Top 5 Ways To Turn Your TEFL Experience Into Travel Writing Success
Bootsnall Travel Network has a few new “logues” in the works – and if you’ve been looking for an opportunity to shine by sharing your inside info of the location you’re in, check out LogueIt.com to find out more. For some destination-based guide examples, visit the newly-launched Amsterdam Logue and also Caribbean, Belize, Greece and Croatia Logues.
A Bootsnall Logue is one way to get your foot in the travel writing door, but not the only way. Some people go it alone … and succeed!
If you’ve been following Pigs in the Toilet, you’ll no doubt be familiar with former EFL teacher Jeff, who turned a year long trip through China, India, Turkey and Europe into a serialized travelogue. I’m pleased to report that you can now find his story Kidnapped by Syrian Hospitality published in the recently released Encounters with the Middle East: True Stories of People and Culture that Help You Understand the Region. I have yet to preview the book, but have seen a related piece and the gist is that traveling to an out of the way place (or finding yourself there teaching) can change your perception of the world. If you’ve ever had the feeling that people have a wrong impression of a place you’ve come to know and love, check out this story.
As I’ve said before, I do think as current or former EFL teachers, we are in an excellent position to gain and share unique perspectives. Meeting and getting to know locals more as equals than providers of services is something that many travelers – including a good number who would like to be travel writers – just have fewer opportunities to do. And the fact that we generally remain “outsiders”, at least to some extent, means that we can become familiar with whatever place we are in but still have an idea of what kinds of impressions we are contending with from people at home, ie, I already know what plenty of people in my country think about Bosnia.
There are sites and situations – your own blog, some travel sites – where you can publish pretty much anything, and if your goal is to use that as a stepping stone to other work, it makes sense to consider the context you are publishing your work in. In some cases it is a great opportunity just to get what you’ve written out there; in others you may decide it is more in your long-term interest to shop around and seek out some more selective – but higher quality – publications.
Brave New Traveler, for example, accepts submissions, and posted about 50 (other) travel magazines that want to publish your writing.
The Guardian TEFL section publishes its best reader pieces (scroll down to Send us your views), as do Transitions Abroad and Glimpse Abroad.
Some writers start blogging and put ads on the blog to bring in income this way – see what Gdog of the Daily Kimchi had to say about this here. The Guardian Abroad links to relevant blogs – following a submission process – which could be a way to get more traffic (and step up your ad income) or publicity or both. Blogging is also of course a good a way to connect with others in your field, share ideas, and learn about other opportunities that interest you.
If you’ve got the insider knowledge, a way with words, and the drive to write A LOT, there are no Seoul Logue, Turkey Logue, or Mexico Logue writers yet – so if you can spare the time from your teaching schedule and want to start writing, why not go for it? As above, find more info at LogueIt.com.