Why I want to be a journalist (do I?)

I want to be a travel journalist.

I’ve always loved photography, and since travelling through Europe in 2013-2014, I’ve, as they say, ‘caught the travel bug’. In the year I’ve been back, I’ve done a cruise to New Caledonia (we were supposed to go to Vanuatu, too, but there was a tropical cyclone so it was cancelled), and I’ve convinced my mum to come with me and my sister to the great U.S of A in December this year. I’ve also informed my family that my 21st birthday next year will be spent in New Zealand. I have future plans of seeing the Northern Lights and walking along the Great Wall of China. I don’t think my bucket list will ever end, and I don’t think I want it to.

I’ve loved writing for as long as I can remember, but I’ve been outshone by my sister all these years. She decided to study animal science in university, though, so now I don’t have a real reason not to write (which is a blessing as well as a burden).

For me, it’s easier to write fact (or as factual as something can be). I enjoyed writing essays in high school, and I even got paid to write two articles on a travel website (booya!). The best job that combines travelling and writing is obviously a journalist. So that’s why I want to be a travel journalist (I think it’s the most original profession).

While journaling all my travels, I also plan to write screenplays (whaaaaat?). I’ve written a few drafts of full-length screenplays (each one incorporating travelling in some way) which I’d eventually like to sell. Any money I make from writing will go back into travelling.

I don’t have one particular travel journalist I look up to–mostly I’m just jealous that they all get paid to travel and write. I think if I was to ever become a travel journalist, I’d like my own unique style (pretty casual with some humour) and my own castle.

Wait! I just remembered! After establishing my name as an awesome travel writer with her own unique style and castle, I’d like to try my hand at being a tour guide. It seems like such a fun job: you get to meet new people (maybe some of them will actually be interesting), boss them around, make acquaintances that you never have to see again, ever, and, above all else, travel. I know it’s not the glamorous life every little girl dreams of, but it sounds like fun and a great experience.

I just remembered a writer whose job I’d like to have: Brian Thacker. He was a tour guide, and now he’s a writer (I’m not sure if those two jobs overlapped). He’s funny, he doesn’t talk much about history, and he hates people as much as I do (well, maybe not as much).

I don’t know how he got his job, though… I think he just somehow decided he’d like to be a tour guide, his charm and charisma helped him through the process of becoming one, he became one and remembered all the dumb people he met, stopped being a tour guide and became a writer instead, and wrote a book.

I don’t necessarily want to write books–just whatever comes my way. I want people of all ages (well, maybe 13+ just because I think I’d hate on people a lot) to want to read my stuff. I want my mum to be proud and take back the words that inspired me the most: “Travel journalism isn’t realistic, Heidi.” I want my little cousins to want to come on adventures with me, and still think I’m cool when I’m 40 and they’re 27, and still want to hang out with me.

I’m not one for being serious, which I think would get me fired from a lot of jobs at, say, ABC radio, or SBS. I lack the control of my humour and the need to be serious. I feel for those people who can’t muster the strength to smile each day, but I’m also glad that I can. I think if you’re happy, show it. Don’t waste your precious days being mad or sad or serious.

I think I’m just going to take it as it comes. I don’t have a solid ten year plan. Hell, I don’t even have a solid ten day plan. But I know for sure I want to write and travel. I just hope the world agrees with me.


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