2019 July Featured Journalist of the Month: Parm Johal
Tuesday, July 09, 2019 08:00 AM
Parm Johal

Parm has been a travel writer and blogger for the past six years. She is the founder and editor of www.desiglobetrotter.com, an international travel lifestyle magazine + blog with a focus on arts, culture and independent travel. Based in Vancouver, Canada, she is also an Arts & Culture professional, content writer, and freelance travel writer with articles published in Conde Nast Traveller India, Huffington Post Canada, South Asian Woman Magazine, Mybindi.com, and MasalaMommas.com. 

Parm has previously been hosted by/worked with the following tourism boards: Atout France Canada, Maui Visitors Bureau, Whistler Tourism, Vancouver Tourism, Los Angeles Tourism, New York Tourism. She has traveled to 25 countries on 5 continents. Writing about arts, culture and travel is her passion.

Parm's Q&A:

What got you in to travel writing?
I’ve always been a creative person and as an adult was looking for an outlet to express myself. It took me awhile to find it again, but writing is always something I’ve been drawn to and for me to write authentically I must be passionate about what I write about. Since I’m obsessed about travel, it was the  most natural for me. I started my travel blog in 2012 and from there I began to have opportunities with other media outlets, and learned to hone my skills. 


What’s the most challenging part of travel writing for you?
The most challenging part is getting started! It can be excruciating looking at a blank screen, but once I’m in a flow it’s much easier. 


What is one thing [equipment or personal item] you can’t go without on the road?
My phone loaded with music and my headphones. I love to listen to music while looking out of windows of planes, trains and cars. I get lost in my thoughts. It’s my time to think and just be. I need that space - sometimes I’ll have a creative idea and I’ll jot it down in my notebook. 


What’s your most unusual and/or memorable travel experience?
There are too many to list! I now have a 3.5 year old and have traveled to 4 continents with her so far. Although it can be challenging to travel with a young child, I’m overjoyed at how much she loves to travel too. My most memorable experiences are with my daughter and include exploring Naxos Island in Greece; stumbling upon a Buddhist ceremony in Bangkok one evening; listening to the call to prayer on a rooftop in Marrakech; and watching the sparkling lights of the Eiffel Tower in Paris after a whirl on the merry-go-round. 

On my solo trips - I love exploring galleries; architecture; street murals; and artist studios. My most memorable was learning about graffiti art in Buenos Aires; meeting a muralist in Havana; discovering an artist in St Emilion in France who makes art with with barrels; and visiting the Tate in London and Centre Pompidou in Paris. I love art; I love travel. When both my worlds collide - mind blown!


How did you learn about NATJA, and why did you join?
I was looking for a professional organization to join and found NATJA online during my search. I joined because I was looking for like-minded travel writers who share the same passion and are thorough professionals. It’s a great way to stay on top of industry news and topics. 


What is the best piece of advice you could give to a rookie travel journalist?
If writing and travel are your passions, then keep going even if you face rejection. Don’t give up - onwards and upwards. Find a mentor, keep on top of industry news, trends and topics and expand your network. 


Find Parm's works: www.desiglobetrotter.com




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