2018 August Featured Journalist of the Month: Melanie Votaw
Wednesday, August 01, 2018 12:00 AM

 Melanie Votaw:

Melanie Votaw is a travel journalist and blogger who runs the Trip Out on Travel blog. She has visited 50 countries on six continents and has published stories and photos in such magazines and newspapers as Executive Travel, Business Insider, Just Luxe, South China Morning Post, Woman’s Day, Parks & Travel Magazine, Travel Savvy, Travel Mindset, Luxury Web Magazine, and others. She has also written 32 books on a variety of subjects – ten under her own name (most published by Perseus Books) and 22 ghostwritten for such publishers as Macmillan, Hyperion, and Hay House.

 Melanie Votaw's Q&A

What got you into travel writing?

I had been a traveler and a writer for most of my adult life. I had already published books and worked as a full-time freelance writer for a couple of years before I decided to try to get into travel writing. I met some people with a website who gave me an assignment letter, and I met another writer who invited me along on a trip that involved staying at a villa in the Caribbean. I built on it from there.

 

What’s the most challenging part of travel writing for you?

The writing itself can be challenging because you’re always trying to avoid clichés. Mostly, though, I think the biggest challenges are finding paying outlets for stories and finding a way to travel that’s financially viable, either through discounts or comps.

 

What is one thing [equipment or personal item] you can’t go without on the road?

My Canon DSLR. I wouldn’t know what to do without it! It’s my baby.

 

What’s your most unusual and/or memorable travel experience?

There have been so many. But I guess it’s a toss-up between yodeling in the middle of a town square in Switzerland and hiking to see a rare bird at 12,000 feet in Ecuador.

 

What is the best piece of advice you could give to a rookie travel journalist?

Even though I’m not, I often still feel as though I’m a rookie. Honestly, I think my best advice is to leave your jadedness at home and always be gracious, especially if you’re being given a free meal, tour, or accommodation.

 

 

Find Melanie's work: http://www.TripOutonTravel.com

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