Kim is an author, freelance writer, and French translator. She spent years working and traveling in France, Western Europe, and Asia. Kim studied in Paris, the Loire Valley, Spain, and Belgium, and has a Bachelor’s in French and a Master’s degree in Education, both from Arizona State University. She’s been honored with a Fulbright assistantship and a number of other national research awards. She taught French in an International Baccalaureate program in an urban high school and worked as a freelance writer and translator in the US beauty industry before transitioning to full-time writing.
1. What got you into travel writing?
I have always loved traveling, writing, and studying language; combining all of them together felt like the natural next step at the time. I put a lot of work into my first book proposal, took a leap of faith in sending it out to publishers, and connected with an incredible editor who wanted to work together.
2. What’s the most challenging part of being a travel journalist for you?
Sometimes I find it tough to find focused writing time at the end of a long travel or research day. It’s been especially challenging when I’m working on a family piece and traveling alone with my four school-aged children––balancing family and work time can be difficult on those trips.
3. What is one thing [equipment or personal item] you can’t go without on the road?
My cell phone, map app, and voice recorder. It has made documenting and notetaking so much more efficient and reliable than in the past.
4. What’s your most unusual and/or memorable travel experience?
I still feel like each trip I take leaves me with one or a collection of moments that linger intensely on my mind or in my heart. It’s been a few years, but I have such fond memories of a trip I took to the Scottish Highlands and wrote about for the Boston Globe.
5. How did you learn about NATJA and why did you join?
I wanted to connect with other travel writers, find more and varied writing opportunities, and develop my skills. I heard about it from some friends I met at a travel writing conference and joined.
6. What is the best piece of advice you could give to a rookie travel journalist?
Read more. Write more. Talk to and connect with as many people as possible while traveling––it always ends in incredible discoveries, both professionally and personally.