Can I really give you all the answers about Travel Writing?
“One’s destination is never a place, but a new way of seeing things.”- Henry Valentine Miller.
Can I really give you all the answers about Travel Writing? I don’t think so! I love traveling and I do travel occasionally, but to be honest, I am only learning all the aspects about Travel Writing through writing my own Medical Travel guide “Perfect smile from Bangkok”. However, I will try my best after my humbling experience of Travel Writing for the last 14 months.
Have I accumulated considerable knowledge of traveling to Bangkok? I believe so! Have I collected enough material and in-depth understanding of the subject for my Medical Travel guide? Yes, more than I can write about by personally being a guinea pig in that regard. Have I met and befriended local people? Have I interviewed a few professionals? Have I managed to visit many interesting places? Yes, yes and yes!
Is this enough? “Yes” and “No”! Why? The reason is simple – to write in this category, one must learn and understand the essential aspects of Travel Writing. That is what I am ready to share with you my dear readers and writers. I will share what I comprehend and experienced myself. Just remember, I am not a guru but a writer and reader, as many of you are; therefore, my knowledge and comprehension are equal to my own personal understanding and opinion.
In the process of being a dental patient and traveller to Bangkok – I became an aspiring travel writer without planning or anticipation. It just happened by itself. I fell in love with Bangkok. I became attached to many wonderful places and I just couldn’t shut up about my experiences. The listeners to my stories simply concluded, “You should write about it”. So I started, and I learned what is important to know about Travel Writing.
Here is what I comprehend:
Observation and attention to detail is an important aspect of Travel Writing; but not just an observation rather an observation from every angle as if you are a person with multiple personalities. For example: at the same place, during a short period of time I am a factual reporter and investigative journalist who just happens to be a photographer, food critique and picky consumer. Therefore, I must be self-organised, curious, adventurous and determined to dig as much as possible in order to take everything in and to recall it later, as a story. So, I am not just a tourist, I am writer.
As a writer I have to examine and analyse who, what, where, why and when. Therefore, research is unavoidable and choosing my own style is vital. Needless to say, that there is no holidaying la-di-da time anymore but rather a lot of hard work. However, there is one big plus to being a travel writer or any writer for that matter. People around the world have a soft spot for writers, and as soon as you mention what you do – they take you in their arms and try to help you as much as they can. And that is exactly what you need as a travel writer. The ability to interact with local people and encourage them to share their insights about culture, traditions, cuisine and everyday living experiences or simply their unique knowledge of subjects and objects of your interest.
The interesting thing is that with any sort of Travel Writing you automatically become a student. A student of life in general and a student of many specific subjects like Geography, Travel Writing, Culture and Traditions, History, Economy and Finance and in my case even the Dental Industry. Not because you have to know it all, but because you have to know enough to see a bigger picture before your write about specifics. The benefit of being a Travel Writer is greater than I thought. For the last 14 months I was exposed to a never ending learning experience; and that, my friends is priceless!
One more aspect of being a Travel Writer is to learn your tools as fast and as deep as you can. Laptop and therefore computer skill is essential. Understanding how to operate a “digital note taker” or simply a voice recorder is important. A ‘Still’ camera is vital while a ‘Video’ camera is desirable.
So far, I have covered the most important aspects of Travel Writing that I personally comprehend and have experienced. In conclusion, I will say this, “If you are ready to become an observer with multiple roles to play at the same place; if you are not afraid of the hard work involved in writing and researching; if you are a good communicator with people; if you are willing to embrace the idea of becoming a constant student; if you know or are ready to learn how to operate a few tools of the trade, then by all means, you might try Travel Writing as a part of your life experience or in order to become professional Travel Writer”.
Did I answer some questions about Travel Writing? I think I did. Not all of them though.
Medical Guide “Perfect smile from Bangkok”
My warmest regards!
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