Breaking Into Travel Journalism: The Reality

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travel journalism
Image Credits: The Travel

It is a dream of a lot of people to travel the world but have you ever wondered what it would be like when you get paid to travel? You must be thinking about what could be a better job than this, but the reality is not that foolproof. A travel journalist is someone who travels to different places, explores them, studies about their culture and then writes about it. The field of Travel Journalism has its own challenges. If you have a passion to travel and are ready to compromise on financial stability only then you can break into this career. There are a lot of things which you will have to plan before signing your job letter that requires you to travel.

To help you make an informed decision, we have put down a list of conditions you must consider before you sign in for this job:

GET READY FOR A LOT OF EXERTION

If you go out on a trip once every few months, you enjoy it a lot because it acts as a break from your regular schedule. However, when you start working as a travel journalist there is no schedule because all you do is travel. It is mentally tiring too. Many times you will be shifting from place to place continuously which will restrict you from any kind of rest or comfort.  Also, you should be able to easily adapt to the changes in the environment and should be mentally prepared to get out of your comfort zone.

YOU MAY NOT MAKE A LOT OF MONEY

It is a myth that travel journalists are paid a lot and all their travel expenses are covered by the company they work for. The field of Travel Journalism doesn’t guarantee a lot of money especially at the start of the career and you can’t expect much pay because there will be thousands of people out there who would do your work for free. There is no stability in your income as well as your job. Many times companies need stories and the travel to inspire those stories is free of cost but you don’t get paid for your efforts. The budget for the trip is usually tight and you may have to incur the cost of a lot of expenses made on the road.

YOU MAY START FEELING ALONE

Travel journalism is considered as a ‘lonely profession’ because it is not always necessary that you travel with a team. You will have to travel alone, eat alone, stay in the hotel room alone and wander cities alone. You may start finding your job a bit boring after a while. Even when you are not traveling you usually work alone, generally from home.

YOU DON’T GET MUCH TIME FOR YOUR LOVED ONES

Since you keep on traveling, you don’t get much time to spend with your friends and family. There is a probability that you don’t even get a chance to go home for months. Hence, you need a supportive family if you really want to get into the profession of Travel Journalism. You can’t take your loved ones along because traveling is a part of your job and not a vacation. After some time you may get frustrated because you start missing your friends, family and some important events.

travel journalism
Image Credits: Youtube

IT IS TIME-CONSUMING

Travel journalists don’t just have to write a story, there are a lot of other works involved in the whole process. As a freelancer you will have to search for a good place, research about the destination, calculate the budget, plan ways to travel, click photographs, know about the culture and then will have to promote your work to reach masses. The whole process requires a lot of effort as well as time.

YOU DON’T ALWAYS GET THE WORK YOU WANT

It takes a lot of effort to pitch an idea to the editor and even if your idea is brilliant, it may get rejected. There could be multiple reasons like- the organization does not have a big budget, your idea does not match the magazine’s theme, the destination is unusual and the target audience would not be interested to know about it, etc. You could be sent to a place you don’t really want to go and you will have to do a lot of activities which you don’t really enjoy. Many times you will not even get a chance to travel, you will just be asked to research the destinations from the office and write about them as the organization demands.

BUT, YOU WILL GET TO TRAVEL!

After considering all these things if you still have that passion to travel, this is a job made for you. As a travel journalist, you will get to visit different countries, know about them, try different cuisines, know about their culture and enjoy new experiences. This is considered as the best job in the world but you will have to compromise on a lot of things and make travelling your priority. This is a job which will make you travel, this is a job you will love to do, this is a job you will kill for, and if you’re passionate it is all worth it!

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