Salman Rashid

Travel writer, Fellow of Royal Geographical Society

Fine art of travel writing

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The great master Confucius once said, 'Choose a job you love, and you will never have to work a day in your life.' I have followed this precept for a long time and in that way, neither the research nor the journeys I undertake, nor too the writing is hard work. In fact, it is not even work for me. This is a life of my choice and for me everything comes easy.
In the West, travel writing is a recognised genre with a large following and travel writers make money - not as much as fiction writers, though. There are also prizes to be won (the annual Thomas Cook Award for the best travel book, for example). Though travel writing prizes are paltry as compared to those given out for fiction, there is nevertheless an incentive.

In Pakistan, there is no money to be made from travel writing. There are no awards to be won and little recognition. It really is a labour of love. Or as I sometimes say, this is the only thing I can do which is appreciated by a few people. That keeps me going.

Since I began in 1983, I have never needed to take time off from work. Because this is not work. I am on a permanent vacation. My gallivanting pays some of the bills and puts bread on the table. My only diversion is reading. I don't read fiction - simply cannot get into it because I do not understand the nuances and whatever else there is to understand in fiction. My reading is mostly historical works. My ideal vacation is to be somewhere without a phone and spend days just reading, reading, reading. In between I would take long walks.

The greatest reward of being a traveller and travel writer is the enlightenment it brings. Couple that with the heightened awareness of one's own self; of finally recognising one's identity and being proud of it. Travel also instills in one a very deep appreciation of one's fellow humans for the kindness and generosity they show a complete stranger. It makes one lose the ability to hate.

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posted by Salman Rashid @ 00:00,


At 31 October 2016 at 12:12, Blogger Unknown said...

Sir. Any tips for travel bloggers please.

At 31 October 2016 at 12:26, Anonymous Salman Rashid said...

Come and see me sometime.

At 2 November 2016 at 12:12, Anonymous meher said... have the guts to follow your heart unlike most of us caught up in the wheels of career, job, whatever. Hats off to you!!!
Regards, Meher

At 2 November 2016 at 19:29, Anonymous Salman Rashid said...

Meher, you are very kind and generous. But I think I was just reckless.


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My Books

Deosai: Land of the Gaint - New

The Apricot Road to Yarkand

Jhelum: City of the Vitasta

Sea Monsters and the Sun God: Travels in Pakistan

Salt Range and Potohar Plateau

Prisoner on a Bus: Travel Through Pakistan

Between Two Burrs on the Map: Travels in Northern Pakistan

Gujranwala: The Glory That Was

Riders on the Wind

Books at Sang-e-Meel

Books of Days