The Golden Age for the Amateur Travel Writer

By: Julianne Parker

Exploring and experiencing the world, and being paid to write about your adventures and bring the world into the homes of stagnant readers is a dream job and ultimate goal that I am far from the first to shoot for.  Now, more than ever, travel writing is a career that is accessible and possible to all with the ease and progression of technology. We live in the golden age for the amateur writer, photographer, and adventurer. The ease of creating a blog, the advancement in photography equipment to take a perfect photo with little experience or knowledge, and the cheap, comfortable and convenient ability to travel to most regions of the world has made the competition of quality travel writing great, especially in the recent decade or two.

Courtesy of Julianne Parker

Courtesy of Julianne Parker

Now it’s about more than just creating a cool blog site, taking a beautiful picture or getting yourself into a remote region of the world, it’s about the quality of your storytelling ability through compelling writing, provocative photography and challenging your travel experiences far past simply being in a unique place.

This is not to say that there are not dozens, if not hundreds of extremely talented travel writers who provide an excellent assortment of captivating tales of adventure, valuable advice, compelling photography and insightful information into countries, cultures and communities most have not experienced.

Courtesy of Julianne Parker

Courtesy of Julianne Parker

The ultimate goal for myself, because I see this publication as being the front runner for quality travel writing is National Geographic. The quality of their stories are unbeatable. Publishing for over 100 years, they still find original and compelling content about the planet and its inhabitants.

An obvious basis to travel writing and production is The Travel Channel, the Discovery Channel, and Rick Steve’s travel guide books and films, all places of quality travel content.

Another excellent travel writing publication is BootsnAll,   based in Portland, Oregon. Their content is the “one-stop indie travel guide” and have a vast archive of well-written travel articles especially for the independent traveler, with topics such as, “Why is it all about the beaches?” and “Is travel really a path to self-discovery?” My favorite writer, Stephen Bramucci, of this company created the series, “How I travel”.

An excellent example of travel blogging can be found on NomadicMatt’s website, in which he has done a quality job providing solid content for travel advice and has marketed himself well. Another blog site, The Lost Girls, has great freelance opportunities geared towards independent female travelers.

With the hopes of spending the next summer in South Africa for a journalism internship opportunity, I want to focus my traveling writing to this region of the world. Southern and East Africa travel writer, Carrie Hampton has published a great deal of quality articles and photographs about her travels in Africa. Melanie-Ann Feria is another South African blog travel writer, focused more on the tourism industry in South Africa, but displays a level of talent and passion that I admire.

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