Samantha Kodila is a Melbourne-based writer, editor and flat-white-quaffing enthusiast. She is also the Assistant Editor at get lost Travel Magazine and copywriter at Grin Creative, an award-winning design agency. A passion for travel writing has spurred her over oceans, landing her in some incredible destinations, including hiking to Annapurna Base Camp in Nepal, and visiting fishing villages in Cambodia.
Was it always a dream to travel for a living, and how did you end up writing about it?
Growing up, I always dreamed of being a writer. If my nose wasn’t in a book, I was putting pen to paper and creating my own stories. The idea of combining writing with my love for travel came from a friend, who suggested I apply to work at a travel magazine. I started out as an intern, worked my way up, and haven’t looked back.
What are some of the biggest challenges of working in the travel industry?
One challenge I’ve encountered as a travel writer is remembering to be in the moment while on assignment. It’s very easy to get caught up in being ‘on’ – conducting interviews, taking notes, snapping photographs, uploading to social media, doing follow-up research on new things I’ve learned – it can be exhausting! Sometimes I need to remind myself to stop and let go; after all, that’s what travel is all about.
What journalism skills are most important when covering travel?
Research and fact-checking are important; you can never know enough about a destination when writing about travel. Networking is also important; meeting new people on these adventures is fun, and can lead you to new and exciting opportunities and experiences. It’s also important to have an insatiable curiosity and an unwavering sense of adventure.
What role do press releases play in travel journalism?
Reading press releases is a huge part of staying up to date on the latest in travel. Sometimes they can spark an idea (especially if they’re tailored to get lost’s off-the-beaten-track type of travel), or will provide a great contact to follow up with in the future. Most often they provide a general idea of what’s happening.
What was your favourite story to work on in the past 12 months?
Last year I jetted off to Northern Ireland – in 2016 the country celebrated the Year of Food and Drink – and I spent a week sampling some truly mouth-watering dishes and beverages. It was wonderful to see and experience their current farm-to-table foodie renaissance, and see home-grown Michelin-starred chefs like Noel McMeel and Michael Deane championing and showcasing it to the world.