People who travel a lot regionally or take special trips overseas have an amazing resource available to them that the average web content provider may not be able to take advantage of— they have the ability to experience first-hand a particular location. This valuable, sensory-rich situation can make the difference between content created by secondary sources and one based on real-time detail, descriptions, sensations and life.
Converting a trip into a freelance article or writing project takes a bit of long-term planning. First off, the material may not end up being used right away. Good writers take advantage of the travel they experience to lock away the details while fresh. The article or material may not be used for months, but when the right opportunity comes up the article produced can be a perfect fit. Furthermore, by grabbing details as they happen, some of the most vibrant details of a travel experience are not lost over time due to memory loss.
Second, while on a trip, a person doesn’t necessarily want to be tapping away on a laptop for hours. You want to be experiencing the trip, seeing places, meeting people, and enjoying the new location. So, an old-fashioned approach of writing notes in a small notebook while moving around serves the purpose. The notes will trigger all the memories later on about a particular location, conversation or place. Just having the notes allows a person to capture the smaller flavors of a trip that make an article or writing stand out to a reader.
Third, taking advantage of first-hand experience while traveling is the key to exceptional travel writing. Anybody can craft an article about spending a week in Munich based on secondary sources. However, few can spin an article about sitting down in a beer hall restaurant, marveling at the feel of hundred year old tables, the hum of the people nearby eating and drinking, the herbal taste of dumpling soup, and the rich saucy experience of consuming the local deer meat recipe with a side of steaming, salty sauerkraut. That type of detail places a reader in the moment, making a travel article come alive.
So, the next time you have a trip coming up to a new place, grab a camera and a small notebook. Enjoy the trip but utilize the opportunity to create some magical writing. You will be amazed at how easy it is with even simple details, like sitting on a flat beach in eastern Oahu feeling the warm ocean water between your toes.
Tom L is a freelance writer available on WriterAccess, a marketplace where clients and expert writers connect for assignments.