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Kelsey Timmerman and the Effects of Globalization

Have you read any extraordinary travel articles (or written any)? As a travel writer, you know there’s more to writing great travel articles than the typical “Top 10 Night Spots in L.A” – that’s been done many times over and just doesn’t cut it these days. These days the truly great travel articles have a unique perspective – something that is different and not already found in any of a dozen travel publications.

Kelsey Timmerman wrote, Where am I Wearing: A Global Tour to the Countries, Factories, and People that Make Our Clothes [1].

Kelsey’s book is a compelling story about the people who make his clothing. He was interested in finding out who they were and how globalization affected them and their families. He was especially interested in those who manufactured his clothing; he wanted to know the effects that globalization had on humanity. So he followed the path of a number of typical clothing items ‘backward’ to their source, a journey which took him around the world.

Anna Brones of Written Road [2], interviewed Kelsey about his book. She wanted to go deeper into Kelsey’s transformation from a blogger to a columnist to a published book author.

Here’s an excerpt from the interview…

Written Road: I appreciate this book because it combines traveling and discovering new cultures, but doing so in order to open our eyes to the real effects of globalization, putting you somewhere between travel writer and social justice reporter. What inspired you to combine the two?

Kelsey Timmerman: Not so much what inspired me as Who inspired me.

His name was Amilcar and I don’t know much about him other than he made T-shirts, was in his mid-twenties, lived with his parents, and liked to play soccer. I met him when I visited Honduras after looking at the tag of my favorite T-shirt – sort of a random act of travel kind of thing. I had spent the previous few weeks jungle trekking and SCUBA diving, and decided to dedicate at least one afternoon to trying to meet someone who made my T-shirt. That someone was Amilcar, and I couldn’t bring myself to ask him the question I really wanted to know: did his job making shirts provide the opportunity to make a better life for him and his family?

This is a great idea if you’re a travel writer looking for different angles for your travel writing articles or books. You can go beyond the same old, same old travel article about a destination. Push yourself to beyond your comfort zone and try writing from different angles — start first by seeing things and places from a different perspective.

~ Rebecca

What types of travel articles do you write? Have you tried a different perspective?