I am so often asked, what makes a trip a story, a trek an adventure – what makes even a visit to friends in a nearby city something someone can find interesting? As I so often reply, it’s not about the travel, exactly. It’s not about the flight, the sights, the luggage lost or romance found, precisely. What it is about is…you.
What I love about great travel writing – what everyone loves about great writing – is that it’s not just a journey to the Holy Land or whirlwind week in Tahiti. It’s not only Rome in a weekend or mishaps in the Australian Outback. Of course, it is all this, to begin. But what gives the trip its kick, what makes it compelling to read if it’s written up right, is the inner journey the writer enjoys. What do you discover about you in Rome? What personal epiphany opens your eyes (or even blows your mind) in Tahiti? What new courage is found with the Italian beau, or lost joy recovered with the Holy Land’s knowing? To return home from a trip having learned something new, not just about the place but instead especially – most importantly – about yourself is the story that everyone loves. It’s the story I, for one, can never get enough of.