Wow, those are some fantastic photos!
Thanks! Really beginning to fall in love with photography.
My name is Lilian, I’m an aspiring travel writer currently based in Victoria, BC, but born and raised in Vancouver. I’m glad you enjoyed your time in my hometown! Hon’s is good for cheap Chinese food, I grew up on it, having it every other Saturday down at Chinatown after Chinese school, but there’s lots of other Chinese lunch spots in town that are just as good! I noticed you also went to Waterfront Station..I used to get off at that station at least once a week for class downtown, Rogue is a fantastic restaurant, just opened about a year and a half ago.
Do you blog about your travels anywhere else? I’ve submitted reviews to TripAdvisor and blog posts to Tourism BC’s blog just to share my experiences.
How are you feeling, by the way?
Lilian, thanks for the feedback! I will have to branch out and try some other Chinese restaurants when I’m back in your neck of the woods. Vancouver’s food scene inspires me – always something new (or old and new to me!) to try. I’m also aspiring, working on a book about my recent travels in the old Norse world of Iceland, Faroe Islands, and Greenland, which will occupy my attention for the foreseeable future. I submit articles to online magazines and print magazines, newspapers, etc. Mostly travel and women’s health. Lots of rejections – I’m developing tough skin! – but worth it. I don’t worry too much about if I’m published. I just want others with chronic medical conditions to see that travel is always possible, as long as you’re willing to break the typical tourist mode of go-go-go.
Thanks for asking about my health! I’m in the best shape I’ve been in years – I chalk it up to the fact I just returned from Iceland where it’s the cultural norm to go to the community pool and soak in hot pots for an hour every day. There is nothing better for a fibromites’ muscles and joints! That, and everyone bikes and walks and hikes and eats really healthy. Now figuring out how to replicate some of their lifestyle back here in the States.
How has the writing biz been treating you? Any really outstanding trips you’ve taken that just feed your writing soul?
The writing biz is great, when I can get projects, that is. I just graduated last year with my bachelors and three years ago, I started my own contracting business of sorts, offering writing services as a way of growing my portfolio. So my background is more on the marketing communications side of things and I got into travel writing/PR recently as a way of satisfying my travel bug but also do what I love, which is writing and to earn some money from it.
How did you get started in travel writing? Is this your full-time job? I’ve slowly started submitting story pitches to magazines, but there’s still a lot to do in that area, both in terms of magazines to pitch to and regions to cover. At present, I’m looking to cover BC (mostly Vancouver Island, Lower Mainland and the Okanagan as regions) as well as the Seattle area and San Juan Islands. In the meantime, I’m also still looking for freelance/contract opportunities in copywriting and other areas in marketing as well as full-time opportunities, to gain some stability, both career-wise and financially.
How have you been able to afford trips to Iceland and Greenland? At present, I haven’t been able to afford to get overseas, so probably the best trip I’ve been on is a Caribbean cruise.
By the way, I noticed your recent posts, I just watched an episode of Waterfront Cities of the World on the Discovery Channel on Reykjavik. I’ll definitely take a look at your posts and let you know my thoughts!
Sounds like you are actively shaping your writing career – it’s definately tough in this economy, but keep going – that’s fantastic! I have a day job that pays for my travels – I realistically know I may not be a fulltime writer in the near future, but I love travel and I love writing, so I have a part-time job I love at a theater that brings home the steady paycheck and allows some flexibility for my world-hopping. I learned very quick in this industry that it’s important to have a focus or niche – mine is primarily travel with a chronic medical condition – I earnestly feel a medical condition should not stop one from fulfilling their travel dreams. Out of necessity of travelling with fibromyalgia, I discovered the benefits of slow travel, so that’s become another focus on my writing. Beyond a few articles, no major works have been published, but I am actively working on a travel memoir about my first major international trip after my diagnosis, and I am beginning to shape a book on this latest trip to Iceland. If I am unable to drum up any interest from publishers – again, this is a tough economy – I may go the self-publishing route for one of these projects.
You’re smart to branch into copy-writing and marketing – I think we’re both in similar moments in our writing careers – trying to establish ourselves. I think the Pacific Northwest is a great region for that.
How do I afford international? I have made my travel my number one spending priority after the necessities. So a preset slice of my paycheck gets stashed into my travel bank accounts, off-limits for anything but travel expenses. It’s amazing to me how fast it grows when I proritize this way. I am also lucky that my husband has a fulltime job that pays for the house and bills. He is extremely supportive, even when he’s left at home for weeks while I’m out in the world.
I also prioritize within my travel what’s important and spend on that. To me, not important to be in a luxury hotel or even to have my own room. I usually go the family-run guesthouse or hostelling route. But that’s a preference. Other people want more upscale lodging. I save a ton here. I also cook alot for myself, which is fun because then I get the everyday shopping experience that becomes part of the travel experience – shopping in local markets with the locals for my food! I do splurge on eating out, just not every meal. I use public transportation. Again, another local living experience. Usually my biggest expense is the plane ticket. And I avoid tour travel except in rare cases – living like a local tends to be much less expensive.
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