If you are one of the lucky few fortunate enough to be paid to travel, then documenting your adventures in writing for others to read is a very small price to pay. Travel writing gives us the very best of both worlds. Getting to see the world is on everyone’s bucket list but, for one reason or another, could not be achieved. And second, being able to express yourself through written words not only gives you the rare chance to curate your travels but is also a great way to get in touch with your thoughts and feelings leading to a healthier mind.
Travel writing is quite great, to be honest, but like any writing job, the term called writer’s block does occasionally occur. When I’m stuck and in need of a mental boost to unleash my creativity, I find these travel writing tips that are a great help.
- Set a goal
Even before I hop on a plane or bus or boat, I mentally prepare myself for the journey by stating a purpose. I started with ordinary goals like seeing more and meeting more people. As I got used to the idea I transitioned to introspective goals, more abstract than concrete. In my recent one where I went to explore the temples of Burma, I condensed my goal to one word: clarity. But your goal can be anything and everything you want. The important thing to remember is it has to come from a place of honesty and truth. Once you’re ready to write, you can use your goal as a point of focus.
- Keep a journal
It could be tempting to live in the moment and avoid any distractions on your trip. You try to minimize screen time and not to be too focused on capturing every single second. But once you’re home, it’s easy to forget your experience. I find that keeping a small travel journal helps to recount my adventures and allow me to write more poignant descriptions of the scenes you saw, the things you encountered and the people you meet.
- Take pictures
I know I said previously that I try to minimize taking pictures, trying instead to live in the “now” but pictures are also a great way to recount your travels and help you write more vivid accounts for your readers. If I hit a wall in my writing, what I find most helpful is going over the pictures I took on my trip. It’s a great way to revisit my feelings and emotions that time as well as inspire me with new ideas on how to continue with my writing.
- Be consistent with your narrative
In short, tell a story. To truly stand out against all other travel stories you see in magazines and online, create a story on your trip. When most people go the route of documenting their travels, tell a narrative that happened on your trip. Use your unique experience to paint a beautiful picture of the place you’ve been to. One example I used once was about searching for a friend through the streets of Seoul. I described the sights I saw and the food I tasted as I desperately tried to find the restaurant we were supposed to meet.
- End with a change
Like some teen fiction books for girls, your travel story should end with some sort of change. It could be about you, your opinion, or even something else entirely. Readers love character development. If you are the character in your narrative then you should be a changed person compared to the beginning of the story. Your travel experience should incite an alteration in yourself.