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Camels, chocolate, goats, and Ben Affleck: All in a day’s work for travel writer, Kristin Luna

Posted in Bended Bow with tags , , , , on July 24, 2008 by loadedbow

Kristin on Lake Louise

 Kristin on Lake Louise, Alberta, Canada 

What was your commute like last year?  I logged just over 2600 km to and from work.  Travel writer and blogger, Kristin Luna, however, flew 140 177 km in 2007 in the name of her career.  That is a whole lotta ground covered!  Kristin offered LOADED BOW a glimpse of what it means to travel the globe for a living and shares stories of turning emails into a career, smuggling refugees, and being held at gunpoint while on the clock.

LOADED BOW:  You made the decision to become a travel writer while overlooking the waters of Lake Como in Italy (I completely understand how this happened – the area is serious fairytale material). Can you tell us a little bit more about your journey into this career?

Kristin Luna:  I grew up with a mother who liked to travel a lot.  My sister and I were fortunate to see much of the United States as children (at 19, my sis Kari has visited 49 of the 50 states; I’m slightly behind at “just” 44!). Aside from trips to Mexico and the Caribbean, I first left the country at 15 and immediately fell in love with Europe. In the subsequent five years, I would make many return trips over the Atlantic, but it was when I took it upon myself to make a solo backpacking trek across Western Europe at the age of 20, prior to a semester abroad at the University of Edinburgh in Scotland, that I was really infected with the travel bug.

Kristin in Iceland
Kristin in Iceland

I had always known I wanted to be a journalist and worked for local newspapers and media outlets from the time I was 14 on, but it hadn’t occurred to me that I could travel the world and get paid for it. While backpacking alone, I faced many challenges and obstacles, but was also met with humorous situations. I wrote all of these up as travelogues, which were periodically sent to 300 or so of my contacts back home by e-mail. Several recipients, including past professors and media professionals, suggested I publish my stories. I didn’t know where to start until a newspaper in Tennessee offered me a weekly Sunday column: the perfect forum for my ventures and the start of my career as a travel writer.

When I was chased down a mountain in Lake Como by a pack of rabid goats with menacing horns that resulted in a sprained ankle (the very shorthand version of the story), I had an epiphany: “Does this sort of stuff happen to regular people on a normal basis? I don’t think so-maybe I should write about it?!”

Kristin in Capri

Kristin in Capri, Italy

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