Traveling Essay

Traveling Essay-47
Remember, at the start readers need a “big picture” sense of location, preferably visual, combined with a sense of who is telling this story.Their two key questions might be reduced to: Where am I going, and who am I going with? First paragraph: As an exercise in answering the first question, create a “landscape in words” of the place that is going to be the focus of your essay.

Remember, at the start readers need a “big picture” sense of location, preferably visual, combined with a sense of who is telling this story.Their two key questions might be reduced to: Where am I going, and who am I going with? First paragraph: As an exercise in answering the first question, create a “landscape in words” of the place that is going to be the focus of your essay.

Descriptive prose provides the larger context while you, the writer, bring a strong sense of your personal motives, state of mind, and situation as we embark on the trip together.

The “hinge” of these two levels allows you to pivot and shift your point of view as you move through the pages.

Does all this imply the end of literary travel writing?

Hopefully not, but in the age of globalization, the world has be-come more accessible and undeniably more “connected,” at least in technological terms.

Travel is internal as well as external, and so the “story” is free to focus on subtle shifts of inner awareness.

In the words of Norman Douglas, writing in the 1920s, good travel writing “invites the reader to undertake three tours simultaneously: abroad, into the author’s brain, and into his own.” As long as wanderlust exists, an engaging travel essay will appeal to readers who expect more than mere information.

Remember, your goal is to come full circle, so always take time to check and see if your last few paragraphs relate to the beginning.

You can get a sense of this full circle by “checking the echo” of beginnings and endings in the travel essays you’re reading now.

Travel has shifted in style and scope while tourism—that market-driven substitute for a voyage of discovery—runs the gamut from “packaged” to pretentious.

In the 21st century, the well-crafted travel essay has begun to look as nostalgic as a dusty khaki safari jacket sans logo.

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