“Travel writers are obligated to meet people, to ask questions, to pay attention,” writer, editor and Gadling contributor Lavinia Spalding told the audience at TEDxParkCity earlier this year. “With that comes a heightened sense of awareness and observation, and some great rewards. On top of a great story, you gain a much richer experience.”
Her talk, titled “Travel Writing and Global Change,” explored the use of travel writing as a tool for sharing stories and inspiring action. And you don’t necessarily need to be a travel writer by trade to take part, she says. “It’s never been easier to write down our stories and find people to read them,” Spalding says. “I strongly believe that everyone here can write a story that makes someone care.”
Spalding issued a challenge to the audience, which we now issue to you. The next time you go somewhere, bring a journal, write a story about someone you meet and share it, whether it’s in an email to friends, in a contest at your local newspaper or even just on Facebook. Who knows? It might just spark a movement.
“There are seven billion people in the world and each one has a story,” Spalding concluded her talk. “I hope that the next time you travel you’ll listen to one, and then I hope you’ll tell it.”