Never mind the recession, travel is clearly the hobby of the moment for many people. But it isn't enough to just go somewhere and experience it. Documenting the memories of a trip is getting just as popular.
"People love to travel and they want to write about their experiences," says writer and journalist Dilip D'Souza. "The whole idea is fuelled by how easy it is to take photographs. Now every person has a camera or camera phone. And you don't need a travel website to upload the picture, you can just upload it on a social networking site."
Next week, D'Souza will conduct a travel writing workshop organised by AVID Learning. He'll discuss topics such as why travel is as creative a process as writing, how to start writing a travel article and how detailing and storytelling are its essential aspects. "Having a theme is very important. You need to think about why readers would want to read your story," explains Dilip.
Twelve people across all age groups have already registered for the workshop. "Among the participants, there is a diamond merchant, students and housewives who travel a lot and want to document their experiences for their children to read," says Akash Kumar, senior program manager of AVID Learning.
But what has suddenly fuelled the interest in travel writing? "Youngsters love to travel, and writing about it is the best way to share their experiences," says avid traveller Rahul Divay, who along with Nickolai Kinny, has started Project Coffee Barter, where in exchange for a cup of coffee, you share your personal travel stories which will be documented in a book on travel in and around places in India.
"We want 50 travel stories from 50 travellers," says Rahul. "We already have a publisher and are in the production stage. The book should be out by February or March 2013."
A good travel book, Rahul says, should be personal. "When a layperson shares his or her personal travel stories, people feel connected to the emotions expressed," he explains. "Travel writing should go beyond what you did and saw. It should have more about how you felt and what you learned and realised."
Travel Writing workshop will be held on July 7 and 8, between 10 am and 5.30 pm at Studio X Mumbai, Fort.
Call 98197 31340/99301 34152 for registrations and details. To get in touch with Project Coffee Barter, email them at projectcoffeebarter@ gmail.com or follow them on twitter @coffeebarter.