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The Art of Personal Travel Essay Writing

Have you ever wanted to transform your travel journal entries into compelling narratives or travel essays?

Do you dream about publishing your work as a travel writer?

As you already know, there are many different styles and genres of travel writing.

One of the most common forms of travel writing today is travel blogging. I started out as a travel blogger, writing for top travel blogs like www.europeupclose.com [1].

Though I continue to work as a travel blogger and greatly enjoy it, I have expanded my scope as a writer to include personal travel narratives (or short-form travel memoir).

One piece of mine that best encapsulates this genre is published on Border:Hopping [2], a multidisciplinary (arts, literature, poetry) site on travel. Out of the Sevillian Swelter [3] was written years after I had spent time in Spain.

It can be exhilarating to capture your travel memories in the written word.

However, as I poured myself a glass of wine and began to type, the memories of these travel experiences came flooding back. It was exhilarating to freeze them as they passed through my conscious mind and capture them in the written word.

I enjoyed the process so much that I decided to dedicate more of my writing time to personal travel essays.

Last month, I gave my first personal travel writing seminar to a group of bright budding travel writers. This post is comprised of advice I gave the seminar participants and “best practices” I’ve discovered over the past two years of writing personal travel essays.

The “nuts and bolts” of a compelling travel essay:

Some of the best travel essays I’ve read over the years had a definite, central theme. It is important to identify the central themes of your article or essay before you try to write it. Decide at the outset what main point about a place or experience you want to convey.

You can then work your personal narrative and facts around the central theme. Pinpointing your central theme before you begin writing will allow you structure your piece logically and help you identify what information you need to include as well as what you can omit.

~ Jen

Do you prefer to write narrative travel essays? Share your advice!