I answer that age-old question: What exactly is a travel writer?

When I meet someone new, there generally comes a time when we have a conversation around, “What kind of work do you do?”

It usually goes down like this:

Them: What’s your job?

Me: I’m a travel writer and a novelist.

Them: Cool. [Pauses] Wait-what?

Me: I’m a travel writer and a novelist.

Them: What’s a travel writer?

Me: It’s someone who writes about travel.

You get the idea. From here, I generally have to explain what I do as a travel writer and how I do it. Maybe you follow me on Instagram or we went to high school or you’re friends with my parent (or just a stranger — hello!), and you don’t quite understand what a travel writer is or does, so, let me break it down for you.

I’m a travel writer, which means that I write articles about travel-related items for magazines and websites. These magazines and websites have included Oyster.com, LA Travel Magazine, Texas Lifestyle Magazine, CYTIES, Intrepid, Gecko Adventures, Matador Network, Addison Magazine, Verbal Gold, among many others. You can read some of my articles here.

Now, I generally have people say, “Oh, so you’re a travel blogger?” No, I am not a travel blogger. A travel blogger is someone who started a blog that focuses on travel and then creates a career out of writing (mostly) for their own blog and monetizing that blog through with advertisements. They own the outlet (the blog) in which they publish. It’s a cool travel gig, but it wasn’t the right one for me.

Even after explaining all of that, it’s still hard for people to wrap their heads around how I have made this into a paying job, since I don’t have one boss or one company that I work with. I get it — it’s a unique job. Basically, I work with a lot of different online and print outlets who pay me for the articles that I write. I may have to write 10 or 30 articles in a month to make full-time pay and with that may come 10 different paychecks in the mail or through direct deposit — but money is money and it pays the bills.

One of the next questions I get asked often is: “So, you basically just travel all the time and write about it?” Yes and no. I do travel, perhaps, more often than most folks and some of my articles are inspired by my travels. However, I do write about places that I haven’t been to or want to visit, and I do that through research. Unfortunately, it isn’t feasible for me to limit myself to writing about places I’ve been. I have to be broad in my writing abilities to make money.

When I do travel, it’s quite often in a different way than you may travel. I work with public relations representatives and tourism boards to visit different places around the world for free. They invite me to visit a destination or restaurant or activity that they represent, in the hopes that I will write about it in a publication that I have a relationship with. Sometimes all of my travel is free which includes airfare, activities, hotel stay, and food. Sometimes, I know that I’m going to be in the area and I speak with PR reps and they help cover my hotel stay and invite me to a few free meals at local restaurants. It’s one of the best perks about my job.

While there’s so much more about being a travel writer, I think you get the idea! Do you have more questions about being a travel writer? Let me know! I’m always happy to answer them.

And as for those brimming with the question, “Wait — what’s a novelist life like?” Stay tuned — I’ll dive into that in future posts.

 

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