorts of travel problems that need solutions, and it’s not really travel writing (though now I’m starting to wonder what “travel writing” means!).
Write about the sights that raise your hackles. I visited Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart’s house in Salzburg, and was dismayed to learn that Nannerl, his sister, was perhaps as talented as Mozart himself. She, however, couldn’t pursue her musical career because her father decided she was “marriageable” when she turned 16. That, I turned into a blog post for See Jane Soar: Inspiration for Successful Women — Mozart’s Mother and Sister. I realized I could write about it after I ranted for throughout dinner that night about how unfair it was for Nannerl.
Write about not being a travel writer. This blog post is a perfect example of writing about not writing about travel! Writing about what you don’t like to write about helps you learn more about yourself; this insight can make you a better writer. And, it allows you to reveal yourself in your website – which I don’t often do here on Quips and Tips for Successful Writers. Now, if I could jazz this idea up a bit and sell an article to a magazine like Writer’s Digest, I’d be the happiest non-travel writer on earth!
For more writing tips, read Do Writers Need Writing Degrees? 4 Tips for Aspiring Writers.
Do you write about your travels? I’d love to hear from you — especially if you have any ideas for writers who travel but don’t write about traveling…