I read an article today about the different types of travel writing which reckoned that the more bizarre the topic the more likely the book was to get the necessary publicity to become popular. I have to say that Round Ireland with a Fridge about an guy hitchhiking around Ireland with a fridge, sprang to mind immediately.
Bellagio, Lake Como
The article suggested that there are an increasing number of travellers looking for information about location off the beaten track which is exactly the theme of my travel site. There’s also a demand for books describing how the “journey” can change your life. Readers want to be able to put themselves in the writers shoes and think “I could do that” of “that could happen to me”.
In some ways I’ve come to the conclusion that I’d rather travel than read about travel. I am a travel writer in that I write guides for my site and posts about travel for this blog. However in my destination guides I’m not even attempting to conjure up the atmosphere and beauty of a location with my clever use of descriptive, evocative turn of phrase – I’ll rely on photos. My aim is to inspire readers to visit a less well known destination such as Lake Iseo presenting the reader with links to find out more information about accommodation. local history and activities. I don’t want to be prescriptive in my guides as I am a firm believer is spending time wandering around and soaking up the atmosphere and going to a restaurant which is frequented by locals, rather than the star pick from a guide book.
The genre of my adventures “how wonderful and amusing it was when I moved to warmer climes” such as Under the Tuscan Sun never really appealed to me. I think many Brits are under the impression if you move somewhere sunny that all your boring everyday tasks, problems and concerns will somehow disappear. Whereas I think they may well multiply rather than diminish if you can’t speak the language, don’t know local laws and miss your friends and family. I love visiting places such as the Italian Lakes on holiday but have never felt that I wanted to actually live there.
What can I say, I rarely seem to have the time to read books. Our sons gave me New Europe by Michael Palin for my Christmas present, a good choice for a Mum who has a website about travel in Europe, and it lies unopened. Maybe if you work in the travel industry you are looking a different topic when you select a book?