There’s nothing quite like traveling. Everyone loves warmer climates, exciting new adventures, and experiences abroad. Right?
Well, I do. Obviously, I can’t vouch for everyone, but I’m sure the vast majority out there would tend to agree with me. Strawberry daiquiris and ice-cream sundaes all around! What’s not to like?
But, (cough), excuse me just one second. Can I have all writers’ attention for a moment, please?
I hate to be the one to interrupt a snappy glass of red and platter of sushi. Where are my manners? But I’ve gotta put this out there before you get a little dizzy from the red stuff:
Traveling can be a lot more than just enjoying the luxury of eating saffron scallops at a four-star restaurant in Paris, or stuffing your face with toasted marshmallows around a campfire in Miyajima. For writers, there’s so much more to it than that.
As a writer, traveling has been a great opportunity to come up with something fresh for blogs, websites, or publications I’ve submitted articles to.
When you travel, you can take stacks of inspiration and creativity from your travels for your next writing project.
You should write about it, in fact.
Use your firsthand experiences for your next article or blog post to write about different cultures, craft a piece about your newfound palate for food and drink, or even become an advocate to holiday-goers who are seeking different places to visit.
On another note, hell, you might even meet some interesting new people to use as inspiration for characters in your next best-seller (wink, wink).
Harry Potter was inspired by a chap called Ian Potter who lived four floors down from Rowling. He even dressed like a wizard! Inspiration right there, in a nutshell.
I recently encountered an elderly, white-bearded German man in Aidenbachstraße, Germany, where I had been trekking for most of the week.
It caught my attention that he was cooling bottled water, beer, and juice in a cold water fountain nearby for any passersby to hydrate—while at the same time wearing a leather jacket, a bandana, and a thick pair of jeans in 33-degree Celsius heat. Crazy.
It was just something I found strange, but also oddly fascinating.
It inspired me to write a short story (I’m currently typing it up), and it’s a great example of the kind of situation that other writers can take inspiration from, as well.
Traveling is a great opportunity for all writers to take advantage of their experiences and create something fun.
Below, I’m going to give you some more tips and examples of how traveling can be more than just a vacation. All you’ve got to do is read on and take some more notes.
Sometimes, it may become a little frustrating to figure out what’s next on the list of things to write about.
Especially when you’re slouched on the sofa in your PJs, watching reruns of “Columbo,” wondering what on earth it is that you’re going to write about while the dog is tugging at the big-toe end of your sock.
It can be a little uninspiring, and you could be forgiven for lacking in the creativity department. Or writing about the same crap every day.
So, while you’re in another country, city, town, or village, use it to your advantage and be as efficient with your journey as you can from a writing perspective. It’s not every day we get the opportunity to indulge in new experiences.
Use every fun experience to come up with something unique. It doesn’t have to be something overly dramatic like scuba diving with great white sharks and almost being eaten alive (although that does sound eventful).
But rather just something you can elaborate on, to a certain extent.
I’m sure you get the idea now.
It’s not always the most dramatic of occurrences that make the best content, but rather something you experienced abroad that was quite fascinating, educational, or humorous—that could also be useful to your readers and subscribers.
You could have an idea for a blog post/article 1,000 words long from an experience that lasted only 10 to 15 minutes.
What do I mean by improvise then? Capture a moment and go deep. Deep into thought. Let the writer deep in your soul take over. It could be something you’re doing, someone you’re talking to, somewhere you are visiting, something you’re eating. Explain it as best you can. Elaborate until you can’t elaborate any more. Elabadabarate!
The more specific and interesting, the better it reads. This could be of interest to people online who plan on visiting different countries, cities, or villages who may also want to know what particular venues to visit, restaurants to dine in, and what the people and cultures are like in certain areas. Sell it to your readers. This is how you can stand out in the crowd from other bloggers. Whose blog are they going to visit next time? Not theirs. Yours!
Even travel and food blogs would happily snap those articles right up—and pay you a few bucks, too.
Be creative and seize the opportunity while you’re there to come up with something vibrant.
In my experience from traveling to different countries, chances are you will encounter some fascinating people who are quite different from your friends, family, or even yourself.
Just like that elderly sweaty German guy I stumbled upon in Aidenbachstraße.
I mean, yeah, of course, it’s possible you could just base your next character on a neighbor from back home as Rowling did, but maybe the old guy next door doesn’t do an awful lot other than water his garden tulips in his underpants at 10:00 every morning. Who wants to write about that?
Perhaps you’ve already based novels on your friends, families, and school teachers, and you’re running out of ideas? So, it’s time for some spicing up.
This is a great opportunity to do that. Take inspiration from all the different personalities, cultures, and nationalities you encounter while you’re away. There’s always a story to tell about a certain someone while you’re out of town/country.
Use it as inspiration for your next novel.
Take note of their demeanor, behavior, accent, appearance, and if you come to stumble upon it—their names (in a non-creepy way). Ha! Ian Potter became Harry Potter, after all.
The rest was history.
Now that you’ve done it, experienced it, seen it, and met other people, it’s time to tell the world about it.
Create a short story, produce travel and food articles based on your ventures, or even invent your own characters for a novel you plan on writing based on the fascinating folks you met on your journey away.
Why not do ‘em all?
I’m excited to read it already!
Michael Bradley is an entrepreneurial writer currently based in Ireland who lends his services to various brands, SEO agencies, and magazines through his own website: www.freelancemichael.com, or directly through his personal email: [email protected]. When he isn't attending to his clients, Michael is a passionate Liverpool FC supporter and his dream is to one day see Liverpool win the Premier League. Follow him on LinkedIn and Twitter.