Alistair has been traveling for the most part of his life and he currently blogs on WorthEveryDime.com; He has worked with multiple national and international entities including The Chicago Auto Show, Special Olympics, Reykjavik Tourism, Fort Wayne tourism, Nuremberg tourism, Guanajuato Tourism etc. He lived many years in Western Europe and speaks five languages including Russian and French.
What got you into travel writing?
I’ve been traveling since I was a kid. I used to maintain a travel diary documenting my experiences in different countries. It was something that I liked to read later…and sometimes, I shared the stories with my close friends.
What’s the most challenging part of being a travel journalist for you?
Managing time efficiently when the unexpected happens; flight cancellations or delays, strikes, random closures etc. Specially in part of Asia and South America.
What is one thing [equipment or personal item] you can’t go without on the road?
My Nikon and my lenses…
What’s your most unusual and/or memorable travel experience?
I was traveling thru Mexico with family, and I had been in contact with Guanajuato Tourism board, and Tequila Corralejo. But, none of them returned my emails or calls until only a couple of days prior to us flying back to the US. I had only one day to visit both places. It was hectic, and I was on a tight schedule to make it to two different locations! But, the Tourism Board of Guanajuato, the owners of Tequila Corralejo in Penjamo both had everything arranged for me,. They gave me private tours, interviews, offered me some really cool gifts, and provided with tons of materials for my stories. I got to meet some of the nicest people on the planet in just a few hours time!
How did you learn about NATJA, and why did you join?
I am a member of SPJ and have been one for a while. I was looking to be part of an organization that focuses specifically on travel journalists. I also knew a few existing NATJA members…
What is the best piece of advice you could give to a rookie travel journalist?
Work on your communication skills if it needs improvement, and make personal connections with people. If you are looking for the authentic restaurants in town, ask your taxi driver what his favorite places are, not your hotel receptionist! Accept random invitations, and you’ll be surprised how rewarding journalism can be!