Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Taking Off

First things first: I am a travel writer and editor. I get paid to travel the world and write about it. Not a bad gig—I know—and I’m grateful for the opportunities I’ve been able to have because of it.

My biggest confession? Usually, when I go on these trips, I’m not really incognito. I don’t own a corporate credit card under a fake name or run into bathrooms to furiously jot down my notes between courses. Sometimes, I’ll admit, this does make me feel guilty—as though I were abandoning my allegiance to the journalistic creed of ethics, as though I were a travel-writer version of Jayson Blair or Stephen Glass (though I never, ever fabricate any thing in my stories—trust me! I’m a stickler for fact checking!). Nevertheless, it’s a cold hard truth that the majority of travel writers—unless bankrolled by fatty publishing companies (if those exist anymore) or completely loaded on their own—are just like me. We travel for free (mostly) and we write about the places that host us.

Now, I know what you’re thinking…how can you possibly trust anything that we write about? Well, I’ll tell you this: At work, I’ll only write about the places and things that have proven to be positive experiences and I’m not afraid to point out some much needed criticisms when necessary. If something is really, really awful, I just won’t write about it at all.

In this blog, though, I’m going to open up. I’m not saying I’ll go on rambling rants and raves but, what I will do is share my travel experiences in a more personal way than I normally do for work.

What I love most about traveling is the experience of it—all of the interactions that you have with people from different cultures and backgrounds, all of the amazing (and sometimes questionable) foods, and even all of the unexpected roadblocks along the way. I’m sure you feel the same way, too.

So, let’s get started…I’ll try my best to keep you posted and I hope you’ll do the same.

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