Establishing a lucrative career as a writer is hard enough. Take a crack at travel writing and you might as well call that refrigerator box on the corner your “condo.” This is the main reason I’ve never gone freelance full time. (The runner-up reason is that the querying process is as unforgiving and demoralizing as being a personal assistant at a movie studio, which pays even less.) Thus, I prefer to spend the majority of my time on the editorial side, where the paychecks are steadier and I don’t have to grovel for my next gig. That said, I’m sure the view of a full-time travel writer is far more picturesque than that of the gray walls of my cube.
If you’ve got the stamina, passion, and cojones, by all means, follow your dream of being a travel writer. But before you begin dreaming of comped trips to Tahiti and widely praised articles about your sojourn to an Israeli commune, heed this advice from travel-writer extraordinaire Tim Leffel: