I’ve had enough people ask me about the name of this column, so I think it’s time to define “ambidextrous travel writer”.
Before I explain what an ambidextrous travel writer is, I do need to take you back to what a travel writer used to be.
When I first started as an assistant travel editor at The Condé Nast Publications (Bride’s Magazine, to be specific), I was an editorial assistant, one of three travel editors for the significant honeymoon section.
At this job, I was in the early stages of becoming a travel writer and was single, eager to work 24/7 to get ahead.
I was responsible for researching, writing, and editing many travel pieces.
At Condé Nast, we had staff in other positions and entire departments that made sure the articles we travel editors wrote (or edited) would read well and look nice in the magazine.
- Many levels of editors
- An advertising department
- An art department
- An IT specialist
- A fashion department for shoots
- A promotion department
- A marketing department
- An accounting department
- A circulation department, and so on…
Little did I know then, that years later, I would be all of these departments rolled up into one job description as well as a wife and a mom.
After seeing so many of my traditional media outlets dry up, I launched FarewellTravels.com at the end of 2009. I felt it was important to establish a digital presence that I could call my own.
So what do I do now, as a travel writer?
Elaine Clayton ©2010 Illuminara.com 
Intrepid Travel Writer Susan Farewell and her daughter Justine in Athens, Greece.
- I travel ( a lot).
- I attend press events.
- I write articles.
- I edit articles.
- I fact-check articles.
- I proofread articles.
- I do photo-research and handle copyrights when necessary.
- I work with photographers.
- I take photographs, some video and organize it all.
- I PhotoShop images.
- I work with artists.
- I do layouts.
- I upload stories.
- I write headlines, captions.
- I do on-camera work for videos.
- I work with animators to create maps.
- I do promotions, working with PR agencies to develop contests and other incentives to visit my site.
- I do legal research.
- I speak on many panels and at conferences.
- I do the marketing, endeavoring to get the word out to everyone in cyberspace.
- I meet with my web developer to discuss improvements.
- I develop business plans and come up with creative ways to make money.
- I do the accounting.
- I supervise a small staff.
So what do you think, does that qualify as Ambidextrous?
As far as I’m concerned, in this brave new world of travel writing, you have to do it all or find a new career.