Dante Harker: Professional Writer and Traveler
What if you could travel the world, see new places, meet new people, experience new cultures, all on the "dime" of someone else? Does that sound enticing? I know to me it sure does! And that's exactly what professional travel writers and bloggers do.
Being a professional traveler is a dream that many have, I mean who wouldn't want to be able to hop on a plane and fly away to Morocco or New Zealand or Chile, and just be paid to write about your experience and why others should follow in your footsteps. And just doing it in your spare time, while still working another job (or two other jobs like me!) can take a lot out of a person. Traveling full-time takes a toll not only on your bank account, but on your mind, body, and soul as well, but what you get out of it is worth it all.
Recently I had the chance to talk with a few professional travelers about their experiences as writers on the road, and the results were truly enlightening.
Dante Harker was my first interview; as he describes on his website (www.danteharker.com you should all check it out it's awesome), he's "sometimes a fiction writer, sometimes a blogger/vlogger sometimes a diving instructor and often a traveller, but mostly I’m just doing my best to fill my time with adventurous things so that I have something to write about."
First, he described what interested him about writing...
"I started writing at 19 as I wanted to write a horror novel that would scare my horror loving dad. That was my first, but it’s still hiding on my computer, as the only horror was my shocking grammar. Thankfully, since then I’ve written 4 more and they are mostly okay.
Travel writing I started about 10 years ago when I decided that I was bored with the 9-5 and it was time to go and do something else. That something else was my first round the world trip and over the last ten years, I’ve made three extended trips and countless shorter ones. I travel to find things to write about."
Traveling is an experience all it's own, as I can also attest to. It creates a mindset completely different from that of the normal 9-5 worker. But in terms of something that he "always wanted to do" he says writing is a way of sharing his journey,
"I have never been lucky enough to have that one thing I wanted to do. So I never dreamed of becoming a vet or a doctor, which left me wanting to do and try everything else. I am cursed with wanderlust and for that there sadly is no cure. Writing is a way of sharing my experiences with the world and letting out stories that seem to build in me."
So then what advice could possibly help all of us out there who want to become professional travel writers or just professional writers in general? Well, that's exactly what I asked:
"Write, write and then write some more. If your aim is to have a blog that people read and potentially makes money, get at least 50 blog posts on your site before you worry about anything else. If you’re writing fiction, make time every week to write. Put an evening aside once a week and you can easily write a novel in a year."
His travels have taken him around the world, and now he wants to help you do the same!
So that's a good travel writer, but what makes a bad travel writer you may be asking. Now that we know what we SHOULD do, what about what we SHOULDN'T do? Well Dante says,
"The main kind are those who just give lists of what they did. So… first I went to this great place, then I went to this great place, and here’s me in the next great place. There is no wit and no real story telling. I think the best travel writing draws a person and takes them on an adventure."
So there you have it, both the good and the bad of travel writing. Oh, and just in case you were wondering, Dante has visited 51 COUNTRIES around the world! What do you think, is there something I missed? Let me know!
Carpe Diem Amigos!