Things You Should Never Ask a Travel Writer

13 Questions NOT to Ask a Travel Writer

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Writing about writing—how cliché, right? And yet, if I learned anything over this past decade of living, it’s that people love a good industry post. And I’m all about giving the people what they want, which today just happens to be a compilation of commonly asked questions not to ask a travel writer.

It never fails when I’m meeting someone for the first time and they find out what I do for a living a firing squad of inquiries is forthcoming. I can almost predict how the interrogation is going to go down: “what’s your favorite country?” “I’m going to Jamaica soon, what should I do there?” and “Can I have your job?”

Just for fun, I put the question out there in one of my think tanks of fellow veteran travel writers to see what nettled other writers; the feedback was off-the-chain, some of it hilarious, others OMG-inducing. Below, with the permission of each writer mentioned, I’ve included a few of my favorites.

(Note that this is a bit tongue-in-cheek. We all love what we do and fully realize it’s a bit of an enigma to many. So take this post with a grain of salt. And if you have asked me any of the below questions before, no, you will not be struck from my Christmas card mailing list.)

“What’s your favorite country?”

Assumedly, most of us have been to dozens of countries—for me, it’s somewhere over 120, last I counted. Could you pick one child you prefer over the other, one city you can’t live without, one food you’d eat every day for the rest of your life? That’s the equivalent to asking what my favorite country is. Similarly, many writers noted cringing when being asked how many countries they’d visited; personally, I’m not a passport stamp-counter, but I have been interviewed for publications before where I was made to tally up everywhere I’ve been, so I have a general sense of the range I’ve visited.

Instead, ask this: Be specific. Say, “I’m a fan of adventure and I like warmer destinations. I don’t want to fly more than four hours from my home base. Do you have a country recommendation for me based on those parameters?” To which, I would say, “YES, ABSOLUTELY,” then ramble on about Portugal/South Africa/Grenada, depending on where you live. I’m not a mind-reader, and I can’t suss out your budget, your travel style, your hobbies if you don’t tell me.

“I’m going to X destination. Do you have any tips?”

Well, first of all, that’s pretty vague. Secondly, if it’s somewhere I’ve been, it’s highly likely I’ve blogged about, which is why I’ve spent hours of my life organizing my content and building out a destinations page that makes it easy for you to find said posts by the country or the state. Start there! It’s also likely that if I have any tips at all, I’ve shared them via this free resource—I promise, I don’t squirrel away my best bits in the back of my mind; on most subjects, I’m an open book. If your question isn’t answered, be a tad bit more specific. I’m more than happy to answer requests for travel tips, so long as it doesn’t take me hours of research to do it.

Instead, ask this: “I’m going to Scotland, and I know you’ve blogged about it ad nauseam. I read all your posts on planning a road trip to the Highlands and was wondering if you think three days is enough to see the major sights?” I love a good to-the-point question that I can respond to instantly, and bonus points for you for having already done the research and read the posts I have contributed on the topic.

“You haven’t been to Thailand?!? How have you not been to Thailand?”

Well, I don’t know. It’s never been that high on my list, every travel blogger from here to Timbuktu has covered it extensively, not to mention, it’s hella far from where I live. I looked at visiting a friend there this winter, and while flights weren’t bad (around $1000 round-trip), it was going to be a logistical nightmare—a minimum of 30 hours in transit each way. That means, I’m going to need to stay two to three weeks to feel like it’s worth the trip. At this point in my career, I don’t have two to three weeks to spare as we’re booked on back-to-back projects constantly (it’s a good problem to have). The good news is that when (if?) I retire someday, I’ll have plenty of unexplored territory to conquer!

Instead, ask this: “Is there anywhere you’re dying to go that you haven’t been already?” To which, I’d say: “Absolutely! So many places. Just a few off the top of my head: Thailand, Indonesia, Palau, Greenland, the list goes on.” And there are plenty of places I’m dying to go back to for a second, third, fourth visit, as well (see: India, Vietnam, Cambodia, most of the world). It is a bit insulting, though, when someone feigns offense that I haven’t been somewhere—people, it’s a huge world, and I’m not in any big rush to see it! In an ideal world, I’d adopt the slow travel mentality and take a few months in each place I visited (but again, see: have a career, a house, a dog).

“So … how much do you make as a travel writer?”

I was surprised how many in my secret travel writing group said this is a common question they receive (the nerve of some people!). One fellow travel writer told me: “The boldness of questions like ‘so how much do you make as a travel writer?’ is very irritating. I walked out of a business one time because the CEO started his presentation with ‘since you don’t make much money, I’m sorry to disappoint that we won’t be providing swag.'” Look, unless you are my spouse or my accountant, stay out of my finances, please. I’ve gotten variations from PR folks I know who just assume that freelance writer = makes peanuts (or maybe they’re projecting their own paltry salary onto us? … I’m not quite sure). That’s not necessarily true. Those of us who were smart and have been in the game for quite some time have likely diversified into other ventures—corporate copywriting, project management, consulting—that can be rather lucrative. Check out how my writing/photography idol Lola Akinmade Åkerström does it here.

Instead, ask this: Nothing. There’s nothing you should ask instead of this, as you don’t broach the subject of money with any professional. One question I don’t mind getting, however, is something a bit pointed like: “There’s no denying that working in media has taken a hit over the past decades as publications have shuttered and rates have dropped significantly. You’ve clearly weathered the storm. What’s been your key to survival?”

“What do you do when you aren’t traveling?”

“WRITE. What else?” exclaimed one of my freelance pals, exasperated by having to answer this all the time. Sure, the travel is the glamorous part (but it’s not all glamor … if only I could take you along for a true peek behind the curtain!), but the majority of time when I’m not on the road, I’m pounding on my keyboard in long 16-hour-a-day stretches trying to meet existing deadlines, and do all the normal admin stuff that accompanies running your own business. And yes, there are plenty of days I never get out of my pajamas (unless to go to the gym), and my personal hygiene definitely takes a hit. #RoadWarriorProblemsYall

Instead, ask this: “Wow, that must be exhausting being on the road all the time. Do you ever get down time? What do you most look forward to when you’re not on the road?” For me, I’d answer: “having a routine. Traveling so often can make it hard to keep a steady sleep cycle, and my fitness activity suffers. When I’m home, I try to develop good habits and a daily routine that starts with a workout before I’m seated at my desk for a long 12- to 14-hour day of writing.”

“That’s a real job?”

Yep. Just like being a surgeon or a weather analyst or a circus performer is a real job, so is travel writing. In this day and age when newspapers are virtually non-existent and magazines are filling their pages with thinly-veiled advertisements, many of us have ventured into more tourism marketing kinds of content projects. I’d say a solid half of my friends and acquaintances still have zero clue what I do (nor do they ask, tbh) and assume that the blog is my job (and sure it’s a part of it, but more like 30 percent of the overall work we do).

Instead, say this: “That sounds like a very cool gig! It’s no doubt a lot of work, too. How did you get into such a profession?” I’m always more than happy to share my trajectory from newspaper journalist and sports marketer to entertainment reporter to, much later, travel writer.

“Wow … you mean you, like, get to travel for FREE?!?”

I mean, free is relative—and let’s revert back to the previous question and remind you that this is a job. If your firm were to send you to Vegas for a week for a conference to collect CE hours, would they expect you to foot the bill? Unlikely. But just like you incur out-of-pocket expenses, so do we. And because the majority of us are freelance, we have no one to reimburse us (and if you’re on a magazine assignment, your per diem is paltry at best). So, plenty of costs like airport parking, meals, all tips and bar bills do, in fact, come out of our overall paycheck, which isn’t awesome.

Instead, ask this: I’ve got nothing.

“Oh, you’re always on vacation!”

Ha! This is one of those questions us writers just smile, nod and internally sigh about. Do we have jobs that look enviable from the outside and are, no doubt, far more fulfilling than sitting in a neon-lit cubicle? Absolutely. Do we have to hustle our asses off, put in long 16-hour days no matter if we’re in our home offices or on the road? Also, true. And that beach shot you saw on our Instagram? Was probably something we walked out onto a balcony to snap in between site visits and interviews to do our job of content marketing and researching the destination, not necessarily what we were doing all day. There have been plenty of assignments I’ve gone on to tropical destinations where I didn’t put on a bathing suit or step out onto the sand once. (I know, I know, it still beats being in an office, and I agree.)

Plus, just because we’re on assignment in one destination doesn’t mean that deadlines for other publications or client work just waits for us to return home; while traveling, I’m constantly looking for a coffee shop with reliable WiFi to pop into midday or between meetings to put out a client fire or two. If you’re going to run your own business, you have to be accessible at all times, so unless I’m in a small town where there’s no cell service (Lord help us all because then the panic attacks really ensue!), I’m likely checking my email on my phone every 15 minutes or so. Not to mention, destinations really want to get the most out of their money and, thus, often don’t leave us much free time at all when we’re on the road, so often I’ll finally get to my hotel room at 10pm for the first time all day, only to pound away on my keyboard filing copy until 2am, then wake up at 6 and start that cycle all over again. TL;DR this career is not for those who need eight hours of sleep a night.

Instead, ask this: “If you were traveling for vacation and not for work, where would you go?” People always seem surprised that despite my far-flung travels to Borneo, Rwanda, Brazil and beyond, I prefer Florida’s own Gulf Coast for all my leisure travels. When I’m not on assignment, I want the most relaxing place I can reach in the least amount of time. No need to kill my coveted time off on a long-haul flight. Or best of all, I stay home in that gorgeous Victorian I rarely get to see!

“Do you need an assistant to carry your baggage?”

“If I could afford someone to be my sherpa and otherwise share the experience, I probably would,” travel writer Terry Ward and mom to two babies under 2 tells me. “But I’d also probably ask my husband, dad or sister first. It’s like a script. I get this question all the time.” We get it; you’re (kinda)(maybe)(probably) joking about wanting to tag along, but it’s a question we collectively get so often, the humor has worn off. It’s definitely in good fun, but I also sometimes wonder if those who ask such things genuinely think that a writer a) can dictate the terms of an assignment and b) is presented with a bottomless expense fund covered by the publication. Rather the opposite; you’d be surprised how many bills that we have to cover on our own! And even if we’re paying for a meal to do a restaurant review that we’re not being reimbursed for and it is technically considered a write-off, we can still only write off half. As for traveling with a plus-one, I’m grateful to have created a business with my partner that enables us to travel together more often than not, but this has been a shift that just took place in the past 18 months as we ventured into bigger destination marketing projects and I stopped taking on so many low-paying print gigs.

Instead, ask this: “Do you always travel solo? Wow, that must be a hard life. Do your partner or children ever get to go with you? It must be so hard to be away from them so much!”

“Your husband lets you travel alone?”

I’ve gotten this one plenty of times in the past, and Florida-based travel writer Susan B. Barnes says little irks her more. “First off, anyone who has met me for one slight moment knows that no one—NO ONE —’lets’ me do anything. I don’t ask permission to do my job, nor would my husband ever expect me to. He knows me.” Ditto. I don’t think you go into an independent career like travel writing and marry someone who doesn’t support your dream.

Instead, say this: “It must be hard to sustain relationships when you’re on the road so much—it’s almost like you’re in a long-distance relationship part of the time. What’s the key to balancing your job with your marriage?” Basically anything other than implying a husband has ownership over his wife works in this case.

“Who looks after your children when you’re away?”

“Um, their perfectly capable father,” retorts Canadian writer Lola Augustine Brown. “This pisses me off so much. I’m often tempted to say, ‘oh I just leave the TV on and give them a big bag of Cheetos.’” I’ve noticed several of my friends who travel a lot for work get the mom guilt. Being childless, it’s obviously not a question I get, but it is interesting how even in the 21st century when most moms and dads I know work full time, the mother is still expected to be the primary caretaker. And no doubt, it would be very tough to be a single parent and a travel writer (or like us, a dog mom without family nearby to care for Ella when we’re on the road). But for those married (or with a partner) and children, it seems obvious that the non-traveling parent would be the one to stay home with the little ones.

Instead, say this: “You’re a mom, right? Your kids must have so many cool adventures under their belts! How often do they get to go with you? And how admirable that you sometimes are able to travel far and wide with your whole family.” Or ask specific tips a traveling mom (or dad) might be able to share on how you could travel more with your own children.

“So, can you write a story about me/my business?”

Nope, sorry. It doesn’t work that way. Those of us still in the print game report to editors who report to other editors, and so on and so forth. Print space is a commodity, and much of the game now (at least in magazines) is pay-to-play. So, no, no, no, I can’t help you by landing a story in a national magazine about your business, though I wish I could! Getting press for small businesses is like the equivalent of a runner’s high for writers, but sadly, the media just doesn’t make it that easy anymore (which is why many of us started blogs a long time ago: so we could control the conversation about topics that matter to us most).

Instead, say this: “Do you have any advice on how my [name the kind of business] company can get more exposure? What are some marketing tips you could share for getting the word out?” Granted, I might tell you to hire someone with experience on this side of your business, but I a) would possibly have a referral for you and b) might also have some social media tips you could incorporate on your own.

“I want to be a travel writer, will you help me?”

This is a loaded question. First things first: I LOVE helping people (see: previous question). I’m a natural connector, and if “connecting others” were a love language, it would no doubt be mine. I host not-for-profit networking meet-ups every month in Nashville, as I’ve been doing for more than four years. I mentor many young writers, speak at high schools and colleges whenever I’m asked, and occasionally run writing workshops. And when someone writes me and says, “I’ve been to journalism school, I’m interning at X publication, and I really want to get into travel writing,” then follows that with specific questions, I almost always respond.

But (and here it comes), the people asking for help becoming a travel writer are usually ones who have not put in any work, have zero experience writing or working in any form of media, and are often in other established careers and travel writing just sounds like “a fun thing to do” to kill the time. The quickest way to insult a travel writer is by saying, “I love traveling, and I’m not bad at writing—how hard can it be? Maybe I could be a travel writer, too.” This is what gets under the skin of other travel writers, those like me who held three (unpaid) internships at a time and worked retail to make ends meet. Those who took puny assignments for years (or decades) before landing a coveted byline in a Conde Nast Traveler or Travel + Leisure. Those who are still scraping to get by in times when publications are assigning more web content than ever and paying less than they ever have. What makes one writer more successful than the next may not necessarily be the writing skills, but rather work ethic and business sense.

You want to be a travel writer? Great. Put in the work. Get an editor coffee. Intern your little butt off. Start pitching smaller publications, then when you’ve had success there, move up to regional pubs and, later on, your dream titles. Then, when you’ve had skin in the game or at least proven you’re serious, only then do you write your idol (or the closest travel writer you know). But be polite, keep it short, have specific questions ready and by all means, DO NOT start by asking: “can I pick your brain?”

Instead, say this: “I’ve always been interested in pursuing travel writing and actually have a background in [insert related field]. Do you offer consulting services or could you point me toward a class I might take or any other resources you find useful?” This is the way to get an answer from a busy writer juggling deadlines, editors and the daily hustle.

**********

I feel like I have to reiterate this once more, because the Internet is full of trolls and someone out there will no doubt take offense to the previous 3,000 words: I do really love what I do; all of us who weighed in on this topic do. And as I was riffing with the other travel writers I interviewed, we all agreed upon one thing: We have enviable jobs and are sure others in equally enviable positions get comparable questions, too. So if you do ask one of the above, we’ll likely let it slide, answer the questions as succinctly as possible, then move onto more important things (like asking you about yourself! after all, we are journalists … we care a lot more about interrogating our subject than we do droning on about our own boring lives).

Fellow travel writers, what have I left off? And those of you in other careers, what questions do you despise hearing about your own job? Educate the rest of us so we don’t make comparable faux pas!


 

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Things You Should Never Ask a Travel Writer
Things You Should Never Ask a Travel Writer
Things You Should Never Ask a Travel Writer
COMMENTS
  • February 10, 2018

    Ah, yes. The old “Does your husband let you…” I don’t have a good response to this one, usually because I’m too busy laughing to speak.

    Working in entertainment production, there’s two questions I get monumentally sick of:

    *”What good shows do you have coming up?”

    I hate this one because–just as with your “favorite country” question–I have no goddamn clue what your definition of “good” is. There’s plenty of shows that we book that I think are absolute garbage that sell out, so clearly someone thinks they’re good. Conversely, some of my favorite shows don’t sell for shit. Combine my lack of ability to read minds with the fact that I can barely remember what show I’m working on today, let alone in the future, and this question becomes impossible to answer.

    *”So, do you get to meet/hang out with the band/comedian/artist?”

    I mean…sometimes? If they’re around while we’re working and they talk to us, yeah, I guess? But most of the time we try and give them a lot of space and privacy; it’s considered *really* unprofessional to approach talent as a fan. Besides, sometimes I don’t *want* to meet the talent, either because I don’t know who they are and thus, don’t care, or because the talent is a dick and if they know I exist they might yell at me. Not to mention the fact that usually by the time the talent gets there I’ve been in the building for almost 8 hours already, and the only person I’m interested in meeting is the person taking my order at 5 Guys.

    But I mostly hate this question because it has the connotation that getting to meet semi-famous people is why I do my job, or a perk. It’s not. Not even a little. I love my job for the excitement of live music and theatre and how I can use to artistry and technical skills to help bring that to life and share it with an audience. Not so I can meet some washed up musician fresh from rehab who won’t shut up about how great it’s been to be vegan for two weeks or an up-and-coming comedian who thinks that everyone is required to simultaneously find them hilarious as they manage to offend every person in the room while also blowing smoke up their ass. No, thank you.

    PS-Sorry for the mini blog post.

    PPS-Totally stealing this for a blog post.

    • February 11, 2018

      Steal away!

      I’m not surprised in your line of work that people ask the questions like “do you get to meet celebrities?” and as someone who has a decade of red carpet events under her belt, I’m with you that they are usually either a) huge jerks or b) I’d rather not meet them and find out either way because I want to keep the illusion that they’re as lovely as their big-screen characters alive in my mind 😉

  • February 10, 2018

    Yes to all of this. I get so irritated when people go on about us traveling for “free” and being so lucky. I get what they see from the outside, but only if they knew how exhausting it is and how much work it takes to produce content and then get to a point to make money doing it. When I lay out the reality most people suddenly don’t want my job anymore or they’ll just go and buy a bunch of followers and likes on Instagram to short cut their way to somewhere!!

    I hate being asked about how much money I make – it’s kind of a taboo subject in Australian culture, so I’ve found it a little confronting being in the states as it seems to be more normal to share that.

    And too many people have asked us if our kids were going to travel with us when we relocated to explore the US for three years. Do you really think I’m going to leave my 10 and 6 year old back in Australia for three years?

    • February 11, 2018

      I have this mental image of K and S being left to fend for themselves on the beaches of Australia for three years—now there’s a movie in the making!

      No one has point blank asked me personally how much we make, but I’ve had plenty of PR people (in person) balk at the fact that bloggers dare to make money and go as far as to inquire what certain projects pay. Sorry that so many have been so blunt and rude to you since arriving here!

  • February 10, 2018

    Related to #2 – My boyfriend and I have a week off, where should we go?

    I see this in facebook groups all the time…um, maybe help narrow down the whole world first?! Where are you starting, when are you going, what’s your budget and what do you like to do??? Inevitably, 100 people jump on the chance to share their latest blog post…what a colossal waste of time!

    • February 11, 2018

      I have dropped out of so many groups for this very reason! Ugh.

  • February 10, 2018

    You nailed it! Couldn’t have said it better myself. P.S. Freelance writers typically don’t have health care provided to them, nor do they have paid sick days, paid vacation, comp time for working overtime or working on holidays.

    • February 13, 2018

      Exactly. I mean, that’s an entirely different set of problems!

  • February 11, 2018

    Ha, as a part-time-just-for-fun travel blogger I wish I would get those questions. Any questions at all really would do.

    No, I’m just kidding some of those questions are down-right insulting! It’s crazy to me that people are asking such (lazy) questions and expect a response.

    • February 11, 2018

      Ha! I really don’t mind the specific ones about travel (as long as it isn’t a “where should I go in Europe?” type of vague inquiry), it’s more when I’ve blogged about a certain topic dozens of times and it’s clear that said person hasn’t even bothered to utilize my search bar before shooting me a note. I chalk that up to laziness in 2018 😉

  • February 11, 2018

    The nerve some people have to ask these types of questions. How dare people think they are OK.

    This was a great post, thank you for sharing.

    • February 11, 2018

      I do think they don’t mean any harm. And once in awhile it would be OK, but these questions come frequently and often!

  • February 11, 2018

    Preach!

    Although…. I’m in the digital nomad boat – I have a blog but it is definitely a side project – and people often remind me I am living a dream. To be honest, I forget sometimes. I get stuck in the minutia, in my own issues, in “where they heck am I sleeping next week” ?

    • February 11, 2018

      That would stress me out to no end! I’ve been traveling at least half the year since 2008, and I can’t imagine not having a permanent home base. Also, the “living the dream” comment can get tiresome—they could go out and chase their passion just as easily as you are doing yours!

  • February 11, 2018
    Noelle

    Sort of along the lines of the above, it irks me when people say that they “want to quit their job and become a travel blogger so they can vacation all the time”, as if its easy to just hop from no experience in the industry to having a full on career from it. People who do make it in travel blogger work really hard, and the time put in easily compares with any normal job. And not everyone even makes it!

    • February 11, 2018

      Ha, right?!? Nearly 11 years into blogging, it cracks me up when people tell me they’re going to quit their job to start a blog, as if the readers and big bucks are just going to materialize the second they hit publish. *shrugs*

      We didn’t even start doing anything by way of monetizing until at least year three!

  • February 11, 2018

    OMG. Amen to ALL of this! You said it so perfectly. For the question, “how much do you make,” I admit I’ve done an eye-roll and quipped back, “well, you tell me first, how much do YOU make?”

    • February 11, 2018

      Luckily, no one has ever asked me that point blank (though publicists have been pretty nosey about what I make from certain clients on projects), but I’ll remember this one if ever it happens to me 😉

  • February 11, 2018

    This was cathartic to read! Amen to all of it. Now you need to write a post teaching us how to respond to all these crazy questions. I am often a deer in the headlights, especially on the ‘can you write about my fledging business’ question.

    • February 11, 2018

      Brilliant! That shall be my next industry post 😉

      #WriterTherapy

  • February 11, 2018

    The “traveling for free” part really sets me off! I always relate it to traveling on business. Sadly, there are many travel bloggers who try to get traffic to their website selling “courses” to “teach” people how to blog & travel for “free”.

    • February 11, 2018

      Those people need to be booted from the Internet! Such click bait.

  • February 12, 2018

    “I love traveling, and I’m not bad at writing—how hard can it be? Maybe I could be a travel writer, too.”–> This sort of thing drives me absolutely bananas. We often hear something similar in the romance writing community (“How hard can it be? It’s just a stupid love story with some sex thrown in.”) At which point I usually just smile and mentally walk away.

    • February 13, 2018

      I think a lot of these translate to social media and digital marketing too! Even though I only do travel writing on the side, I can’t tell you how many times I have heard these same questions when people ask me what I do.

      • February 13, 2018

        Oh yes, indeed! We have several consulting clients where we just do social media content creation, digital media strategy or both, and try telling someone in the generation above us that we “Tweet for a living” lol. If you grew up in it, it makes sense, but any of those in the more old school mindset don’t think of social media as a job, I guarantee you.

    • February 13, 2018

      ANY kind of writing for that matter, Molly. OK, cool, if it’s so easy, why aren’t/haven’t you doing/done it already?!

  • February 13, 2018

    Ooohmygoodness, HOW CAN PEOPLE BE SO…well, really, so thoughtless. Or bitchy, depending. Ahem.

    I often get really annoying industry-specific questions, the most frustrating “oh, you know a lot about the FAFSA, can you get me a Pell grant!?” Um…it doesn’t work that way, actually. Blergh.

    xox

    • February 13, 2018

      Oh yeah, NBD, just work for free on a grant and get me free money while you’re at it! Geez, people

  • February 14, 2018

    I have my own business, and its about a service busnisess. some of them saying like “oh it must be just a money game”
    like of course it does. Why do they think i would build a company, hire people and doesn’t make any money. Crazy how people can say that easily.

  • February 16, 2018

    OMG, I love it when people asks if my partner “lets” me do things. So much fun. My favorite was back when I was married and told someone I wasn’t going to have kids and they were shocked & horrified and asked if my husband was okay with such nonsense. I was like, wait, really? You think if he wants kids & I don’t then he wins even though I have to GROW THEM INSIDE OF ME?! Hard nope to that nonsense.

  • February 17, 2018

    I loved this! I think something I get as often as “What’s your favorite country?” is, “Are you happy to be home?” Of course I am, but I also just spent weeks in Central America hiking through the rainforest, following monkeys and exotic birds around, indulging in a culture other than my own, I wasn’t UN-happy not being home…

  • February 17, 2018

    Hubs & I loved this post! Having been at it for 30 years, we’ve had all of those questions, even from people who know us quite well. Only other travel writers will ever have a clear picture of how grueling the work can be either at home or on the road. Thanks for the smiles!

  • February 17, 2018

    Love this post! I’ve been freelancing for 25 years, and got into travel writing 20 years ago. I absolutely love the life and the opportunities it has created for me. The biggest satisfaction for me has been when I have taken friends (some of who are fellow journalists) on trips with me and they get to see how hard I work while on a sponsored trip. Taking notes, taking pics, interviewing people, always having to be “on.” It’s definitely no holiday, no matter what the arrangements. But I wouldn’t trade it for the world.

  • February 18, 2018

    I think if we pull together all the, er–dumb–questions we writers get, we’d have quite the book. There’s an idea. I’ll write about it on my trip to Savannah next week.

  • February 22, 2018

    “I’ve been to journalism School, I have a blog… can you help me?”

    No seriously. Can you help me? 😀

    Great article!
    Buddhaful Britt

  • February 23, 2018
    Laura

    Giiiiirl I feel like this article is 100% real. After watching you and many other travel bloggers work (all day hiking/exploring/photographing, lots of photos…endless photos) I do not envy the workload. I can’t believe people could be so ignorant to ask such rude and condescending questions. People just have no idea what it takes to do your job and probably most wouldn’t want it if they knew.

    Great article! As always I LOVE your blog! And photos!

  • February 28, 2018

    I absolutely love this post Kristin!

    Haw! Haw! “You haven’t been to ….?!? In my case, South America. I just haven’t seen the need. Besides, I prefer Asia… But in my mind, the best place that I would ever imagine travelling to, is right where I am now – Berlin!

    As for that old age question – “Your husband lets you travel alone?” Ha! Ha! Ha! I’m literally laughing with tears. In fact, he’s the one who says “Tell me when you’re travelling, and we can work other stuff around it?”

    And “Who looks after your child when you’re away?” Really? Are we going to do this? – The very same. That’s what husbands’ are for!

    My biggest grouse though is “Can I meet you?” These days I have to say “No!” In the past, I would meet up with readers and spend a considerable amount of time showing them around, but people tend to take advantage and only one person ever said thank you. She was an American PhD Professor, who lived in Paris!

    A few days ago, someone actually accused me of being a “#PartyPress” girl! I didn’t even know it was a thing. Apparently, this guy who claimed to be a BBC journalist, was upset ‘cos of my activity at the Berlinale – Berlin International Film Festival. I put a few pictures of my champagne, cocktails, sausages and chips on Twitter, and was weirdly accused of “partying” with drinks and refreshments that I paid for myself, and organised in my own sweet time!

    Ah well!

    p.s. I’m awfully glad that you now have my favourite share icon at the bottom of the post – Twitter

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