As I start to get on in my years, thoughts about retirement start creeping in.
So what’s a poor writer to do? I was thinking about this very thing when I ran across a web site that inspired me to look at things a little differently. It’s called International Living. Honestly, when I first started visiting the site it was in the vein of a severe disappointment in the direction my own country has been taking. If the right situation came along I could certainly be an ex-pat. As I dug deeper into the website I found that much of the information it held did not merely extol the virtues of living on pennies a day in a Central-American country. Much of the website has to do with earning an income to support the lifestyle and more than anything, it seems that the opinion of this site is that travel writing is the way to go.
The closest I have ever been to travel writing was when I was the Transportation Examiner for the Alaska Examiner site. I ended up leaving that gig and wowza how it has grown! I wrote articles about the Alaska Ferry System and about events like the Fur Rondy street race. I liked writing the articles well enough but it sure felt like journalism what with the research involved and all. And that scared me a bit because I have virtually no journalism education or background and I felt like a fish out of water.
So in terms of International Living, and making income by writing about exotic travel sites you can surely understand my trepidation. While I do like to travel, it has never been important enough to be a priority in my life. At this point in my life the interest is there, and so is a desire to do something different and maybe see some of the world. If the way to be able to finance this kind of thing is through travel writing then who am I to argue? I certainly have the writing skills. I know enough about the marketing of those skills to bolster the idea.
What a lot of folks will find interesting is that I already live in an exotic location: Alaska. People will surely encourage me to write what I know, especially with a place like Alaska in my own back yard. And though I may carve a little out of that block of ice, inside my response is, “Meh.” Kind of like living next door to Disneyland. At first it is magical, then after a while, Disneyland is just background, not too different from the Wal-Mart down the street.
A number of factors may influence my decision to delve in to travel writing:
- A strong desire to move to a warmer climate
- The need to start planning some kind of retirement strategy
- My girlfriend’s interest in photography (seems like a good match to me)
- An opportunity to make income doing something I like to do
I’m curious to know if any of the readership here has done any travel writing. If so, what got you started? Do you still travel write? If so do you enjoy it and what are some of the pitfalls?