Whether you travel for business or pleasure, if you do a lot of it, you will have experiences that no one else will. You will encounter locals with stories to tell; you will eat in amazing places; you will see more than just the popular tourist attractions; you will gather historical and cultural insights. None of these things will be found in textbooks, and it is often the frequent traveler to a place who becomes the expert and the good storyteller.
If you have not considered writing a book about your travels, you should. You have experiences that you don’t want to forget and that you really should share. In fact, there are seven reasons why you should start that book today.
As time moves on, and experiences become more distant, we forget many of the details. As you are further removed from your travel experiences, you will forget names, places, and events that made that travel unique and wonderful. You will forget the story of that adorable little man who hand carved the bowl or bird you brought home. You will forget the students you met who invited you for a beer. Yes, you may have pictures, but, after a while, you are trying to remember exactly where that rice field was or where you were when those school children were performing an outdoor concert. You’ll forget the name of the village on the Hong Kong peninsula where the coffin maker took time to tell you his village’s history. If you write the book now, you will have all of the detail permanently recorded for yourself. If for no other reason, write that book for yourself.
Recently, the United States resumed diplomatic relations with the country of Cuba, a country that has been closed off to Americans for over 50 years. Much about Cuba is as it was when it was closed off. American cars from the 50’s still travel the streets of Cuba; cottage industries still exist. Farm cooperatives and rural life have changed little. All of this is about to change. As Cuban-American economic and cultural exchanges grow, the old Cuba will be transformed. Those who travel to Cuba now will have many wonderful stories to tell and places to visit that may not exist 20 years from now. Being able to write a narrative of the Cuba of today that will become a permanent record of this point in history will be invaluable and something that can be shared with many others who do not have the opportunity to get there in the near future.
Years from now, there may be, in your book, narratives of travel to countries that no longer exist or that no longer exist as you know them now. To have a record of your travels that your future generations will be able to share with one another will be a special look into the life of someone they may not have known but who they will know better as a result of what you have written. Your personal documentation and your reflections and responses to all that you have seen and done will allow your descendants to know you, to understand the times in which you lived, and your thoughts on the world around you.
Travel is such a broadening experience, whether it is within your own country or countries all over this planet. You encounter the unique, you make new friends, and you fall in love with places. You may travel to destinations that others would never consider visiting. And yet, if they are able to read your accounts of the exciting, rewarding, and heartwarming experiences you had, then they may be encouraged to plan a trip there as well, or at least put it on their bucket lists for the future. There is nothing quite like first-hand experience to inspire others.
You Could be Published
Many people write books, and many people also self-publish those books, at their own expense. Of course, if they wish to sell those books, then they must market them, and that can be a costly and often times unsuccessful endeavor. If you write a compelling and engaging accounting of little known places that you have visited, you may just find a publisher who takes care of the entire printing and marekting for you. As well, there are travel agencies who publish books and will pay you for one that provides insights into more exotic and little-known places.
Your Travel Might be a Path to a New Career
If your book is well-written and you are able to capture the essence of a place through your personal stories, large travel companies may actually pay you to travel and to write more, especially guides which they publish and distribute to their clients. If you love to travel, why not do it at someone else’s expense?
Shine Spotlights on People the World Over
At our essence, we are all very much alike – the human spirit is quite universal. Our lifestyles, our values, our belief systems, however, are quite different. Recently, a Facebook post pointed this out quite clearly. Three young African boys, shirtless and shoeless, stood on the top of a hill overlooking a vat and breathtaking valley. In the distance were the Rwenzori Mountains, an amazing sight. One of the boys said, “I heard that in America, kids have to spend their days inside, sitting at desks and tables and being quiet.” Another boy said, “How sad. Maybe we should take up a collection for them.” Your exposure to these lifestyles and values broadens you and will broaden the perspective of your readers too.
Are You Hesitating?
If you are hesitating because you worry about your writing skills – don’t. Just get your stories out for now, with all of the wonderful detail that is fresh in your mind. There are plenty of editors who can polish it for you – that’s what they get paid to do.
Norman Arvidsson is a passionate author who was born in Sweden but then moved to the United States with his family. Now his goal is to share his experience with others through blogging. He is familiar with such areas as web dev and design, marketing, blogging, freelancing, startups, small business, self-development, and eLearning. Considers personal growth as the main goal in his life.