I know what you're thinking. Travel writers are always
on vacation, so what a silly concept for an article.
Sure, climbing active volcanoes in Chile
and staying in castles in Ireland
sounds like an enjoyable time, and often times, it is.
But it isn't exactly a normal vacation.
When others might be bathing on the sundeck of a dive boat on the Great Barrier Reef, travel writers instead find themselves interviewing the boat crew on the proper method for dealing with an irukandgi sting
, lest they report an inaccuracy on one of the world's deadliest creatures.
Or, when returning from four days in the Andes after having climbed over Peru's Salkantay Pass
, vacationing members of your tour group are enjoying $10/hour leg massages while you instead find yourself panting in the thin air of Cuzco
in an effort to find an Internet connection because the four days in the Andes have left you woefully behind on deadlines.
Then, of course, there's the electronic merry-go-round of attempting to keep all your gear charged. As the travel world gets sucked deeper into the shrunken screen of a smartphone, so too must travel writers add more tools to their yak hair belt. Writer, photographer, videographer, researcher, coder, Webmaster, blogger, ad sales director, marketer and, of course, social media ninja.
This constant juggle of responsibilities invariably leads to such pleasurable experiences as sifting through the markets of Pulau Bintan
looking for a new adapter, clandestinely blogging from a van parked outside of a New Zealand
McDonalds (free HotSpot!), buying camera lenses from a questionable Thai gangster in Bangkok
and avoiding strange looks as you send emails from inside the airport bathroom because you're on yet another six hour layover and it's the only outlet in the whole damn airport.
Exciting? Yes. A vacation? No. Believe it or not, it's actually a lot of work.
Which is why, on a recent cross-country road trip, I was bound and determined to simply take a normal vacation.