Travel writing can be fun; there is no doubt about it. Aspiring travel writers around the globe will tell you the same thing. However, this job is far from glamorous, and certain aspects will hardly resonate with someone who is just starting. Like every other job, it has its upsides and some hidden truths that only your peers who had the same experience would know. If you are eager to find out what no one ever tells you about being a travel writer, tag along. We are going to explore some travel writhing myths going around and try to demystify the job itself.
Travel writing is an actual job and requires you to work
If you ever thought about being a travel writer, you probably imagined a New York City café on a rainy day. A writer is sitting all cooped up in front of his laptop, words joust pouring down to the screen. He takes a sip of his coffee and stares at the street, reminiscing about his recent trip to Mongolia and all the benefits of living abroad. Well, however picture-perfect your imagination is, there could be something wrong with this scenario. Most of the travel writers out there work on their articles on the road. There is not that much time to sit in a café and evoke happy thoughts about your travels. You are most likely to be on the road again, taking another taxi from the airport to the hotel.
Even though you would dream about inspiring cities in the world, chances are you won’t get enough time to explore them and write about them the way you imagine. Not every destination comes with a good story. Competition is fierce in this line of work as there are so many travel writers going places and writing about their experiences. It would help if you had a good angle, an excellent story, and some great writing skills to sell your story to an editor. Of course, you can still write about specific places, but you must be clever and think of a unique twist to the story or a new perspective no one had used before. Like at any job, you need to work hard to excel and reap all the benefits.
What no one ever tells you about being a travel writer is that you probably won’t get rich
As glamourous as it sounds to travel the world and write about it, the truth is sometimes a little bit underwhelming. Sure, some writers do get all-expense-paid trips to all the corners of the world. Still, they have to produce quality articles, pitch them to editors, wait for magazines to publish them, and get paid just then. That is a long period waiting to get paid, whatever the amount. Consequently, the chances are that you won’t get rich from travel writing. But, you will have plenty of experiences, exploring and soaking in all those places you visit. Money is not the biggest perk of being a freelance writer. The opportunity to travel and collect experiences is reason enough to dive into this business and find out what it brings.
Getting editors and magazines to publish your work is no easy task. You need to pitch your ideas and do an excellent job of selling your story. Sometimes, you will need to invest your funds to get all the substance of your travels to your story. You might have to organize your trip and spend extra money to get a certain angle necessary for a successful storyline. Also, you will need to work to improve your travel writing and get writing jobs that pay better. All this, combined with irregular pay, can make a dent in your wallet. Thus, being a travel writer will require you to take care of your finances and spending money to earn money. At least in the beginning.
You get used to money not being the most important thing
Even though most travel writers will tell you that their writing doesn’t pay well, they still do it. How do they manage to pay the bills and still do what they love? They probably have some jobs on the side, some less glamorous ones that help them earn a decent living. Frequent relocations can be pricey, and whatever income you are earning from your travel gigs can easily be less than enough to cover all your costs and moving expenses. You will have to do some copywriting or content writing for some paying clients to keep your travel writing dream alive. However, don’t let this discourage you from becoming a travel writer. Think of it as a reality check. It is something that keeps you grounded but still lets you fully explore all the world’s wonders and tell other people about it.
Travel writing is not a myth, so don’t get discouraged and keep dreaming
Besides being an actual job that might not pay so well, travel writing is still fun. You will have the chance to experience amazing things, visit some extraordinary places and tell the world about them. Don’t think too hard about what no one ever tells you about being a travel writer. Try to be proactive, work hard, practice your pitch, and research your next destination. Find other writing jobs to sustain your passion, and eventually, you might even make enough exclusively from your travel gigs. It all depends on many factors, luck being one of them. Try your luck, get noticed and build your way up. Achieve your goals, whatever those are, and don’t give in to the myths as reality is much more vivacious.