In The Company of a Travel Writer

Posted by on Oct 06 2012 | Content Writing, Travel Writing

Travel writing is just as exclusive a genre as are the passionate lot who provide for it. Travel writers have grown in demand over the past decade owing to the fact that travel has been redefined. Tourism of all kinds is supported by governments across the globe starting from leisure, medical to adventure. Looking at the scenario, the online search for ‘places to visit’ has seen an enormous growth, which is met by travel curators from different sections of the society. They are no know-alls but are everyday people who take deep interest in the whole essence of travel. The great question is how do these travel writers come to practice the genre and the greater one, in whose company would you like to be?

Navigator: A travel writer can be recognized as a navigator when his writing works like a compass and takes you through every nook and corner of the location. It is no big deal for the writer himself as he comes with a good amount of research. With a fair chance, he gives the intricate details based on first-hand account and that just adds to the flavor. This navigator takes good care that you get information on where to, how to and what to about a place.

Conversationalist: This kind is more of a dream weaver. If you happen to have been looking into search engines for an ideal destination of vacation, you might come across a conversationalist who can easily convince you that the backyard of your house is just the right place to enjoy your time. No kidding, they are good at that. Truth be told, a conversationalist travel writer is a pleasure to read.

Projector: He is more of a magician and a good one. You can never verify the resources, the projectors take their cues from but you can always rely on the final product i.e. the information in writing. The projector picks a point on the map and builds a complete story out of it. The facts are seamlessly put in the writing and at the end of it; the reader is ready to move out with his backpack.

Image courtesy:

3 comments for now

5 Essentials a Travel Writer Must Carry

Posted by on Aug 27 2012 | Travel Writing

Travel writing is one of the most delightful activities for most writers. Given that travelling across the world is one of most followed passion for many individuals, a travel writer does the job of recreating a place on paper for a curious reader. Since many readers travel to a place without actually getting there, travel writing has to be information dissolved with creativity.

Here are the 5 essentials that every travel writer must carry with him for a better experience-

  1. Photography Equipments- A travel write-up is incomplete without the pictures of the place visited.  As a travel writer, your aim is to take your writers to where you already have been, through your words and pictures. For this purpose, make sure you carry photography equipments with you wherever you go. Carry your DSLR camera, batteries and charging devices.
  2. Backpack- An explorer cannot afford to carry a heavy baggage wherever he goes. A travel writer has to have a backpack that perfectly fits all essentials – a few light clothes, body care kits, headphones etc. As a traveler, you may not always get the luxury of living in hotels and well organized places. Carrying a backpack is the need of the hour in such circumstances.
  3. Map and guide books- A few places that you visit may not have the sign boards to guide you everywhere, hence, a map is a must for all those who travel into new places and especially travel writers. Guide books can be second priority as the deal is also about travelling into the lesser known.
  4. Sharing devices- Many a times, some of the best write-ups turn out to be the ones written on the spot. Sharing the pictures of the place on the social media websites before a travel piece comes out is also a great way to keep your readers wanting for more. For this purpose, always carry your laptop, IPad or any other device that keeps you connected with the rest of the world.
  5. A Notebook- Carrying a notebook may sound ancient, but it’s a must to have in your bag. One cannot write on a laptop while interviewing a local on the road. A notebook will help you get your facts right and collect the information too.

As they say, nothing is more enriching and enlightening than travelling. While you’re at it, ensure that you get the most out of a place using the essentials stated above.

Image courtesy ATCNA

1 comment for now

Exploring Alone: What to do to Enrich your Travel Writing

Posted by on Jul 21 2012 | Content Writing

It all started on a cozy afternoon of January winter, when I was in the process of reinventing myself and was looking for venues to explore my inner self. To tell you the truth, I was sitting idle, jobless with an elaborate research paper to be written. So, with a lot of bottled emotion, I decided to take the most random of journeys. I registered myself for the Jaipur Literature Festival on an online portal, got a ticket done for an early morning train from Delhi Cantonment to Jaipur and fixed an accommodation at army mess (courtesy: my colonel uncle).

While in Jaipur for a literature festival and travelling alone, I had plans of my own. First one being how am I going to archive this memorial journey? So, I thought of the strategy that was to be followed for the next three  days.

Day 1: Deciding on going local: To have my travel writing turn out a good read, I thought of taking the easiest and most sought after conveyance of the city. So, I ended up travelling in an auto rickshaw all by myself. For fellow travelers, it is good to try out the local ride which takes you through the heart of the city and you get to see much to write about.

Day 2: Grabbing the city highlights: While Oprah stole the scene on this day and being left out of the venue because of the enormous crowd, I decided to catch the very important sight-seeing session. Again, I just hired an auto for a complete day covering the City palace, Hawa mahal, Amber fort. In fact, a good suggestion is to go on foot while exploring the market (which I did). It gives the traveler a complete picture of the town, the feel of the local business and what’s popular.

Day 3: Taking the plunge to discover more: It was a decision which took some time but I jumped on the idea. This day was dedicated for the trip to Ajmer Sharif. I took the local bus that runs to and fro (and turned out a decent ride) from Jaipur to Ajmer Sharif and visited the ‘dargah’. While doing so I interacted with the local group of people, the ticket in-charge, the shop keeper, a man at the shrine, and it added to my knowledge of the place.

Before taking off from Jaipur, I had a clear idea as how my strategy of exploring the city has turned out and how good it is going to be when I get to pen down the experience. It turned out well it seems!

2 comments for now

Travel Writing- Roam and Write

Posted by on Jun 21 2012 | Content Writing

Imagine yourself in a dilemma. You are a freelance writer asked to visit Rajasthan and write an article describing your trip. Apart from being worried about the flesh-burning heat of the place, it happens to be your first travel article and you are absolutely blank, to say the least, on how to get started.

In pursuit of some suggestions, you sought help of two experienced travel writers who add to your perplexity with totally different answers. A certain Ram spends his excursion by collecting piles of information in advance, randomly going to as many places as he can and taking down notes furiously. Shyam, on the other hand, has a more tourist-like approach. He spends his excursion going to pre-planned places and casually taking down notes.

As surprising as it may sound, Shyam’s more relaxed approach is a better way to write a travel article, and not without reasons.

For writing a travel piece, one needs to sit back, relax and just breathe the place. You have to listen to the sounds of your surroundings and capture the sights. A well-documented research and scheduling done beforehand lets you absorb yourself in into the environs without worrying too much about having to pen down every little detail of the site. The more you map-out your trip before you reach the destination, the more you are there.

That said however, research forms only a part of THE mission. In case of Rajasthan, for instance, no matter how many pages of information you have gathered about the place, it won’t really help if you don’t have a proper attire that suits its climate along with perhaps a pair of sunglasses, to make the *viewing* more soothing. A map, camera, cell phone and enough cash are basic requirements for any trip to any place.

You need to know what life on road is like, before you start writing about travel. At the end of the day, what matters is whether you can make the destination come alive in the minds of your readers.

2 comments for now

The Travelling Shiva

Posted by on Jun 13 2012 | Blogs

All hail the advent of virtual communication – connecting Man to others on the global sphere and bestowing upon it a bit of cyberspace for him to fill with the renderings of his innermost thoughts. And so the man can now fill up his rucksack with his tent, pegs, saucepans, canned beans along with a laptop and a wireless modem and is off into oblivion. The Travelling Shiva drives past cities and towns alike, documenting his discoveries and eventually posting them on his blog for all to see. The matted beard of the hermit at the Ganges, the Gadaria tending to his sheep, the fishermen returning home with their catch – all of his personal discoveries are now read and viewed by a growing list of subscribers. The Travelling Shiva knows how to keep his audience hooked. He posts VLOGs, filming the “Ganga Aarti” for the devout Hindus, he conducts riveting conversation on his sights on his public forum, generating public opinion. In doing so, he has a greater connect with his followers than the average blogger. For the Travelling Shiva understands that reaching out to the followers is much more important than just putting information out there. Communication is a two way process and is deemed effective when it gets a dialog going. So the average blogger, enjoys a weekend with family and comes back home to blog about it, with the memories already filtering off; while The Travelling Shiva, VLOGs, blogs, live-streams action, posts pictures, tags them and makes an everlasting memory out of a mere passé moment. The followers of The Travelling Shiva are left with an enriching experience, so personal, they feel that they have lived the moment themselves.

2 comments for now

Travel writing – Write while you are exploring

Posted by on Jun 08 2012 | Content Writing

Travel writing is one of the genres I recently got myself involved into. Never having much of interest in travelling until recently was much of a contributor and I never seemed to care about it. One of the most interesting forms of writing (that’s how I perceive it today); it has many aspects to it, allowing an individual to explore as much as he can in his capacity.

Most of the pieces we read on travelling today are in forms of personal blogs or travel websites. Many of them are descriptions or personal experiences of people. For those who love writing, this can be one of the most enjoyable experiences. What better than a mélange of travelling, writing and exploring, while also getting readers to know about your journey. Here are a few things I have learnt off lately, while writing about places I recently went to-

1.    If you are planning to go for a vacation with your family or by yourself, start writing about it from day one itself.  One of the many mistakes that travelers commit is only after they come back. By the time you come back, the true essence of the place is already gone and only leftovers are the facts and not the real takeaways.

2.    Click Pictures – Any travel write-up or a blog is incomplete without the pictures of the place. Photographs add a sense of reality and credibility to your article and give your readers a better insight into your journey.

3.    Explore the unknown – While you are onboard, make sure you explore as much and write on each thing you find unique to the place. Mention whatever you find different and exclusive to the place. This will make your blog a more real one and your readers will be hooked on to it for a long time.

4.    Write on the spot – While you are already on a site, you plan to write about, the best way is to write about it in brief, then and there itself. This way, you will be able to produce a write up with a more indigenous feel to it.

3 comments for now

Real can always be fictitious

Posted by on Sep 17 2011 | Content Writing, Copywriting

When you see some of the most astonishing and interesting frames of human civilization, your mind wonders about the pinnacle of dynamism that the ‘Creator’ has bestowed to the blue planet. If you are infected with the ‘creative’ bug in your cerebral administration, you will definitely pen down the experiences in your notebook. However, if these experiences are a part of your journey and you are in one of the wildest regions of the world, you would definitely love to make it a part of your travelogue! There will be a few raised hands for a unanimous response to the question of “How many of you do not like travel writing?” No one would bet on this issue and I can bet on this, very surely.

Who will hate to soak in some fresh air just by reading a travel article on a particular hill station? No second thought can compete for it, but fiction has always been the most loved and the most demanding genre of writing, and this is not new to the human civilization. Truth may be stranger than fiction, but when both of them merge upon, you get to see hybridized form of human perception. Surprisingly, this particular outlook of looking at things has already brought a lot of kudos for people who have resorted to this particular style of travel writing.

When the spice of fiction is sprinkled all over a travel experience, the entire plot of the story takes a different turn altogether. Now, there is an obvious question which may linger around now in your mind and that will definitely be about the necessity of dragging in fiction in travel writing. There can be an end number of reasons behind it. Different people may have their own reasons. For some bunch of travel enthusiasts, fictional travel writing has come far away from the art of creating fictional cities, villages and civilizations in the universe. Today, fiction-fused travelogue is a nascent description about real life experiences.

Not all experiences are pleasant for a human on this planet. Each and every travel enthusiast must have gone through some untold terrain of fantasies which he/she might have kept enclosed in their minds. All they want is the right time and the needful platform to brush away the rust and give it a shot, bring in some interesting account of their weird and interesting experiences. Fictional travelogues these days are just like entertainment capsules which are considered to be necessary to strengthen a refined taste of creativity. So, it is not necessary that you vomit your real life experiences while travelling to place ha been highly embarrassing. Put in someone else as the travel protagonist and let it take all your pains, though you may not completely get out of bitter experience!

3 comments for now