Travel writing. Sounds like the perfect career, doesn’t it? You get to explore the cafes of Europe and trek through the hills of New Zealand–all while earning a paycheck. Well, while that picture isn’t completely accurate (I’ll get into that later), it means way more than that to me. For me, travel writing is a completion of my soul. Just thinking about it, I can feel my heart yearn. If you have a true dream or passion, you may understand how it can bring me both complete joy and sadness.
So, why I have I not fully pursued travel writing until now? Well, I have in some ways, but never with 100% dedication. I’ve worked for and had my work published by the Travel section of Boston.com (one of the Boston Globe’s websites), attended travel writing conferences (TBEX 2013 in Toronto), attended press trips, pitched story ideas to newspapers, and enrolled in online travel writing courses. But I always somehow allow myself to get sidetracked by other work or engrossed by other activities and I loose my drive. At least, that’s what I tell myself…
To be honest, its less about being busy, and more about being afraid. Being afraid that I will try my hardest and not make it. Being afraid that I’ll never make enough money from it to justify the expenses of it. Being afraid that I’ve built it up so much in my mind, heart, and soul that I will somehow be let down by the realities of the job. Being afraid that my writing will not be good enough. And being afraid that it will mean nothing, because, honestly, who cares what I have to say about the world?
Harsh fears and thoughts for me to put upon myself, I know. But by acknowledging my fears, I’ve been able to deal with them. I wish I could tell some amazing story of me atop a mountain in Asia having a divine moment of clarity, but really, its been many conversations with myself–usually in bed or sitting at my desk–that brought me to my current thinking: I’m leaving my fears behind, because if I don’t do it now, I WILL regret it later. And if there’s one thing I don’t believe in in life, it’s regrets.
So who cares if I don’t even make a full income off travel writing. Just a couple bucks a month would make me happy. Who cares if everything involved in travel writing doesn’t meet my expectations, I know there will be areas I enjoy (traveling and sharing my stories), and areas I could go without (hours spent in a cafe when I could be out exploring the world). Who cares if my writing isn’t “good enough.” I know I’m not the best writer in the world. But I am currently making a pretty good living as a full-time freelance copywriter, so I can’t be that bad. And who cares if no one cares what I have to say about the world. I care. And that’s all that matters.
So from here on out, I invite you to join me on my journey. On my journey to become a travel writer. Along the way, I will of course share my travels, but also my thoughts on the industry and the steps I take to improve my writing skills, build my blog, and hopefully, one day make money from my writings.
Until next time, feed your wanderlust.