I’ve found travel writing quite an interesting form to try out during my Creative Nonfiction class. Recently, we were asked to produce a piece of travelling writing, whether on a journey in the metaphorical or physical sense. To me, it’s always seemed like a genre of writing that exists but that I’ve never really stopped or taken time to read, let alone write! Luckily for me, I had a phone full of photos from a previous trip to Japan and a hungering compulsion to write about Japanese Castles. Have you seen them before? They’re enormous! Grand embellished gates, towering stonewalls, imposing watchtowers, beautiful intricately painted art on shoji sliding doors, each one of the surviving castles is a structure of tremendous war-like power and fine elegant artistry mixed into one. But, I’m getting off-topic. I also had the privilege to read a classmate’s piece of travel writing on her trip to Rome, which she has blogged about here: https://blogs.nmit.ac.nz/chloescorner/2019/09/19/with-love-from-rome-travel/
She describes the hectic scenery of Rome with its bustling streets, chaotic traffic, and tempting souvenirs with brilliant use of imagery, and I could especially relate to that period of disbelief after your plane lands in a new country, and you’re left to stumble around asking yourself, “Am I really here?” I particularly enjoyed the simpler, smaller details she zoomed into as well such as her visit to a gelato shop in with her mother. I can imagine how enjoyable the experience must have been, having a moment of peace in between hot weather and hurried map-navigating.
I would challenge someone to write a just-as entertaining travel writing piece about little old Nelson! The extravagance of other countries seems overwhelming compared to our shy town. Then again, I suppose it’s all a matter of perspective and depends on where you’re from. To someone outside of New Zealand, Nelson could seem like a hidden paradise — while to us, it’s just the norm! Bolder, exciting countries like Japan, Rome, Africa, and other unpredictable lands outside our island bubble seem to be the destinations writers feel compelled to push pen to paper about after visiting, places foreign where they’ve never tread before and where they can witness sights that are unlike anything they’ve ever seen. Did I mention those Japanese Castles?