My focus is on travel for those in their later years who have the time to enjoy longer vacation stays and don’t want to waste time doing purely touristy things. I also cater to young professionals who have resources to do travel that expands the mind. I look for unique places that will create lifetime memories and give travelers the ability to get into the local culture and better understand the world. In these places, the traveler will have a good chance of interacting with local culture and people.
For those that just want to wander on their own, I also have great tips. I personally love to travel with just a backpack. You avoid storing or lugging around luggage and are less likely to miss opportunities to see special things because you don’t have to plan separately for yourself and your luggage.
I am passionate about multiculturalism, which I see as the determined desire to know, understand, and appreciate the diverse ways that different cultural groups see and interpret the world. It’s fascinating to learn how many multiple outlooks exist about the same facts.
The world is a many-faceted place. I explore all the facets.
1. What got you into travel writing?
I love to write, and I love to travel. Travel writing was an obvious activity. The side benefit is I can help educate people who do not get to travel about the wonders of the places I have visited.
2. What’s the most challenging part of being a travel journalist for you?
I focus on exotic or off-the-beaten trail locations. So part of what I do involves detective work to ferret out those things to see and do which others miss and the standard travel books do not know about. To find these places I often befriend locals. I love getting close to people from other cultures. I learn so much in doing these stories about the world and myself.
3. What is one thing [equipment or personal item] you can’t go without on the road?
I could not do without my laptop computer. I take a large number of pictures as I go. If I do not organize them on a daily basis, when I look at them weeks or even days later, sometimes I forget the significance of the pictures I took. Getting my photos in a logical order as I go, helps my stories be more accurate. I also get a chance sometimes to go back to take a photo of something I may have missed getting a good picture of.
4. What’s your most unusual and/or memorable travel experience?
My most unusual experience was a nighttime guided trip on the Amazon River. The living creatures and plants that come out at night have stunning and bright colors, but you can only see them with a flashlight if you know where to look. The silence of the night is punctuated by a cacophony of nighttime sounds that are beautiful.
5. How did you learn about NATJA and why did you join?
I always like to be a member of the best trade associations for things I do because they offer good information, represent my interests, and allow me to jump the line by not making the same mistakes other members report making. I get to learn best practices that make my work more efficient.
6. What is the best piece of advice you could give to a rookie travel journalist?
My best advice is not to do this unless you love it because it is not easy to make a lot of money and takes a long time to gain a reputation which is one thing that can help raise your pay. Also, find your niche. There are so many travel writers that many are stumbling over each other while reporting on similar things.