Sometimes, I worry that the market for travel writing will one day be nothing more than requests for generic guidebook descriptions, Top 10 Lists, and articles written more for SEO than storytelling. What will happen to the long-form narrative that whisks me away to faraway lands, lures me into another culture, and lets me eavesdrop on strangers’ conversations? Sure, those quickie profiles help when I’m planning a trip, but when I settle down with a cup of tea on a drizzly day like today, I want to be told a story. So, in this Weekend Escape, I offer up some fab narrative travel pieces I discovered this week: ones that feature the type of writing that made me want to be a travel writer in the first place.
I only just discovered WanderingNotLost this week, but am already in love with her writing style. Her series on Slab City (Part 1 – Salvation Mountain and Part 2 – Meet the Slabs) is a sensitive, graceful profile of one of the quirkiest places I’ve ever heard of.
David Farley’s piece in the always-wonderful Worldhum (and Solas Award winner), On the Perils of Travel Writing, is a great piece on the downside of writing about your favourite little hideaway (in this case, the Italian village of Calcata).
Wanderlust and Lipstick‘s amazing grand prize winner from their WanderWomen Write Contest, Ibu Tina by Wendy Bone, is a beautiful and heart-wrenching story about death and friendship in Indonesia. Keep the Kleenex handy.
And finally, while these last two links aren’t narratives in the traditional sense, I’m including them because they’re (a) about my destination lover, Iceland, and (b) about Iceland and awesome:
Seriously, you must watch the video. Recently someone asked me why I like Iceland so much; the video by Inspired by Iceland pretty much sums it all up.