John-Paul Flintoff

Travel Writing: Things I've Tried

Every Englishman abroad likes to consider himself a traveller and not a tourist.
— Evelyn Waugh

I was happy to be interviewed on the Action Packed Travel podcast, hosted by Peter and Felice Hardy. (The episode is embedded below.)

I thought I’d write a little here about my prep.

As you might expect, the podcast is about travel, and they’re experts. So before being interviewed I had a long think about my own experiences of travel writing, and wrote some notes.

As you see, I numbered the various stories that sprang to mind, then sorted them by category:

trouble spots, city trips, travel for pleasure (holiday type stories), travel to Get A Story (ie, a strong narrative about something in particular), to promote elements of a place’s culture, and sporty/outdoorsy stuff.

I listed some publications I’d written for:

The Sunday Times, The Economist, The Financial Times, Wallpaper*, Harpers Bazaar, High Life, The Observer and Scotland on Sunday.

Then I wrote a list of the various places they’d taken me.

I found this exercise extremely satisfying.

I sent some of this prep to Felice, as well as a handful of photos, and we recorded the interview. It was great fun.

If you listen, you’ll find out which of the things listed above appealed to the Hardys. And if you enjoy the interview, I recommend that you subscribe to their podcast.

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Posted: January 29, 2021

Keywords: travel

John-Paul Flintoff headshot, with Yours Truly written across it John-Paul Flintoff is author of six books, in 16 languages, including How To Change The World and A Modest Book About How To Make An Adequate Speech. He worked for 15 years as writer and associate editor on the Financial Times, the Sunday Times and other papers and magazines.

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