Monday, May 11, 2009

Writing about Travel

So we've talked a little bit about keeping a running diary in our blogs about travel. The anxieties, or little thoughts on the mundane details, and what we want to be inspired by. As journalists, we often tend to deflect attention away from our thoughts when writing our stories. Travel writing is a different beast. You're expected to write about what YOU think of something, and what the place you're at means to you. It really is an intensely personal style of writing. You know what else is intensely personal? A diary or journal. So use your blogs as that journal. Open up a little bit on your blogs, and start getting in touch with how YOU feel about things. It will help the travel articles you write while we're over there. I guarantee it. So with that said, I'm going to get things kick started and hopefully you'll all follow.

It's closing in on 11 pm this Monday, and my TV is on. I'm in and out of watching the basketball game on my HDTV. I'm trying to distract myself from the fact that I'll be on a plane in less than five days headed for London.

It's never the destination that gives me anxiety. I LOVE the destination, I live for it. What makes me nervous is the getting there. A large knot is taking up residence in the center of my chest right now, and it makes it difficult to breathe sometimes. Other times the only thing I CAN do is take deep breaths.

I don't fear flying necessarily, I fear the plane plummeting out of the sky. I know the likelihood of it happening is incredibly small, but it's a fear I focus on constantly. Once I'm on the plane I'm usually okay, but the anticipation of the flight really bothers me. I'll do anything to take my mind off it, but typically you'll see me at the airport, foot tapping, fingers drumming, eyes darting. I definitely don't like flying.

Sometimes I actually think my mind might substitute fairly irrational fears for real, legitimate concerns I have about this trip. Will everything come together? Will you students have as amazing of an experience as I hope for you to have? Will you enjoy each others company, will we become a cohesive unit while we're over there? Is the final budget correct, and are any of you having second thoughts?

These are real issues I should be looking at and trying to deal with, but instead I focus on the Boeing 757 that will be my cylindrical airborne home for seven hours over the lonely Atlantic. That's an easy fear to focus on, because it's such a universal one.

The other, mundane fears are more pertinent, more important, but because they are those things, sometimes it's easier to avoid them. So for tonight, and tonight only, I'll watch this basketball game, and consume myself with my irrational fear of flying.

So that's a simple post about my odd fear. Seriously, make this a journal for jotting down your thoughts. You'll find that you can refer back to it for inspiration for longer stories.

TAG... you guys are it.

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