Travel Journalism: The “Write” Class to take

by Kelly Logie

 

Ever since I was little, I loved to write. I knew I wasn’t the best writer out there, but it was something that I could do to express how I was truly feeling about a certain subject. Writing essays though? Not my thing. I loved creating short stories, and making the reader feel like they were actually on a journey with me.

 

These past few years, I put writing and journaling on the back burner. I focused on visual arts such as photography, video and graphic design. I loved using those elements to market or promote something or someone. Coming into college, I was a graphic design major with a photography emphasis, but came to a realization last spring that I wanted to change directions. As much as I love visual arts, I wanted to fine tune more of my creative writing and journalistic skills, so I switched to being a Journalism and Mass Communication major. I wanted to combine all of my passions, and I felt this was the right major for me.

 

Travel Journalism was the course that helped me fall in love with writing again. Since I changed majors last spring, I was a little nervous coming into this upper-division level course. I doubted my writing skills, and I felt like I didn’t have as much experience as other students. My little bit of journalistic knowledge was definitely the most challenging aspect coming into the course. Traveling is a hobby of mine, and I felt this class would be really exciting, yet challenging. It was.

 

From the beginning of the course, I was able to freely write about destinations in the Spokane area and advice that I wanted to give to travelers. Even the small travel beat assignments, helped me not just enhance my writing skills, but enhance my ability to market a destination. The most satisfying aspect of this course was knowing that I am capable of publishing interesting travel articles, in particular our first assignment, my hometown story.

 

I grew up on Mercer Island, a 15-minute drive from Seattle, and I decided to write about an iconic restaurant in my town, The Roanoke Inn. While writing the piece, I soon realized how fun it was to write about something you know so much about. I was able to interview an employee and the manager of The Roanoke Inn to gain more knowledge and personal experience of the restaurant.

 

I had interviewed people before, but never for journalistic purposes. I was able to come up with solid questions, and present myself in a professional manner even if it was over the phone. I would not have been able to meet these people and learn more about the restaurant if it wasn’t for this class.

 

Another story I completed was an article about the overwhelming amount of selfies people take on vacation. I also included how the use of cell phone photography doesn’t allow tourists to be in the moment while visiting a destination. Writing this article helped me gain insight on how tourists act while on vacation, and what they should not do when traveling. Tourists want the “right” photo to show off to their friends or family members, but that isn’t important when going on a trip. Being present, enjoying the sights, taking the occasional photo and being with the ones you came with are the most important aspects of travelling.

 

This photo represents how our culture is obsessed with selfies everywhere we go, as well as "getting the right photo."

This photo represents how our culture is obsessed with selfies anywhere we travel, as well as “getting the right photo.”

 

Travel Journalism was one of my favorite classes I have taken in college. Being able to step outside of my comfort zone, as well as re-gaining confidence in my writing were two of the most satisfying aspects of taking the course. Wherever I visit on vacation next, this course has inspired me to write about my experience. Although, I will take my own advice and be in the moment of course!

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