Monday, 27 June 2016

Look back in wonder

Okay so here's the deal. I travelled a lot when I was younger. I use the word 'travelled' loosely, as it was more like bumming around at the time. The more I saw and experienced, the more my senses were alerted to new cultures and countries, and the more I fell in love with writing about my time away from home detailing the where, what, why, when, who?! I wrote journals and letters mainly, but also sent emails when I could find the Internet. Ha! Seems nuts now, but back in the 90's, the net had not quite reached all four corners of the globe - and trotting around it meant you arrived in cities excited for the consequent Post Restante, where you'd pick up and pour over yearned for news. Five years later, I was back in the UK, working as the professional nanny I had trained to be. It was hard to settle though and I ended up doing a degree instead. Media Writing at Southampton. My thesis was based on a travel writer; Lindsay Hawdon and her hugely successful weekly column in the Telegraph, entitled 'An Englishwoman Abroad'. Her use of the first person narrative was fresh and exciting, but also successful because it meant everyone could travel with her, transported to each new destination, and from their armchairs. I liked her style and using the journals I kept and the letters I sent, I found my own descriptive narrative - and the inspiration for my dissertation. I put this particular piece into a travel writing comp which closes at 11pm tonight if you're interested in that sort of thing - a comp allowing travel writers the freedom to write as they please, rather than have to conform to the often oppressive structure of a magazine. (Really I'll use any excuse to get back to Oz). Anyway, please share if you like what you read... Thank you.

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