Travel writing is one of my favorite things to read in the newspaper. Unfortunately, as I assumed and later learned while researching a story on travel sections in New England newspapers last semester, they are in decline. Most newspapers don’t produce their own travel writing or employ staff travel writers, instead relying on freelancers or focusing on destinations close to home. I find this disappointing as someone who loves to travel and finds inspiration in the stories I read about others travel experiences.
Thankfully, the New York Times continues to produce great travel writing, while adapting to the changes in the travel writing market. I recently discovered the In Transit: A Guide to Intelligent Travel blog on the travel website. The In Transit stories are descriptions of places as well as news and tips regarding travel. The stories are frequent and written by the editors and reporters of the New York Times travel section, according to the website.
The destinations described range from European cities, India and there is even a story about a Boston restaurant from last week.
The most recent story is from today and depicts a market in Cordoba, Spain, by Sara Lieberman, who is a freelance writer. The short piece manages to create a vivid picture of this daily market. I find myself wanting more at the end. The story is short (as most posts on In Transit seem to be), but manages to fit in a good deal of information. However, I wish it could have been longer and have included more details. With this kind of writing, I think it is important to pull the reader in with vivid details.
The piece also lacks any image or photography, which would have been a fantastic way to see the colorful details captured. Though at the same time, I wonder if this wasn’t a choice. Lieberman is describing the scene for the reader, so a photo of the market might have taken away in some respects the ability to imagine for yourself what it looks like and to rely on the strength of her descriptions.
As a blog, In Transit provides an interesting variety of stories that I enjoy as a reader.