Travel Journalism in retrospect and now

Skrevet af TravelHunter 3. august 2015, 11:07

Take Me Anywhere in the world

Travel journalism has been on an exciting journey, while the world has become smaller. The Internet has made it easier and cheaper to travel, and travel experiences have been given new platforms since Paul Theroux published his first work of Travel writing in 1975.

Text og photo: Linda Danielsen Røygaard

On one of my first press trips, I was going on a hiking tour in the Natural Park Dilek Mili Park near Kusadasi in Turkey. My local guide showed up in shorts that bared his prosthetic leg and announced that he had local knowledge of the park and that he could easily cope with the 2 1/2 hour long hike. We found the nature park with my GPS, but after half an hour along the walking path, my guide had to abandon the hike and I continued alone up to a peak point where I snapped a picture of the cloudy mountains.

When I came back to the entrance of the park, the driver was sitting in the car while my guide was fast asleep in the back seat, his prosthesis leaning against the car door. And what did I learn from that? That press trips are very eventful, but that professional partners are important success factor for travel journalists, when we want to explore unique places which helps to promote a destination.

The Earth without Art is just Eh

In the last 40 years, the world has become smaller and today it is easier, cheaper and faster to reach destinations. Travel Journalists include a versatile crew of passionate writers  and Television stars such as Anthony Bourdain. Although our horizons are different, we are the same “boat”‘ and always ready to embark on new adventures with pen, paper, mobile, camera and video recorder, whether we are permanent or freelance travel journalist.

There was a time when Mr and Mrs Jones flipped through thick travel catalogs, found their favorite destination and favorite hotel and ordered and paid for the journey in person at their favorite travel agancy. Today, we are only a click from examining both near and far destinations, and evolution of the Internet and cheap flight and hotel prices have greatly affected our travel habits and allow ourselves to print  e-tickets for flights and hotel and sightseeing vouchers.

Previously, magazines, journals and newspaper’s travel supplements were runway for travel articles, and they are still nice to read in addition to all the free online travel articles, you have access to today. As a travel journalist, we still write about destinations to pale newspapers and glossy magazines which  all have a little sister or brother on the Internet and an e-magazine. In addition, we share travel tips and mood images on blogs, Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, upload private videos on YouTube and buy both paperback guidebooks and e-books on specific destinations, tailored to our travel needs.

The wanderlust is intact regardless of financial crisis, terrorist attacks or natural disasters. However, today the classic charter tourism with sangria and sunburn is peppered with authentic local experiences and cultural sightseeing. Today Mr and Mrs Jones travel from coast to coast on large cruise ships or at their own pace in a car, mobile home or on a bicycle. We feed our wanderlust with one more El Camino and decide when we are travel out and back and whether we want to stay in a private house or in a hotel. The art of travel is now less about where you are and more about what you see and experience.

As a travel journalist, we promote travelers’ favorites and also point to new destinations. We have all the technical means to live out our passion for writing, and as a travel journalist we continuously get invitations to exciting travel trade shows, press conferences and destinations thanks to the enthusiasts in Travel Writers’ Associations and our own extroversion.

We try to find the best angle every time we write an article while we compete with each other on the editors’ interest and with free articles from journalism students and trainees. At the same time, the media’s meager payment for both text and images, the recurring replacement of newspaper and magazine editors and PR Managers at travel agencies can also be an obstacle to travel.

But we never get tired of researching and traveling and writing about our experiences, and our curiosity constantly leads us to new stories on the road and sea. And every time we travel, we learn something about the destination and about ourselves and inspire our readers to experience something new. As the essayist and author Susan Sontag ’s expressed it very well: “I haven’t been everywhere, but it’s on my list.”

The essay was awarded a Best Feature Price by The Danish Travel Writer’s Association at their 40-year Anniversary in Spring 2015

Comments

  1. John Young says:

    Hi Linda,

    Great article, since meeting you I have travelled more in the last three years than I ever did before, this summer it’s Bruges and Amsterdam, hope you are well and still travelling and enjoying new experiences.

    • TravelHunter says:

      Sounds great, John! I also still get around as you can see on my blog. Let me know when you reach Copenhagen!

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