The Truth of Becoming a Travel Writer

So, you’ve got the talent for writing, you’ve got the love of travel and adventure, but that’s not the most important element of travel writing. It has to be more than just a passion. It has to be a way of life you can live with or one you simply can’t live without.

When looking to get into travel writing you have to ask yourself, as I did with just about every profession I’ve ever considered (acting, flight attendant, teacher in the Alaskan bush), what are you willing to sacrifice? If you’re just starting out and don’t have a super high paying job with massive amounts of free time or work you can take on the road, then you’re probably going to be living on a shoe-string budget. There are bills to pay and equipment you’ll need before you even leave town. Once you’re in your destination you might be staying in hostels, which means giving up personal space, living out of a suitcase (that you can’t allow to explode all over the room), and trading in your comfy bed at home for the bits of cardboard that pass in most hostels for a bed. But you’re not just giving up the freedoms of having a place of your own. You’re exchanging your every day relationships with your friends for part-time friendships. Most travel writers tend to be gregarious people who make friends easily, so it’s not that hard to find someone to grab a drink with, but these are not people who know you inside and out and sometimes you’ll get somewhere in the middle of winter with hardly any other people in the same lodgings as you. Can you handle getting dinner or drinks alone? Odds are that you’ll be spending a large amount of time by yourself. So it’s important to know who you are and know your own mind.

Speaking of relationships, for some people the hardest adjustment deals with romantic relationships. If you’re lucky enough to have someone at home who doesn’t mind you being away all the time then you’re in great shape, but often times the men or women you meet might not take a relationship with you seriously if they know you’re not going to be around to cultivate it. Even if you find someone who is willing to do these things, there is an immense amount of work that goes into maintaining that relationship compounded on top of the work it takes to maintain a presence in the media world while traveling. Are you prepared to put forth that effort into a long distance relationship while working towards your goals?

Despite the aforementioned lack of outward glamour when you’re beginning, or for any writer who isn’t employed by a luxury travel magazine, you are trading all of those things for mountains towering overhead, awe-inspiring landscapes, beachside rides on horseback, city lights glittering in the night, new friends from every walk of life, evenings with a drink in hand listening to live music, afternoons in street side cafes, whirlwind romances, and endless adventure.

What it really boils down to:
“Would you be willing to trade all of this, from this day to that, for once chance, just one chance, to come back here and tell our enemies that they may take our lives, but they may never take our freedoooooom!” Wait a minute… that’s from Braveheart, but the point is the same. To rephrase, would you be willing to trade every bit of a normal life for the chance to tell the world how you lived free?

IMG_1805

Top 5 Places to Drink in Dublin

Although my Facebook and Instagram may suggest that I visited every pub in Dublin, and it sure felt like I did, I can assure you that would be a feat that would take no small amount of time. With over 1,000 pubs in Dublin it, to my surprise, has fewer pubs per capita than any other European capital (Viator). However, I would argue that Dublin has one of the liveliest nightlifes (or is it nightlives?) I’ve seen. Even on a Monday evening in November the pubs in Temple Bar and on the outskirts were packed to the brim until close.

Here are a few of my favorite places to grab a drink in Dublin:

5. Temple Bar

TempleBar

Go here for: meeting fellow travelers, live music and dancing.

The Temple Bar district is the famous pub area in Dublin. It’s populated by tourists from all over and a few locals, which makes it uniquely vibrant and always lively. The Temple Bar is the star of the area for obvious reasons. C’mon! They named the WHOLE AREA after this one bar! It’s a somewhat cramped pub and you’re definitely going to overpay for drinks here, but it’s well worth the money for the live music and conversation with fellow tourists from all over the world.

4. Guinness Gravity Bar

GravityBar

Go here for: the killer city views.

If you’re looking for the bar with the best view head on down to the St. James’ Gate Brewery. Gravity Bar sits atop the Guinness Storehouse exhibit. It’s walls are entirely glass with labels detailing all of Dublin’s famous sites. Hit the exhibit late in the afternoon and use your ticket to either learn to pour a perfect pint or head up to the bar for your complimentary pint of Guinness and enjoy the view of the city lit up and glittering in the nighttime.

3. O’Neill’s Bar and Restaurant

O'Neills

Go here for: dinner and drinks, relaxing after a long day or the beginning of a long night

O’Neill’s is out of the touristy areas, closer to the college and populated by a large array of patrons from college kids to folks just getting off work, looking for a meal and entertainment. The music here was mellow Irish-folk and it seemed a bit more relaxed atmosphere. The interior was quaint and classic with huge wooden tables and benches. It’s just a nice quiet place to rest your feet after a long day of sightseeing. And when you’re done you can walk a few steps to the Molly Malone statue!

2. Copper Face Jack’s

Go here for: After hours beer and club-style dancing.

If you’re lucky enough to meet a local they’ll be able to show you one of the many places that doesn’t close until 4 A.M. but by that point you might not know where the hell you are. That might just be me. After an evening of pub crawling my friend met a local who kindly took as to Copper Face Jack’s. It’s your typical club with a large, open dance floor and loud music. Unlike the clubs in my state they don’t play irritating, base-heavy hip-hop. CFJ’s plays music you can actually dance to ranging from Grease to hits from the 80’s and 90’s, a pleasant change of pace… or tempo.

1. Dingle Whisky Bar

Dingle

Go here for: good whiskey, relaxed atmosphere, conversation

I like beer, but there’s whiskey in my blood. I’m the kind of lass who prefers a quiet whiskey to sip with friends to loud, over-crowded bars. I stumbled upon Dingle Distillery while pub hopping and it was like finding a tiny piece of heaven hidden away on a Dublin street near Trinity College. Its unique interior is warm and inviting and they carry a large array of whiskey, including the whiskey, gin, and vodka distilled by Dingle. This should be at the top of any whiskey-lovers list.

Traversing Tempe

Let’s get this out of the way, Arizona is HOT! I mean that literally and metaphorically. It was well over 100 degrees during my little Jaunt around Tempe, but that didn’t deter me. I was determined to show you all the city has to offer.

There’s much more to it than just the college scene. It’s a better city in the other 8 months in the year when it’s not over 100 degrees, but there’s still plenty to do int he summer. And, boy, do they LOVE their air conditioning.

Keeping cool in between filming

There’s a million and one places to eat and drink on Mill Avenue during the day (at night college kids take over). There’s plenty of activities to do like horseback riding at Papago Stables if you want that western experience, kayaking Tempe Town Lake, hiking in Papago Park, and catching a comedy show at the famous Tempe Improv.

However, instead of telling you all about what there is to do how about I show you?

Presenting my first ever video blog! I anticipate this to become a monthly staple of Taylor’s Titillating Travels. So, please, sit back, relax, and enjoy!

Here is a close up of that fascinating gentleman(?) in a skirt.

photo 3

So next time you’re dropping off a son/daughter, sibling, or relative off at Arizona State University or just looking for a place to go where the weather is always warm consider visiting some of these places. Be sure to check out the links to some of the places we visited!

photo 5

Happy travels!

A very special thanks to:
Curry Corner
Jorge Cajones @ World of Beer
ASU Gammage
Casey Moore’s Oyster House
Four Peaks Brewing Company