Susan Barnes – aka travlin’ girl – is a travel writer, editor and photographer. A proud Army brat, she was born on a military base in Belgium and has been on the go ever since; she now makes Tampa her home with her husband and miniature schnauzer, Lucy. In addition to writing extensively for print and online media, Susan is a co-host of #girlstravel chat on Twitter, Mondays at 2 p.m. ET. Feel free to follow her via travlingirl.com, and on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram. She’s next jetting off to Long Island in her Karina Penelope.
There are many benefits of being a travel writer, that’s for certain. Traveling to destinations near and far, exotic and urban, warm (in my sleeveless dress, of course!) and cold. Trying new, crazy things, like bobsledding on an Olympic course, zip lining high above the ground below, flying along the Road to Hana, or swimming with whale sharks. Traveling is an adventure, and I’m thrilled that I’ve followed my dream to be a travel writer – to experience just these types of things, and to share with my readers.
One of the best benefits I’ve found in being a travel writer, though, is meeting other writers. Whether on group trips or at conferences, it’s when I’m with a group of people who understand what I do – why I’m constantly taking pictures and tweeting, Instagramming, or Facebooking. Why I’m feverishly taking notes on my iPhone. Who fire off questions as often as I do, wanting to get the facts straight to tell a good story.
I’m constantly inspired by my fellow travel writers – hearing their stories of where they’ve been, what they’ve done, and for whom they’ve written. Through conversations and time spent together, story ideas pop up, many laughs are had, and friendships are forged.
We stay in touch, primarily through social media, and try to arrange trips together, introduce each other to different destinations, and support each other’s work. We meet when laying over in the same airports. And, occasionally, we team up, as Christy from Ordinary Traveler and I did when we visited Bonaire and Newfoundland this summer, and we have more trips in the works!
Travel Writing In My Sleeveless Dress…
When I started travel writing, I met ‘70s-game-show-host-turned-travel-writer Geoff Edwards (No Spin Travel) on my first press trip – a cruise out of New Orleans. Over the next 12 or so years, we’d check in with each other, on the projects we were working on, on the new outlets we were writing for. Geoff was always so supportive of me and my writing, and an inspiration. He passed away earlier this year, and will certainly be missed, not only as a travel writer, but for the wonderful person he was.
Since that first trip, I’ve traveled often and have met – and been inspired by – many amazing people along the way. Just a few weeks ago I was on a trip in Belgium with writers from the UK, Paris, Canada and Belgium – quite an international group, and quite a lot of fun!
Meeting fellow writers isn’t always face to face, though. It’s amazing how inspiration strikes when scrolling through my Twitter or Facebook feeds. In fact, through Twitter, a group of seven of us writers came together and we’ve been co-hosting #girlstravel chat every Monday (2 p.m. ET, 6 p.m. GMT) for nearly two years! The power of social media!
How have you benefited through travel? Traveling somewhere warm this Fall? Head over to our online store to pick out a sleeveless dress to travel in!