The idea for this blog came from travel journals I’ve kept over the years. As a kid I kept journals and as a traveler I keep them. One day I figured, why not do something with them? Which got me thinking that I wish I’d had this idea earlier. Creating and managing conferences and incentive programs for the largest travel agency on the planet took me to some incredible and inspirational places. But as the saying goes—hindsight is twenty-twenty, and I can see clearly now that I left the best opportunity behind when I come home and didn’t write about my travels. If you’re in this business, it’s because you’ve got a thing for travel so why not share it?
When did the travel bug bite you? Were you 6, 16 or 60? It doesn’t matter, there’s no cure and if even if there were, you wouldn’t want it. What does matter is that you’ve got stories to tell. Whatever type of travel you specialize in, you hold a post that gives you the opportunity to do more than whatever your job description says you do. Sure, your job is to sell travel. It’s to keep customers who are happy with the service you give them coming back and it’s to attract new ones. But the reach of your talents isn’t limited to that narrow scope. Are you following me?
Ever heard this saying? “When you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change.” If not, think about it for a moment and give it a chance to settle in, get comfortable with it. In fact, maybe cut and paste that quote into bigger font and then print it and put it some place prominent where you’ll see it every day. This is about changing the way you view your role. It’s about discovering that the biggest perk of your job isn’t the free or discounted travel you get—although that’s a great bonus– it’s about the knowledge and experiences you gain. You’re a travel ambassador and if you’re not capturing your trip experiences–through writing or photography or video–then you’re cheating yourself, your customers and your organization. If you don’t take advantage of the travel you could be doing, then get yourself out there and start connecting to the places that’ll inspire you and make you an expert and an advocate.
If right about now you’re thinking—I’m not a writer”–I’m going to challenge you. It’s not about creating something along the lines of The Sun Also Rises (although you might have that in you), just a suggestion that you get comfortable with the idea that this is something you can do. If you already like to write but you’re afraid of putting yourself out there, then I hope this gives you the push you need. In either case it may take some time but that’s okay. The more you pack along this idea when you travel, the more you’ll see how much sense it makes.
Capturing your travel in writing will help your professional and personal development. It will make you a better communicator because it’ll enhance your ability to share what a destination feels like, smells like and tastes like and that will inspire your customers to want to experience it.
Writing is an exploration that’ll take you places you didn’t know existed. It’s a lifetime journey–if you want it to be– that’ll make you a better observer of every place you visit. Whether you’re at home or abroad.
This blog is my own journey into communicating my travel experiences. Am I skittish to put myself out there in unchartered territory? Sure, but it’s an expedition I’m eager to take.
I know you have stories too. Let’s find your voice and share it.