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But for some gluttonously talented individuals, unless they can consume insane amounts of food at a mindboggling (and stomach-churning) rate, their bellies (and their egos) will remain just that little bit unsatisfied.Luckily, Memorial Day Weekend is the perfect time to witness a tournament of excess: there are a variety of fun, wacky, and downright weird eating contests to choose from.
Suddenly, anyone with a computer can be a travel writer and any day spent far from home can be instantly shared with “friends” you’ll never see.
Does all this imply the end of literary travel writing?
Following graduation from Princeton in 1951, Jim Tuck served as a radio correspondent with the First Marine Air Wing in Korea.
After a brief and unsatisfying exposure to the Madison Avenue rat race, he made the Big Break in 1958 and ever since has been a self-employed freelance writer. From the late fifties till the beginning of the seventies -- due to economic necessity -- his main area of concentration was in the men's magazine and exposé field.
In the 21st century, the well-crafted travel essay has begun to look as nostalgic as a dusty khaki safari jacket sans logo.
Tuck Travel Essay
But what is more satisfying than a literate ramble around a beautiful city or a seemingly empty beach with a lively, articulate mind?
Though this was the hated Ceausescu regime, Tuck points out that in those days Ceausescu was highly popular in the West because of his independent stance vis a vis the Soviet Union.
(Among his friends and admirers were Richard Nixon, Pope Paul VI, King Hussein of Jordan and King Beaudoin of Belgium.) Tuck also produced travel material independently of the Fodor affiliation.
In the words of Norman Douglas, writing in the 1920s, good travel writing “invites the reader to undertake three tours simultaneously: abroad, into the author’s brain, and into his own.” As long as wanderlust exists, an engaging travel essay will appeal to readers who expect more than mere information.
(Leave that task to the travel guides.) And while there is no foolproof formula, there are a few “rules of the road.” Your travel essay will be a success when it leaves readers with a fresh, vivid memory of a place they’ve never seen.