Travel writer, Kristin Braswell, lives a life that many only dream of. Her job is to see the world, and tell us all about it. Her passion? (See: her job).
Braswell has successfully curated a life that merges all the things she loves; culture, people, food, rich experiences, and writing. She’s packaged all of this up in a way that’s proving not only to be lucrative, but more notably, fulfilling. If that isn’t the dream, then what is?
Braswell shared with BlackEnterprise.com how she does it:
BE: How did you become a travel writer?
Braswell: My curiosity with the world and people led me to this career. I’ve always had a love affair with information. One day, I decided to randomly pitch a travel piece about a recent trip to Jamaica, and ever since then, I’ve been traveling and writing about the world.
Earlier this year, I launched my own travel site, Crush Global, which seeks to strengthen the connection between people with personal stories about the world, images, and curated travel experiences. Crush Global takes the hassle out of travel planning by creating individualized experiences based on people’s needs and passion.
Sure, the Eiffel Tower is gorgeous, but what about a French-Nigerian dining experience, on a dimly lit street, with live music, or an artist’s walk with a painter in Paris? These are the type of intimate experiences that make travel so powerful. I want to build a worldwide movement through travel, making it more accessible for everyone, and bridging a better understanding between us all.
What would you consider the most incredible aspect of your profession?
Being able to see the world. It reminds me of how small yet magnificent we all are; millions of dots on masses of lands, all trying to figure this thing out. How to love, how to support our families, how to create safe spaces and work that moves our hearts. It is incredibly humbling to bear witness to so many cultures, languages, and spaces I never dreamed of sharing with complete strangers.
What practical tips would you have for someone that would love a career travel writing?
- If you are looking to pitch to a company, be sure to do research on pieces they have published in the past on the topic. Editors appreciate when you have a new, fresh idea that has not already been covered.
- Don’t be afraid to go beyond “listicles.” Top ten pieces are so big right now, but there is still such value to in-depth travel pieces that explore a movement, culture, or even food. If at first your pitch doesn’t succeed, pitch, pitch again
- Hold on to your sense of curiosity about the world and use that to fuel your writing.
What’s next for you?
I just completed my first book, and it’s in review for publication. I am working on my second novel that will be made for the big screen (I’m speaking into existence) and some community activation programs around Los Angeles and Brooklyn. I will also be launching a Kickstarter soon for a youth-oriented travel experience and curated travel experiences in both Cuba and Trinidad in the coming months. Empowerment for black people through both travel and group economics is my top priority.
Finally, I’ve delved into photography, and I am collaborating with some artists on a few really exciting projects. I have created a sacred space now where I no longer permit companies to take advantage of my work or time. It has been so liberating. Speaking up has led me to opportunities more aligned with my vision for my life and given me more time to create.
What advice would you have for someone who dreams your life?
- Surround yourself with people who truly support your vision. People who celebrate who you are, your unique gifts, and who make you feel good about being exactly who you are. I think artists, in particular, need that boost, because we spend so much time in our minds doubting so much, while in the throes of creation.
- Identify your goals and don’t overwhelm yourself with how to execute them.
- Network, a lot.
- Understand that disappointments in your career can sometimes be the greatest blessing. There is nothing that I’ve done or have that you cannot have or do. Social media is a great smoke and mirrors game, but the only thing that matters is what is right for you—what makes you come alive.
- Be gentle with yourself; comparison is the thief of joy.
Where can we go to find out more about your excursions and ventures?
Follow me on Instagram @crushglobal. Also, email us firstname.lastname@example.org to learn more about individual or group travel experiences.