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Does anyone finance teen travel writers? And, why doesn't the media show more African-American travelers?

I am 17 years old and I my dream is to travel around the world and experience different places and different cultures. And well I guess I have two questions, my first is " I feel sort of intimidated because you don't see a whole lot of african americans or nubian people traveling or they don't make mention of them, so why not?" And my second question is, you know my age but I would like to know where I can find a company the finanices teen travel writers?"

    I don't want to come across racist, but I have read every travel magazine you can think of I have seen every travel show you can think of I have search everything on people traveling, and the people who make more effort to travel is ( excuse my language please) white people. Not that I am angry I just feel that it would be good to see a healthy balance of all types of people.

   thank you

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You were a big help to me thank you so much

Allan Lynch said:
Hi,

I used to be on the boards of several writers' organizations. We once had a well-meaning civil servant ask us to provide a breakdown of our membership by ethnic group. We refused because we believe words are blind. Writing is blind. If you can construct a good sentence, if you can tell a story, if you can inform, we didn't care what the colour of your skin or your family background. That's the great thing about a career as a writer. It isn't about your age or ethnic background, it's about you and your ability and your passion.

However, having said that, I would think the place for you to start is with a plan. 17 is a little young to set out on a round-the-world journey. So start with writing about where you are. Everyone thinks other places are more exotic, but I bet that wherever you live, people come to visit. What do they do, what do they see, what inspires them to come there, what do you think people don't know about the place and what there is to do? Local media (newspapers, magazines, radio and TV) might be interested in the holiday-at-home angle (some people have coined the word 'staycation' - I'm not big on that, but if it gets your foot in the door, go for it).

As you work at writing and pitching ideas and putting it all together, you will learn how to flush out your goal to go around the world. This will help you gain the experience of finding an angle, crafting your words into an inspiring story, and help mature your voice. When I write about maturing your voice, that's not a dig at your age, it's about honing your craft, shedding cliches and being inspirational. The more you write, the better writer you become. And the more you read, the better a writer you become.

Always remember the reader. Hundreds, thousands, maybe millions could follow what you say and write. So it has to be accurate and fair and inspirational. If you always remember the reader or audience, you will be on the path to success. Good luck and happy and safe travels.
I Felt a pinch from your word but you are right, I need a little tough love. So thank you for your input.
P.S I have no intentions of having a summer break in these places, I want it to be my writing brought to the people. Money has nothing to do with it.

Evelyn Kanter said:
You are wrong. There are several credentialed and respected African American travel writers and online entrepeneurs -- you just haven't found them in your reading list or bumped into them at trade shows.

And I don't want to come across as preachy any more than you want to come across as racist -- but -- just what makes you think you are entitled to have your summer vacation financed by 'a company"?

My own first world trip -- which lasted nearly one year, with one suitcase and one backpack -- was financed by summer jobs in high school and college. I suspect that is how many of the travel writers on Tripatini also paid for their first grand adventure. Or, by finding a job overseas and then continuing the journey on savings from that overseas job -- as my own daughter did.

Perhaps you could find a sponsor, such as a travel gear or clothing company. Have you thought of contacting an NGO which works in one of the countries you hope to visit? What about volunteering to teach English somewhere, or help with some other special expertise you have, and then write about that experience? Or the Peace Corps.

The opportunities are limitless. Good luck.
Thank you Monique I will be sure to look into these websites and really take and look. And I do hope I come out there to Beautiful Paris. :)

Monique Y. Wells said:
Dear Khannah,

I am excited to see a young person of African descent so interested in travel! I understand your frustration with the relative lack of representation of black travelers in books and in the media. But I am here to tell you that we are traveling, and people are writing about it!

Here are a few resources for you:
www.kiratianatravels.com
www.blackatlas.com
www.stgtours.com
www.soulofamerica.com

Unfortunately, I do not know of anyone who is funding teen travel writers. But I suggest that you contact Kiratiana Freelon at her blog kiratianatravels.com. She won a travel fellowship while at Harvard University that allowed her to travel throughout South America, West Africa, and Europe for one year. She might have some ideas for you.

My specialty is Paris as a Black Heritage destination. I hope to see you here one day!

Sincerely,
Monique Y. Wells
info@discoverparis.net
www.discoverparis.net/african_americans.html
FYI, Khannah, your question sparked a discussion in Tripatini's Media Only group, too. Looks like Max Pesling started the conversation, but really, it was you.
Lol I didn't mean for it to get ugly, I was just asking a question :) sorry

Ed Wetschler said:
FYI, Khannah, your question sparked a discussion in Tripatini's Media Only group, too. Looks like Max Pesling started the conversation, but really, it was you.
Not ugly at all, Khannah. You asked a thoughtful, provocative question, and you inspired a lot of travel writers to think about your dilemma and about their own (often-declining) incomes and the need to be entrepreneurial. I like that.

In an era when so many people get their travel opinions from sites like tripadvisor, which has managed to get reviews from the public without having to pay writers, most travel writers either have to hustle 24/7 or have some other source of income. So you (and Erin, who asked a somewhat similar question) have motivated us to ask ourselves: Would we advise a 17-year-old African-American to jump into this field? Would we encourage our own 17-year-old kids to be travel writers? Good questions.

khannahcheatham said:
Lol I didn't mean for it to get ugly, I was just asking a question :) sorry

Ed Wetschler said:
FYI, Khannah, your question sparked a discussion in Tripatini's Media Only group, too. Looks like Max Pesling started the conversation, but really, it was you.
Wow, that is a very good question, makes me feel all warm and fuzzy inside lol

Ed Wetschler said:
Not ugly at all, Khannah. You asked a thoughtful, provocative question, and you inspired a lot of travel writers to think about your dilemma and about their own (often-declining) incomes and the need to be entrepreneurial. I like that.

In an era when so many people get their travel opinions from sites like tripadvisor, which has managed to get reviews from the public without having to pay writers, most travel writers either have to hustle 24/7 or have some other source of income. So you (and Erin, who asked a somewhat similar question) have motivated us to ask ourselves: Would we advise a 17-year-old African-American to jump into this field? Would we encourage our own 17-year-old kids to be travel writers? Good questions.

khannahcheatham said:
Lol I didn't mean for it to get ugly, I was just asking a question :) sorry

Ed Wetschler said:
FYI, Khannah, your question sparked a discussion in Tripatini's Media Only group, too. Looks like Max Pesling started the conversation, but really, it was you.
Hi, Khannah ~

Congratulations on having a dream and setting your lifework intentions at age 17!

You can begin where you are - and remember: never give up on your dream. Travel writers need more resilience than most because very few of us make a full-time living at this craft. I don't say that to discourage you, but rather to help you start off with both a dream and a realistic plan for getting there.

For further inspiration, check out GlobetrottingMama and these two books:

Lonely Planet's Guide to Travel Writing - edited by Don George
Travel Writing 2.0: Earning Money From Your Travels in the New Media Landscape - by Tim Leffel

Read and write very day. Always have your travel journal and a camera with you. You can start being a travel writer today.

Best of luck to you!

Nancy
Don't be discouraged. My 20 year old daughter also wants to be paid to travel. ;-) I've told her that she'll need to pay her own way upfront, and then try to sell her writing afterwards. For the time being, she is happy to be published, unpaid, as The Traveling College Student. ;-)

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