Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Life is the Journey

Sarah White
The only things I know about travel writing are things I read in a book.  Pretty apropos, really. 
To me, that statement sums up exactly what travel writing should do—take a reader to a place and let that reader have the experience of that place whether he or she ever goes there or not. Setting becomes the main character in a narrative that revolves around the five senses, the context of history, and how that place affected the writer.
I have stared the Sphinx in the face and sweated inside the queen’s chamber of the Great Pyramid, but what I know that most people don’t is that across the street from the pyramids is a Pizza Hut, and when you push open the curtains, you have the most magnificent view.  I know what it feels like to stand inside Westminster Abbey.   I have tasted Sedona, AZ in the middle of a thunderstorm, and I knew what it must feel like to stare up from an ocean floor—no matter how fossilized and arid.  I touched the Thames and felt the whipping winds howl in my ears at Stonehenge.
Yet, have I ever been to Rome?  Shivered in Moscow?  Sipped miso soup in Japan?
Even before the Internet, travel writing connected readers to the world. People took journeys to “exotic” lands and published their adventures, leaving readers spellbound and amazed by the diversity of world around us. 
If you are interested in travel writing, you might check out the following blogs: (Recommended to me by a noted local poet, Bethany Lee.)
Get out and explore your corner of the globe.  Travel writing doesn’t have to be about places miles and miles away. Sometimes, the best story is just around the corner.  Are there local festivals that more people should know about?  What makes your “hometown” special and unique?
A staycation can give you just as many stories as a vacation across many states or many oceans.
In the end, the thing to remember is what I tell my students every semester: It’s not what you write about; it’s how you write about it.
Take us outside of ourselves and away from ourselves for the span of a few minutes.
Let us “hit the road” and escape.  Let us refresh and renew our own perspectives and take a mentally journey we won’t soon forget.



  1. I would also be so bold as to include my website,, in the mix. It would definitely be included in the staycation/exploring your own backyard sort of category! But I think that that is important too. There are so many sites that focus on the BIG places, places that don't typically include Indiana--but wow, there's a lot of interesting, enjoyable, and surprising things to do right here.

  2. You're right. There are a number of good things to do right here, and your blog highlights them. Thank you.