My Journey to Become a Travel Writer

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I have recently started to take an online class through Matador U to learn how to be a travel writer. This may seem a little odd since I receive over a million downloads a year for my travel show, but it is clear to me that I still have a lot learn on the subject.

I love the art of travel writing that pulls me from my world and draws me into another one using only the power of words. I consider it some sort of wizardry that can make this world fade and another one appear. It is one of the reasons I am drawn to travel in general.

My first writing assignment for this course is to set some goals. Where would I like to be published? I was asked to do research, and then to commit publicly to these goals. So here is my wish list of where I would like to see my writing appear:

San Jose Mercury News

Sunset Magazine

  • Senior Editor – Rachel Levin –
  • Submissions policy: Writers must submit a query letter to the editor in advance. The letter should explain and outline the proposed story idea, and suggest an appropriate month or season. E-mail queries are preferred. Send them to

National Geographic Traveler

  • Editor in chief – Keith Bellows –
  • Submission policy: Restrict each submission to one or two well-developed proposals that have been crafted especially for us. A carefully considered proposal combines support for doing a particular destination with some premise or hook. A good query has a headline that suggests what the story is, a deck that amplifies on that, a strong lead, and not much more than a page that clearly sets out the premise and approach of the piece. The query should represent the writer’s style and should answer these questions about the story: Why now, and why in Traveler? Mail your proposal to Query Editor, National Geographic Traveler, 1145 17th St NW, Washington DC 20036.



  • Managing Editor: Julie Schwietert –
  • Submission guidelines: Write an original draft that does not exceed 1,000 words. 800 is ideal. Submit via web form.

World Hum

  • Editors: Jim Benning and Mike Yessis –
  • Submission guidelines: Paste your submission or a short pitch as well as a brief bio into the body of an email and send it to Writing submissions should be no more than 2,000 words.
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Chris Christensen

by Chris Christensen

Chris Christensen is the creator of the Amateur Traveler blog and podcast. He has been a travel creator since 2005 and has won awards including being named the "Best Independent Travel Journalist" by Travel+Leisure Magazine.

6 Responses to “My Journey to Become a Travel Writer”



So excited you’ve joined the class Chris … see you on the forum board!

Becky Sunderland


Cool! Good luck with your new endeavor! Look forward to reading some of your work! 🙂

Bryan Person


Really admirable, Chris! Hope you’ll continue to post updates on your progress here?



Good luck with your goals Chris! It’ll be interesting to keep reading your updates.

Nomadic Matt


One million downloads per year? Amazing!

I love the Matador folks. They are great. You’ll love the class.

good luck!

Home Based Travel Business


Admirable and cool! Wish you good luck, Chris. Will be looking forward to reading you. Keep going!

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