One of my favorite things to do is to watch the Travel Channel and see all of those people that make their living by going from city to city and around the world, telling about their experiences. I have always thought that travel writing seemed like a great way to make a living, and if the opportunity ever presented itself, that is probably exactly what I would do.
I remember watching a show that was set in Dublin, Ireland. I am an American of Irish ancestry, so naturally, I was fascinated by all of the things the host was doing. He saw the usual tourist-type places and made the trip to Cork to kiss the Blarney Stone, but he also visited a lot of local pubs and restaurants and met lots of people. I think that is what I like the most about the idea of travel writing — getting to meet and interact with the locals.
I saw another show that was set in Ghana. The host was touring some villages and has worked in travel writing for a number of years. He said that it was culture shock for him at first, because the locals lived such a different lifestyle than he did. However, he said one of the things that struck him the most whenever he left was how much more similar he was to them than different, and he said he makes it a point to go back whenever he gets a chance. I love the idea of everyone being basically the same when it really comes down to the important things.
Travel writing also appeals to me because I am a great student of history, and I am fascinated with learning about different cultures. To be able to go and experience things first hand that you have only read about and then relay them to readers, to be able to tell readers what to see and which places to avoid seems like a great thing. Not only would I be having the time of my life, but I would also be providing an invaluable service to countless travelers.
I am not sure if I will ever have the opportunity to pursue travel writing as a full-time career. The fact of the matter is that most of my traveling is done for business purposes or when I am on a family vacation. Either way, there is really no time to get out and do any writing, because most of my time is occupied. I also do not like the idea of being away from my wife and children. Once my children are grown up, however, and if my wife is up for it, I would love to make it into a career and see where it takes us!