>Nobody ever said it was easy

>

In the last week, I have eaten more sand than a sand crab, and I have endured so much wind I believe I may have a tunnel clear from one ear to the other. I have walked hours on aching feet and driven over 200 miles up and down the Oregon coast pursuing articles on lighthouses, whale-watching, a kite festival and dune-buggying. I spent days traveling and nights writing. So this is what it’s like to be a travel writer, but oh what beautiful things I have seen. I have lived here for almost 13 years, but when you write about a place, you’re forced to stop and really see it like you’ve never seen it before.

Over the years working for community newspapers, I have been jumped on by dogs and kids, mosquito-bitten, bee stung, allergized by people’s cats, stunk up by visits to landfill sites, forced into coughing fits by idiots smoking right in my face, and oh yes, a couple times I made the mistake of accepting a glass of wine that went straight to my head. Then there was the flood in Pacifica and the rainy times when I couldn’t take notes because neither pen nor pencil would stick to the paper and I couldn’t see because my glasses fogged up. And yes, the day I missed all my other appointments because the paddle boat I was to take a one-hour ride on had engine trouble and we were stuck in the water with no bathrooms and no food all day. But God, it was nice on that river–even though it was raining and exceedingly cold.

On the other hand, I have toured elegant homes and gardens, met senators, a governor and a president, and attended plays, operas, ballets and banquets. It’s not all bad.

Writing for newspapers and magazines is not always comfortable, but when I look back on all those experiences and the stories and photos they inspired, I feel good.

So get yourself some sturdy shoes, a good coat and hat, and a strong sense of humor, and go forth and write.

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