I wrote about being in China for years and learning skills that don’t fit elsewhere. I’m learning but that’s not the point.  The point is:

You, too, learned skills that help you survive and finance your life. The trick to keeping free these days is to keep using the things you learned the hard way.  Just translate them into your new surroundings.

How many talented people slide into normal office jobs?  One woman who knew so much more than I did became a hypnotist. That sounds fine, but it was an office, a receptionist, lunch, all that stuff that grinds you down and puts you firmly in line. If you’re lucky enough not to need a large income right away, travel writing is worth investigating.

You don’t need to work in a slot.   Use what you have, now.  Pick up your daypack and go.  And those skills, and your street smarts? Editors notice these in your travel stories. Use all the details you normally pick up in order to survive and put them in the story. Travel writing can provide you with a decent little income and it’s a pleasant way to travel.

I wrote for the magazine linked here for 15 years and through several editors, but the last one doesn’t like me. (That’s how I got interested in pen names.  Ace Bryant sold him a story, but I couldn’t.)

It’s a professional set-up, they pay promptly and it’s not a lot of pressure.  Their website: has their editorial information.  If you can’t find things, leave a comment & I’ll send you their gdlines.  I think it’s around $150 for 750 words and they’re OK with new writers. I think they also like your age group a lot.

Here is a photo from my life in Nepal and India, around 1995. I wrote a couple of books for Tibetans and taught in the refugee camps (alone). The books were partly community projects because the locals helped me write Nepalese and Tibetan. They also  made sure my drawings were correct.

You can imagine how interesting that was.  It was so interesting that now I’m speechless when I go to Kathmandu or Mcleodganj.  Everything meaningful in Nepal now has an entrance fee.

It might be the same in all famous places, where people are separated into the Residents and the Invaders.  The Residents (citizens) are responsible and the rest of us are a bunch of flakes.  Even a card-carrying journalist or a seeker is treated like a dollar sign and intruder.

Honestly, I go catatonic now when I go to Kathmandu. There’s nothing for me any more, it seems.   Oh, well.  It’s comforting that many of you have it figured out and still enjoy it.

I wanted to learn alone from the source and it worked.  I think it would be harder now.  But you can write different stories, and very good ones.  You can learn from your travels and write about them — now. 

People still go to India, Boudha, Switzerland, Spain, Seattle, Africa, Changchun – you name it – undaunted by invasive airport security and hassles when they arrive.  They do what they want and can afford, and adore seeing these things.

Therefore, please write about travel, in your own creative ways.  Take the bus or train to Rome and Urbino and write about them, too.  Use those most excellent street smarts of yours and go!



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