The Travel Authority blog gave you a brief introduction to my Travel Writing career. Now, please allow me begin my entry onto the Travel Authority’s blog by telling you how, and why, it all came about.
Since being widowed in 1974, travel has been a magic carpet for me. It has swept me away to 130 countries on all 7 continents. It has enabled me to virtually sail around the world, many times over, on some 132 cruises.
My travels have put me in the company of queens, princes, princesses, dukes, counts, maharajahs, knights, billionaires, movie stars, diplomats, explorers, astronauts, athletes, authors, and politicians. But, woe is me, I've yet to meet a king. My office, overflowing with photos and memorabilia, attests to my fascinating life that has been touched by both joy and tragedy.
I began my career in travel writing three-plus decades ago, literally by accident, after my first husband, Marvin Steinberg, was accidentally killed. In a matter of six weeks, my household went from a lively home of four persons to a lonely house of one person, when my two teenage daughters left for college.
After a couple of years of getting my head together, travel became my salvation. Having insatiable curiosity, the ability to get the most out of a travel dollar, and more guts than sense, I barged in on a local travel editor. He met me at the elevator, shoved some guidelines into my hand, and sent me home to write a couple of sample columns. Two days later, he had a couple of Janet Steinberg travel columns on his desk. The following two Sundays those columns were published and I was "a pro".
That was the easy part. Becoming professional was only the beginning. Now I was thrown in with the "big boys". The word around New York was "She'll never make it. In a matter of twelve months she'll go the way of the rest of the bored ‘ladies who lunch’."
WRONG! I was determined to prove them wrong! In a matter of twelve months, I had been published in more than sixty newspapers. My credits went on to include such prestigious publications as Travel & Leisure, Consumers Digest, Woman's World, and hundreds of others, including publications and guidebooks in Australia, New Zealand, Singapore, England, and Canada. In a matter of two years I had won three national Travel Writing awards, including the Cipriani Award for the Best Overall Writer of the Year. That put an end to the speculation about my staying power in the business.
Thirty-five additional Travel Writing Awards including three Lowell Thomas Journalism Competition Awards (the country’s most prestigious Travel Writing Awards) followed those first three awards. I wonder what the "big boys" are saying now.
At a time when I could have been resting on my laurels, my career rapidly expanded. In addition to my on-going career as a travel writer, I taught the basics of travel writing at a travel school, lectured at club meetings and on cruise ships, and became a travel consultant for my readers who were eager to profit from my years of travel expertise.
My venture into travel consulting with The Travel Authority was a chance to advise people planning a cruise or trip, and to see to it that they were booked on the cruise or trip that was best suited to their emotional, financial, and personal needs.
My personal life has also been one of challenge and excitement. For 23-years I have been married to Irvin S. Silverstein M.D. who has proven himself to be a great travel photographer. When we take a trip, I don’t want to be the only one working!
My next blog will tell you how my first trip alone changed my life. I will be posting it just as I wrote it three decades ago. I hope it will help some of you realize the positive power of travel.