Travel Writing: Finding My Voice

What’s the key to travel writing? How do you break into an industry that so many people want to be a part of? More importantly, how do you separate yourself from the hoard?

Travel Writing

Having written for the Fashion Tech industry, had a story about life as a raft guide published, and traveled around the world, it can’t be that difficult… Right?

It’s here, at this awkward intersection that I find myself and my writing. Blogging fell out of my routine when we moved away from New York; outside of the UNDO story, writing in general has been almost nonexistent since I started guiding. So what then is my angle? Where is my voice as I approach my third year on the water, just returned from Iceland and finding myself deeply motivated to share my experiences with others beyond my closest friends and family?

The key, so I’ve read, is in separating yourself from the common traveler, that there is an emotional difference in travelers able to share their experiences with the world. I can do that. So why haven’t I?

As I watch the Intagram and Twitter feeds of my favorite travel magazines, the inundation of photos, reviews and mediocre concepts, I realize that the key to travel writing is to separate yourself from those standards. To write in the same vain as a travel publication is one thing, but you can see for yourself among the poorly-lit hotel rooms and over-edited selfies that even getting recognized by these brands is about who you know. And that’s not me. Would it be cool to say you know someone at the top travel mags? Absolutely! But at what cost? In a 30 under 30 story about outdoor photographers, I cringed as children were featured, not because of their prodigal ability to find beautiful light and inspiring dimension, but because their parent(s) were well-known, published, photographers. To me, it isn’t cute.

Photo via Paige Hogan | @PaigeWilhog
Photo via Paige Hogan | @PaigeWilhog

I learned quickly in New York that getting ahead in certain industries was all based on who you knew, and it’s part of the reason why I didn’t pursue a career in PR. Of all the lessons though, New York also taught me if you’re true to yourself and you believe in what you’re doing, it will be hard to stop you.

So that’s what I’m doing.

Between this blog and The Eddy Folk, my goal is to share stories with you that aren’t like all the other travel blogs. Yes, there will be reviews, I’ll tell what gear Paige and I like, and there will be a ton of photos, but the voice will be different. These stories won’t be series-upon-series of listicles made famous in the Buzzfeed generation, and they won’t be full of drone footage shot in some remote corner of the country. These blogs, these stories, they’ll be told from the ground-level. Looking you right in the eye and reaching for your heart, the purpose of the Freelance Rider and The Eddy Folk isn’t to soar above you as you sit behind your screen, rather to invite you on our journey, to encourage you, and share all the Earth has to offer as we explore it together.

If you want to be a travel writer, go write. Don’t set your sights on writing the same garbage everyone else is, just be you. If the magazines like it, they’ll find you… Because you’re that good.

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For more adventures in tapping the travel industry, follow The Eddy Folk on Bloglovin’ and don’t forget to find me on Twitter!

Daily Blogging: 2 Week Mark

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It’s Friday, and the week has been full of new things, posts on politics, fashion, student issues, and occasionally a mention of joblessness in the face a wedding.

Today however, considering the weekend is on the brink of beginning, I’ll go easy.

When I told Paige that I was no longer going to be working the job that I’d been at since May, we weren’t sure what I should do. It’s difficult to look for a job when you have to ask for the second month off so you can go on a 19-day honeymoon in Japan, let alone the week before that trip to have the actual wedding. So, considering the difficulty of finding a job with those stipulations, Paige issued me a challenge.

Blog at least once a day.

I had a decent number of followers, and was only on the website once every other month or so, but faced with quickly approaching student loans and a fairly weak portfolio, it only made sense.

Thus it began. As many of you saw, last week, a post went out everyday, the numbers slowly crept up, and I began to see the potential that Paige has been telling me existed for a long time. With that, this last week I decided to up the ante, to strive for at least a few days of two posts, just to see the reaction, and get a feeling of when you would be reading.

Paige nailed it. On Monday, you guys put my numbers close to the total views and visitors that I had for all of last week, and the week only got better. We redesigned some of the options on the website, I started tagging my posts, and updated Tumblr too.

Thanks in large part to Paige, but the quiet support that many of you have shown just by visiting, my whole attitude has turned around as the wedding gets closer.

I guess what I’m trying to say is thank you. To all of you. You’ve helped ease the stress of looming loan payments and wedding detail finalization. If there is any topic you want to see written about, or you want some advice on here, just click that gif on the right, or connect with me here.

You’ve helped me, and I’ll help you. Have a great weekend, and smile a little bit, you deserve it.

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