It’s been almost a year now since I completed the Ultimate Travel Journalism Course; a year since I felt that cheeky sense of accomplishment as I opened the envelope and saw my diploma. We all know how good it feels to know you actually finished something you started!
So it began. I now had the tools and knowledge to achieve my dream of becoming a travel writer. The first thing I did was to go and follow a bunch of travel blogs and Instagram accounts so I had daily inspiration to believe in my dream as I continued to work my usual day job. I had business cards made and left them wherever I went in order to promote my blog.
I took a trip to New Zealand where I met lots of other happy campers and travel bloggers. The trip was different to anything I’d ever experienced before as I was travelling in the back of an old cargo van and essentially winging it as I went. I wrote the article ‘Kiwi land by cargo van’ which got positive feedback; it was lovely to see that people were enjoying my words. It gives you a warm fuzzy feeling to know that your words can inspire others to see the world.
Then I jumped on a plane to America; a lifelong dream of mine that was finally happening. America was like a whole new planet in itself and so different to anything I’d ever seen back here in Australia. It definitely gave me plenty of inspiration for new travel articles. From line dancing in Texas, to star spotting in Los Angeles, spending 8 weeks in the USA/Canada was the highlight of 2017 for me.
Whilst in New York, I got in contact with a bunch of travel bloggers that I’d met from the famous Facebook group, Girls Love Travel for a #gltmeetup at a little bar near Times Square. I was out of my comfort zone, walking alone into a bar to meet with a bunch of strangers, but that’s all apart of the job, isn’t it! It was amazing to meet up with like minded people and discuss our next adventures.
Recently, I’ve been a part of a group working on developing an app in Australia. We can’t share much yet, only that it will work as a platform for everyday people to be tour guides to people visiting in their area. It’s exciting to be a part of developing something new.
I still use the skills I gained in this course in my everyday life and writing. I often look back at the modules and recap in an endless attempt to continue building on my skills. I’m currently chipping away at new articles, such as ’12 hours in Tokyo’ – which is about (obviously) the 12 hours I spent in the vibrant city on my stopover from Perth to LA. Between full time work and full time university study, I find writing about my travels to be a good source of ‘me’ time.
Although I perhaps haven’t written as much as I’d have liked over the past year, I’m excited for what the next few years will bring! I encourage anyone with a desire to travel and write to give this course a go, you’ll never know what you can achieve until you try.
“The course gave me a whole new sense of confidence and a much clearer understanding of the journalism industry and how I can make my writing skills work for me.”
I’ve always loved to write. I’ve always kept diaries and loved to put pen to paper.
I’ve thought that I wrote reasonably well – not amazing, but well enough – and I’ve also always loved to travel. My family would always make the effort to go on at least one trip per year; this is what sparked my love of travel.
So in combining two of my favourite things, I came to learn that travel journalism is a ‘real life’ career, not just a fictional job. People get paid to travel and write! Furthermore, I found that I could study travel journalism and achieve a diploma in it. This got me extremely excited and immediately signed up for the Morris Journalism Academy’s Ultimate Travel Journalism course.
The course took me a year. It was part-time and online so it made it super easy to juggle full-time work, travel, study and all of life’s other commitments. I had the flexibility to study whenever/wherever it suited me! I aimed to do one tutorial a month, so it was easy to complete the course within the time frame I had set for myself.
I found the course to be extremely well delivered with wholesome, detailed tutorials filled with many examples and hints that had me writing crazy amounts of notes in my journal, feeding me with inspiration for my own work. Every tutorial was filled with helpful information and practical advice.
My favourite aspect of this course was the genuine feedback that I received for each submission. Each response was about a page long and broke down my assignment submission into what was considered either brilliant or needed improvement and editing. My tutor genuinely put a lot of time and effort into his responses and as a student it makes you feel as if your work is actually getting taken seriously, rather than just receiving a general mark.
Upon completion, I received my diploma promptly and it now hangs proudly upon the walls of my office. I now run my own blog, which I’m slowly gaining followers on and have just received my very first batch of business cards with my ‘freelance travel journalism’ details on. I live in a tourist town, so I’ve teamed up with a few local travel organisations to help them with brochures and advertising, something I never would have dreamed of doing prior to this course.
The course gave me a whole new sense of confidence and a much clearer understanding of the journalism industry and how I can make my writing skills work for me. I would recommend this to anybody who is interested in travel writing as both a hobby, and a career.
Some happy snaps from some of Kaitlin’s adventures around the world! (click image to enlarge)