Tag Archives: Travel writing

The Journey of Writing

By Ruth Granger-Wellens

I just arrived home from a journey of a lifetime – driving to Alaska from Wisconsin! Well, my husband drove. In fact, he planned the whole trip – each route, each hotel reservation, each small tour we took to see glaciers and wildlife and – I rode along.   He read, studied, and talked to people who had done a similar trip. In the months and weeks leading up to our departure date, I tried very hard to read about where we were going.  But I just couldn’t get a picture in my head. When we started out, and as I rode along – waiting, wondering, anticipating – I realized that this trip was a lot like the journey of writing. 

 First there is the idea – like going to Alaska. As we traveled the roads, I didn’t know what was around any corner or beyond the hill or in the next town. I trusted that my husband was going in the right direction. I did some reading about the area we were in or going to while in the car, and, of course, I did a lot of observing and thinking.  I was never disappointed.

When we write, we first come up with the idea.  This is true whether writing a short story, nonfiction, a blog or a book. Then we begin the journey of writing. We have a direction to go in, hopefully with a sense of what the outcome will be, but we don’t know with absolute certainty how we will get there.  What will the characters do?  Where will the plot go?  What words will make the most sense so the meaning is as clear as it can be?  Our writing will take turns and detours, go up and down roads, see exquisite pictures, hit road blocks, and be rewritten many times before it arrives at its conclusion. 

Alaska was amazing; with hard work and good editing, our writing can also be amazing.      

Travel for Inspiration

By L.E. Aronis

I recently bought a t-shirt that reads “Love Where You Are,” which is completely the opposite of my usual life-view. I’ve lived in Wisconsin all my life, and while there are many things I love about the state, there are increasingly more and more things I’m growing to dislike each year. I love the natural beauty and friendliness of most people, but the long winters have me longing for a more temperate climate.

I have been to several different countries, including Canada, Israel, Ireland, and Great Britain, as well as Puerto Rico, which is an American territory but feels like a different country. I’ve flown on many planes and taken a passenger train between Edinburgh and Glasgow, Scotland. I’ve taken a ferry from Wales to Ireland, spent a whole week exploring the amazing city of Edinburgh by city bus, and my two feet. I’ve spent way too much money to rent a car, driving along the Jurassic Coast of Southern Dorset, England, as well as County Cork, Ireland. I’ve harvested grapes in a vineyard for a winery in Israel and tasted the wine that those before me worked so hard to help produce.

I’ve taken chances and not always been very wise in my decisions when it comes to travel, but it’s all worked out, and I’ve learned quite a lot from it. Those experiences and the places I’ve traveled to have enriched my writing, as well as my life. I can draw on so many amazing things in order to create characters and situations that I’d never have thought of if I’d stayed put in Wisconsin. I’ve written about people living in large manor homes in Edinburgh, Amazing townhomes in London, beach houses near the sea in Dorset, as well as a normal, middle-income home in Green Bay, Wisconsin.

Through travel, I’ve become a better writer and I think, a better person who sees things in a different, less narrow way. If you want variety and something different to write about, I’d recommend travel; you never know the things you’ll come up with, having gleaned inspiration through the people you’ll meet and places you’ll see.