Yukata Disco by Carl Parkes
I've been a travel writer for almost 20 years and have traveled around the world, and written six guidebooks to Southeast with Moon Publications and National Geographic. I've also updated and written original reviews for several hundred hotels in Thailand, Malaysia, and Singapore for Reed Travel/Star Service, the largest travel-trade publication in the world. Also, staff journalist for two years at Pacific Asia Travel Association, back in the days when they had an American publication outlet. I've also written for scuba diving magazines and photography specialties.
I know the score.
And then USA Today runs a story on dream travel jobs, and I almost want to throw all the authors out the window for their lying ways. There is NOT a hint of truth in any of these profiles, but they continue to feed the public hunger for notion of travel employee as gifted bird.
I've done most of these jobs in one form or another, and have the real lowdown on these so-called professions.
Jen Leo gets sick and tired of my cynicism, so I don't bother making comments on her excellent blog, but somebody, somewhere needs to drill down some sense of realism in this travel profession. Rolf Potts is also skeptical of my jaded views, but then he did the Round-the-World thing last year and hasn't peeped a word about the reality of that event (disaster?).
Nobody should write for free. Nobody should write for slave wages. Nobody should promote websites that don't pay or pay shitty wages. Thirty years ago the going rate for travel writers was $1 per word.
What are you getting paid today? Blogs will never get you coverage and will not impress any real editor. Don't do it. Don't kill what remains of the travel writing industry.
Who is killing the travel writing industry? It ain't me. I'm just lighting a candle over the corpse.
Ask someone what he or she'd do if they won the lottery and chances are the T-word will come up. For many, travel is the dream realized, the ultimate reward for a job well done.
But there are workers out there who don't need to hit the jackpot to take off. Travel is their job, and it doesn't involve herding passengers onto airplanes or swabbing ship decks, either.
USA TODAY's Jayne Clark looks at five of the best jobs and profiles those who have them.
USA Today Link