Saturday, August 13, 2011

Travel Writing

Three weeks in Europe offered me multiple opportunities to write about the sights. I jotted notes as we toured the eight capitals. Others on the tour would ask what sights I was going to write about. I told them I didn't know. I'm not a travel writer. Transportation, directions, hotels, restaurants, costs and exchange rates are just part of what a travel writer must know. I enjoyed the trip and was enchanted by Vienna, St. Petersburg and Tallinn, but to be able to tell others how to "see the sights" isn't in my writer's lexicon.

Instead, I'm compiling a list of what impressed me and why, such as the boulevard that makes Vienna just like home, St. Isaac's Cathedral in St. Petersburg and its spectacular interior, the unique upper town and lower town of Tallinn.

Other ideas I have are the humor of some situations: how I wanted a picture of myself for our family calendar, but a breeze blew up just as a kind lady snapped the picture and my hair is standing straight in the air; how I had a seat directly behind a large pillar during the ethnic dance in St. Petersburg and not only missed many moves but couldn't take pictures; how I carefully calculated the number of minutes I was spending online so I wouldn't go over my allotted amount when I realized I had an additional 150 minutes free.

The whole point of this entry is to tell writers that traveling doesn't necessary mean you have to write a "traveling" piece. Put a twist on your travels, and write something that doesn't involve train schedules, attractions and costs.