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Michele Peterson 2016This week’s WSGT Travel Influencer is Michele Peterson of A Taste for Travel culinary travel blog and @atastefortravel, dedicated to providing tips, advice and inspiration for exploring the world’s most amazing food, drink and sun destinations.

As part of the new WSGT travel writing award, Michelle is offering a one-on-one mentorship package by Skype, phone or email which includes one-hour of travel writing instruction or one-on-one consultation. All you have to do is leave a comment below about why you want to become a travel writer or, if you’re already a travel writer just share a success you’re proud of or tell us about a challenge you face in travel writing. She will also be doing a draw for a 30 minute package to new newsletter subscribers. 

Tell us in the comments below the most amazing place you’ve been to, food you’ve tried or person you’ve met in your travels or at home and be entered for the Grand Prize!

1.)Where was the first place that you traveled that made you think WOW—travel is amazing (think history book come to life or …..)

The first trip that really blew me away was Vietnam. I travelled there on my very first solo trip and was totally unprepared for the culture shock. But its unique combination of beaches, Buddhist pagodas, rich history from the Cham Kingdom to the French colonial period to the Vietnam War, floating markets and cuisine were so fascinating I was hooked on exploring more. 

2.)If you had unlimited resources, where would you go and what would you do?

I’d love to take my whole extended family to a villa on a beautiful white sand Caribbean beach. It’s probably something I will do soon. 

Beaches of Anguilla

3.)What were you afraid to do and how did you find the courage to overcome it?

For a person who love tropical countries, I’m inordinately afraid of insects like cockroaches and spiders. I used to even travel with a Bug Vacuum, a cordless device for getting rid of insects but have managed to get to the point where I don’t run screaming from a hotel room if I run into a tarantula or a cockroach as big as my arm. But I have had dengue fever, so do try to protect myself by travelling with an arsenal of protection.  

4.)What apps do you use regularly that make your life easier?

I rely on Twitter and Instagram for food tips from local experts. X E Currrency is a must. 

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5.)What place do you wish more people have seen?

I think Guatemala is an under-rated country in terms of its cuisine. 

6.)Best advice you have been given and by whom?

The best writing advice I received came during a Travel Memoir Class in Taos New Mexico where the focus was on “writing the story only you can tell” …valueable advice worth remembering.    

Snorkeling at Montego Bay Marine Park Jamaica

7.)When were you surprised by the kindness of strangers on a trip?

I have been travelling with my 11 year old grandson since he was three years old. And although he is a fearless adventurer and will free-dive off a coral reef or zipline through the rainforest in Costa Rica, he is a really picky eater. I’ve always appreciated the chefs, locals and serving staff who go out of their way to prepare food he’ll eat (and enjoy)–which is basically chicken, rice and cucumbers or broccoli. They have made travelling so much easier for us. 

8.)What inspired you to travel for extended periods of time or live in a new country?

I felt more at home in Mexico than I did in Canada so it was easy to live there for extended periods of time.

9.)I travel because….

I get restless if I stay home.

Cycling Lake Annecy

Toronto-based Michele Peterson is a former banking executive who left the corporate world to launch a career in  travel writing more than a decade ago. Since then, she’s swam with beluga whales in northern Manitoba, explored the mezcal trail in Mexico and cycled the French Alps (on an electric bike).  In addition to her A Taste for Travel culinary travel blog, she is an award-winning freelance travel writer, a travel columnist at Fifty-five Plus Magazine and a contributing editor at Taste & Travel International. She specializes in writing about food, drink and sun destinations and her travel writing has appeared in more than 100 national and international, print and online publications such as Conde Nast, Fodor’s, enRoute, the Globe and Mail, Dreamscapes, British Airway’s Highlife, Eva Air, WestJet, TravelAge West and many others. Her work has also appeared in popular travel anthologies such as Sand in My Bra, A Woman’s Asia and Chance Encounters. She has also hosted travel writing workshops, been a guest speaker and written an iPhone travel app and currently offers online instruction and mentoring on “How to Break into Travel Writing.”  Check out her travel writing portfolio or follow her @atastefortravel

Share your comment below by July 11, 2016 for a chance to win Michele’s writing consultation package.

Share your story in our Travel Writing Award: $1000usd in Cash Prizes!

4 Comments
  • Wandering Carol
    Posted at 13:58h, 15 June Reply

    It’s almost impossible to narrow experiences down to one best one, but snorkelling with beluga whales in Churchill, Manitoba, was a wildlife highlight and being up in Hudson Bay was one of the most amazing places I’ve ever been.

  • Heather K
    Posted at 12:21h, 16 June Reply

    Wow it sounds like you have a dream job! My hands down fav travel experience has got to be exploring Ephesus in Turkey, unforgettable how much is preserved!

  • Pasquale Capo
    Posted at 13:25h, 16 June Reply

    Brilliant photos, make me feel like getting on a plane! I’ve long wanted to visit Vietnam, Michele your description of that country makes it even more intriguing.

  • Gail
    Posted at 10:22h, 22 June Reply

    I first met Michele at a writers group and she encouraged that first travel piece and told me what I did right and where to improve. Her encouragement was invaluable. I later took her course at the Annex and she offfered me a free edit. I paid attention to her expertise and was thrilled when my piece on Costa Rica was published in NOW Magazine.. Marketing is where writers need the most assistance.

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  • Heather K
    Posted at 12:21h, 16 June Reply

    Wow it sounds like you have a dream job! My hands down fav travel experience has got to be exploring Ephesus in Turkey, unforgettable how much is preserved!

  • Pasquale Capo
    Posted at 13:25h, 16 June Reply

    Brilliant photos, make me feel like getting on a plane! I’ve long wanted to visit Vietnam, Michele your description of that country makes it even more intriguing.

  • Gail
    Posted at 10:22h, 22 June Reply

    I first met Michele at a writers group and she encouraged that first travel piece and told me what I did right and where to improve. Her encouragement was invaluable. I later took her course at the Annex and she offfered me a free edit. I paid attention to her expertise and was thrilled when my piece on Costa Rica was published in NOW Magazine.. Marketing is where writers need the most assistance.

  • Post A Comment

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