I feel grateful and privileged to have been able to travel to more places than most. It actually helps me out a lot in my day job as a travel writer at TravelOnline.
That’s because I can personally relate to things like culture, travel trips, accommodation and travel hotspots (both popular, and out off-the-beat).
I have been lucky enough to sample a lot of exotic cuisines and meet a lot of interesting people on the way.
Coping with negative and unusual comments
A great thing about the Internet is that it lets me share my adventures and experiences with the whole world. Across platforms and niches, there are always new opportunities for travel insights to reach a new and eager reader.
Yet, this is where travel writers can run into trouble. Because where are no content boundaries, there are usually no comment boundaries.
This means that anyone is free to share their opinion on, or in response to anything I post. Because everyone is under no obligation to agree, comments can descend into a mix of madness and disarray real quick.
Every reporter or blogger has faced strange comments at least one time in their life - well, when I think more on this, everyone has.
In my case, I can distinctly remember when I wrote an article titled, “When is the best time to travel to Bali?”
And someone replied “With 8 billion people and exponentially counting it’s not going to make much difference. NOW whilst we still have a planet!”
Umm, ok Debbie, calm down.
The more you write, the more you find that most comments are harmless. Some can even be engaging and educational.
But then you’ll have times where someone will read something and it just sets them off.
One time, I wrote an article about how to score cheap flights and someone commented,
“Could have done with them last month when we had to go to Dublin.”
Ahh ok, sorry I couldn’t read your mind and write this article sooner.
The reality is that people can and will speak their minds and sometimes, it can be hard to move past what they think of your work.
It only takes one negative comment to make you feel like the article wasn’t a success. Even if hundreds of other people read it and enjoyed it, you only remember the negative comments.
People can get angrier online than one might when in the real world. Someone will read something that they just don’t agree with. And then they start on a rant where logic and reason go out the window.
This has the potential to derail not only my whole article but also other’s perceptions of what I have written. The most annoying thing is not being able to warn people that the comments may not actually be true.
This makes coping with negative or strange comments that extra bit harder than needs be.
Sometimes travel writing can feel lonely and isolating. And then I write a piece that people love, or I meet someone special on a trip and I realize that there’s nothing in the world that I would rather do.
Inspiring your readers
Travel writing is a profession where the things I say can have a profound impact on people. By writing my thoughts and experiences, my words can directly impact (hopefully positively, rather than negatively) a person’s holiday or travel plans.
It is so lovely to hear that someone was inspired to travel through an article that you wrote or a hotel that you recommended.
It’s even better when they recommend this to their friends and family.
I wrote an article earlier this year about how to achieve all of your New Year’s resolutions by traveling more and it inspired one commenter to begin planning their next holiday.
Another person who read one of my articles was even inspired to book her honeymoon in the Cook Islands.
When people read my words and take action, well, the feeling I experience takes the term job satisfaction to a whole new level.
Being inspired by amazing destinations every day
Even though there are some challenges, I couldn’t imagine working in another industry or writing about anything other than travel.
I absolutely love coming to work every day and being inspired by so many incredible destinations. It’s amazing, it’s addictive and I love it.
Interestingly, a survey we ran found that 49% of people experience boredom and lack of purpose at work. Despite the daydreaming and the wanderlust, for me, boredom is never a factor.
How to make a start as a travel writer
For anyone thinking about becoming a travel writer, I highly encourage you to start your own blog or create a great portfolio you can use to market yourself. You want to be memorable and really convey your passion. Write about every place you go and use your blog as an outlet to refine your writing skills.
You never know, becoming a travel writer could be your great passion. All I know is that since working in travel, despite the ups and downs, I’ve never looked back.
About the Author
Travel addict and brunch enthusiast, Brittany Balcomb brings her creative flair and incurable case of wanderlust to the TravelOnline team in her role as a Digital Content Writer. Lover of adventure holidays and beachside escapes, Brittany enjoys weekend road trips to the coast and exploring destinations off the beaten track.