travel writing 101

A travel journalist? Why not.

Meld Magazine, an online magazine for international students, held a journalism workshop for its editors last Saturday. I’m really grateful to be a part of the team and be able to learn more about writing! Why? It’s just so amazing!

Anyways, the three sessions held were about SEO (Search Engine Optimisation), Blogging, and Travel Writing. And the third session just captured my soul.

Meld Magazine team!

I have always loved the idea of traveling. If the earth offers you so much more: the riches and beauty of the world, the diversity of the cultures, the crazy stuffs that you are able to do; why don’t try to see the most of it? I think travel gives the idea of freedom, of ‘really’ living your life, to take a break from your frustrating mundane, and to learn something new. Travel enables you to enjoy live, to love life, and to live life. For me, travel is in our blood.

Shawn Low, the Lonely Planet’s Travel Editor, spoke with passion and such fire about travel writing. He told us about his experience in traveling, his journey about getting the job in the Lonely Planet, his ideals about writing and secrets on how to write a good piece of travel writing. He even showed us the video of his experience traveling to China (Lonely Planet, roads less traveled edition). It was bizarre (in an extremely positive way)!

So why travel?

My top ten reasons on why we should travel:

  1. We got to go to places! come on, who doesn’t like to see the world? seeing those blue oceans and green wineries, being in exotic places or even experiencing a life as the wilderness explorer’! (*pop quiz: which movie got that term?)
  2. we got to know strange stuffs. each heritage, each culture, each history has got its own signature. do you ever wonder how the people created the sphinx? or the what kind of life did Tutankhamun live? (the exhibition is on the way to Melbourne Museum by the way, so sad it’s so expensive) What language did ancient people speak, or how does the food in those Spain restaurants (heard Spain got the best restaurants ever!) taste like? Even Heston, the guy who’s cooking crazy stuffs in Heston’s Feast, does LOTS of traveling to search for inspiration!
  3. loving life. It’s a simple reason, but I think by traveling we will know more about this life, about the good or the bad, and how different we are from the rest of the world. It will make us appreciate life more, and love life even more.
  4. knowing ourselves. some people travel to find more about themselves. For example in the book Eat Pray Love. do you know that yourself is the most complicated being on earth? lol
  5. being aware of our surroundings. Most of the time we think that our views are always the common ones, or that people will at least have SIMILAR views about everything. Nope. Diversity is what the world is.
  6. be a blessing. by traveling, we can also be a blessing not only in our community, but also be a blessing towards other people. towards strangers. towards those who who are unreachable. I’m not only talking about Christianity, but anything in general.
  7. be an actor or actresses. to lose ourselves and be someone else once in a while. to act silly, to try stupid stuffs, to be a tourist. to open a big map with small letters in a totally different language than your mother tongue and to decipher the code to your treasure!
  8. to kiss the heaven. to be immersed in the beauty of the world. to cry, to laugh, to smile, to dance, to walk, to run, to chase that rainbow’s end in this imperfect world. to believe in dreams, magic, hope, and to have faith. to be reminded that life is short – and enjoyable.
  9. to stop the time and be youthful in heart, spirit, and soul. for me, it’s to stop the technology. to be away from facebook, emails, the news, everything. to reflect.
  10. to travel. to journey. to be yourself. to enjoy life. to make most out of life. to pursue your passion. to dream. to dare to dream. to hope. to wish. to have faith. to love. to fall in love with love.

I was really inspired, but at the same time –  afraid. Afraid that I will not be able to meet such standard in writing. Afraid of all the responsibility, the pressure and the hard paths that I need to walk in order to reach my goal. Afraid of choosing my own passion. I doubt that I’m actually good enough to pursue a career as a writer. But oh well, who knows? =) Now, it’s ACTION time!

strawberries! @ strawberry farm, mornington!

guess where this is? lol brighton beach!

universal studio singapore, great castle!

universal studio singapore, and....action!

sitting on top of the highest rock at Hanging Rock! =D

I will close this blog with a quote from Pico Iyer, a travel journalist as well. Shawn Low shared this and I’ve fallen in love with it ever since (2 days ago! hahah).

“We travel, initially, to lose ourselves; and we travel, next to find ourselves.

We travel to open our hearts and eyes and learn more about the world than our newspapers will accommodate.

We travel to bring what little we can, in our ignorance and knowledge, to those parts of the globe whose riches are differently dispersed.

And we travel, in essence, to become young fools again- to slow time down and get taken in, and fall in love once more.

– Pico Iyer

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