Having the opportunity to travel the world sounds like an ideal vacation, but actually getting paid to do so sounds almost too good to be true. But that’s exactly what travel bloggers do for a living. As the name suggests, a travel blogger is someone whose job entails traveling around the globe to different places and writing about their experiences on a published blog. [Read more…]
Whether you’ve always wanted to be a travel writer or you simply enjoy the flexibility of freelance work and the ability to manage your writing career from anywhere, you may be one of those people who’s taking their career on the road.
But, though you’re apt to find a WiFi connection almost everywhere, some real challenges remain to working outside a traditional office. That’s why the most successful freelancers are the ones who’ve mastered the art of mobile writing … the ones who keep a bag packed and ready to go at all times. [Read more…]
Over the last couple of years, the freelance and digital nomad movement have proven to be some of the hardest working, innovative, and inventive group of people out there. Most of them are driven by an urge to explore and live life to the fullest, while also running successful freelance careers and even start-ups.
However, and as we all know, the life of a freelancer and especially a traveling freelancer is far from perfect, and all too often the lack of income is the biggest hurdle. Therefore, this lifestyle often makes people creative in the ways they make money. [Read more…]
John Steinbeck wrote, “Every American hungers to move.”
In his book, Travels With Charley, Steinbeck further theorizes that Americans descended from those who moved: those who left Europe, those who were forced to leave Africa, and those who came in search of a better life — thus, doesn’t it make sense that we have this insatiable thirst for travel? [Read more…]
Writers get their inspiration by things they’ve experienced and seen, much more so when travel writing serves as their bread and butter. Whether they’re faced with writer’s block, an impending sense of ennui, or even just the threat of an overhanging deadline, sometimes all they need is a change of scenery, a change of pace, or even just the thought of a brand new adventure to look forward to at the end of a freelance writing job. Traveling is one of the best ways to reward oneself while getting the job done, as well as a means of enriching one’s spirit and widening one’s perspective. [Read more…]
Writing is serious business. I think we can all agree on that. Sure, there are times when the words flow from your mind to your fingers (to the keyboard to the screen) like water effortlessly flowing downstream. However, I am sure that we all have had our fair share of moments when writing feels like pulling out teeth. Without anesthesia.
The good thing is that oftentimes, the experience of writing is somewhere in between those two extremes. While not exactly exciting or glamorous, that middle ground gets the job done.
The danger then is for writers to get stuck in a rut and not go out of our way to become better. That is a very real possibility, and if we do not actively seek ways to improve, we might just stay in that rut for an unnecessarily long period of time.
What to do? Different people will have different approaches, but one thing works for me: traveling.
I have found that travel can help you in more ways than one and that it can actually help you on your way to becoming a better writer. I’d like to share a few things that I have learned from traveling and how it can contribute to becoming a better writer.
Travel helps you step away from routine.
Routine. That’s one of those silent killers. No matter what your field may be, it can be easy to fall into a routine that does not nurture creativity. Writing is no exception. Routine may be comfortable, but it can also lead into becoming a boring, predictable writer.
If you find your writing lacking that spark, maybe it’s time to take a step back and break up your routine. What better way to that than to take a trip somewhere? It doesn’t have to be a long trip. The destination doesn’t have to be the other side of the world.
I think that the important thing is that you give yourself a break, and stop doing what you do day in and day out. It does wonders for your writing afterward!
Travel can make you miss writing.
I love to write. I can write all day and night if I am really into the project. There comes a point, however, when I just feel that I could throw up from all that writing. Maybe routine has something to do with it as well, but whatever the reason, there are times when I want a break.
Again, that’s where a nice trip comes into the picture. The last trip I went on, I totally set aside writing. Believe it or not, I made a conscious choice NOT to work. I have to admit that after the initial adjustment of not working, I thoroughly enjoyed not doing any writing for work for the duration of the trip. Toward the end of the trip, though, I already had that undeniable feeling that I was missing writing. The trip had given me fresh zeal for my work!
Travel can give you new experiences and inspiration.
This might very well be one of the most practical things traveling can do for writers. When you visit a new place, whether it is in the same country or not, you will have new experiences. You will deal with strangers and even make new friends. If you are visiting a totally different culture, you will have even broader experiences.
These experiences can help you become a better writer in many ways. You might get a fresh perspective on life. For example, if you go to a less developed country, you will definitely see how differently people live, and how many of them are happy in spite of their economic standing.
Additionally, encounters with beauty always become sources of inspiration for writers. ((The same can be said of “ugly”, by the way.)) Not that you cannot find beauty in your backyard if you look for it. It’s just that when you are on a trip, your mind seems to be more receptive to those encounters. The result? Sources of inspiration that can get you a long, long way.
How about you? What have you learned from your travels that can be applied to writing?
Paul is a freelance writer who has spent the last two years discovering Asia. Next on his list of countries is Thailand, where he will learn Thai in Bangkok at the Language Express School.
Image via Mikey Bean
When we’re getting ready to travel, we often pack our laptops. After all, freelance writers can work from anywhere and very few writers are interested in turning down money just because we won’t actually be home for a week. But, depending on the trip, the best of intentions for work can often translate to a situation where the laptop never leaves the case. That can leave a writer scrambling to catch up. If you can clear your schedule ahead of time, traveling can get a lot easier.
- Can you reschedule due dates? Asking your clients if there’s any flexibility in when a project is due is best done up front. But if you have a reoccurring project (such as blog posting), you can often bring up the question as you get close to the dates you plan to be away for.
- Can you work ahead? It’s not always possible to do a ton of writing before you leave — packing can take a surprisingly long time, after all — but if you have enough advanced warning, it’s often possible to write a little more each day and gradually get extra work done.
- Can you get ahead and stay ahead? Especially if you routinely work for the same clients, it can be possible to work ahead of the schedule and give yourself some breathing room in your calendar. It can be a difficult approach but it also means that an illness or emergency doesn’t throw of your schedule quite as much.
- Can you reject a project? No freelance writer likes to turn down paying work, but if you don’t have work scheduled for your trip in the first place, life gets a lot easier. Simply rejecting a project that would require you to work as you travel can make things easier to manage.
Even if you do want to write as you travel and you feel perfectly comfortable doing so, it can be worthwhile to clear you schedule, at least as far as your clients are concerned. Not only do we make sure that clients aren’t in the habit of assuming that a freelance writers is available every day of the week, but we can give ourselves an opportunity to get ahead. Of course, if you’re on vacation or otherwise not supposed to working, take the time off and enjoy it, rather than trying to get ahead.