Colby Lee Burke is a fast-rising writer whose specialty areas include architecture, culture and the arts. He has travelled extensively across the US and Europe. His favorite travel destinations include Scotland, Hilton Head in South Carolina and Bar Harbor in Maine. The Portland, Oregon based travel writer has a Degree in English from the University of Oregon (UO). Colby interest in writing started while in college before joining the fold of professional writers. He has written several narratives for local and international publications. Colby is currently working on a novel to be released in 2019. Besides writing and traveling, Colby Lee Burke is a real estate investor with properties in Oregon and South Carolina. His hobbies include jogging, reading and mountain biking.
1- Hello Colby, can you please tell us a bit about yourself?
I am a travel writer who enjoys working on stories touching on culture, the arts and travel hot spots. I ventured into the career while in college and continued to pursue the act as a professional. Writing assignments have taken me to several countries and outposts. The most memorable was a sojourn in Florence, Italy, where I did an assignment in art history and literature. When I am not working, I enjoy reading, experiencing nature and hiking.
2- What are your focus areas and why?
My writing domain is culture, the arts and architectural stuff. I may not be an expert in diversity but venturing into the cultural realm has been quite rewarding. There many exciting things to write about architecture such as historical sites and modern buildings.
3- How would you describe your journey in few words?
Immediately after graduating from the University, I took a writing job at a small media house. It took a while for the publication to pay for my trips. The waiting game gave me the impetus to go out and find compelling stories for readers. Today, I work as a freelance travel writer. My fascination with castles, cathedrals and cultural history once took me to far flung Scotland and Italy. I am currently working on photography skills to better explore the visual side of my creativity.
4- What areas are you making an impact with your career?
I get lots of inspiration writing stories that touch lives. Being in a position to educate readers and shape opinions is sufficient reason for me to go out every day and work hard.
5- As an expert who is well-versed with the industry, how are the challenges, rules and industry dynamics impacting your career?
There are challenges that crop up every often. For example, getting a press trip or assignment, where every detail of the story and the place is clearly defined. This gives you little room to prove a point. I always maintain a positive attitude, taking one assignment at a time and following the script.
6- What do you make of the term “Travel”?
Being an avid adventurer, I will say travel is an instigator of discovery. Whenever I travel to a new or unknown destination, I always get the opportunity to stretch my imagination and question long-held beliefs.
7- What does the 5 years portend to you?
On a typical day, I do a number of things, including writing, blogging and marketing. In spite of the perverse talk about technology, I believe travel writing as a genre will not change radically in the coming years. The focus on stories and reportage will remain the same, however, the techniques used in communicating and capturing the personal experiences will see remarkable change.
8- What can you tell young writers who are pursuing their dreams?
For the aspiring travel writer, there is a lot ground to cover. You obviously need to have the passion for the job and self-belief. When it comes to the all-important logistics, use flight search engines to book flights in advanced. To safeguard your travels, obtain travel insurance. The cover is important in safeguarding yourself against theft, unexpected illness and flight cancellations.
9- At the moment what are you excited about?
Travel writing has become a populist culture thanks to interactive platforms like blogs and social media that allow users to document, share and broadcast their experiences. When I go out on assignment, I am always enthralled to see awe inspiring sites. To push the limits of adventure, I enjoy trekking and cycling.
10- The last word or final thoughts?
If you want to build a successful career as a travel writer, the first thing you need to do is have the desire to write. As time goes by, you need to develop your own point of view and market yourself. One of the most effective marketing strategies is pitching to your favorite brands. Although it takes time to land the right gig, persistence is crucial when it comes to creative jobs like travel writing.