Travel writing articles are not difficult to write. Especially if you write about a place you have visited and enjoyed. The only job you need to be mindful of is to be descriptive as much as you can. As if you were writing for a publication. Before you sit down to write your feature its worth to do a careful study of similar articles in travel magazines or travel newspapers. Take note of the writing style that is used. Below, you can find an article John wrote to showcase Travel Writing Articles. He wrote this article following his study tour in Sweden.
“LADIES and gentlemen, we are now cruising at 35,000 feet above sea level. You can now unfasten your seat belts,” the flight attendant’s abrupt voice caught me by surprise. The airline magazine left in the seat pocket, I was reading totally engrossed me. It must have been written in a compelling way because I had reached the point where I would do anything to avoid putting the magazine down.
The magazine had given me a perfect place to hide to avoid confronting my fears head-on. In my lifetime I had never set foot in Sweden. And that made me feel unsettled. My escape didn’t last for a long time though. The flight attendant’s voice brought me back to reality.
I had mixed feelings about this journey. Deep down, I felt a bit apprehensive. At the same time, I could scarcely believe my luck. It had come as a complete surprise that out of the 6 officers who had applied for a place to participate in the Swedish Study Tour programme, I was the only one selected.
It was my first visit to Sweden. Fears of the unknown world obviously hit me. I had never been on an aeroplane on my own before but had always travelled with my workmates each time we jetted somewhere for business. My fate had been sealed the moment I applied to participate in this programme. With stoic determination I resolved to myself ‘I’m going to accomplish what I have started.’
I travelled in October 1992, the time I worked for the Girl Guides Council (GGC), an umbrella body for all registered girl guides organizations. As an affiliate of the National Council of Swedish Youth Organizations (LSU), GGC had received an invite to participate. LSU was a coordinating body for 100 different Swedish youth organisations. My travel itinerary took me first to London where I stopped over for 2 hours before connecting to Sweden.
After a lengthy 10-hour flight from Harare Airport, I landed at Gatwick Airport the following morning. Special services met me the moment I alighted from the plane and whisked me through passport control.
Later, I waited in the Gatwick airport departure lounge to connect to Stockholm. Facilities in the lounge were wide-ranging and fantastic. Among the complimentary offers was a good selection of newspapers and magazines. Since I am a very keen reader, I devoured one after another.
Later, I sat in the economy-class seat on a Swedish Airways flight. I could have watched a movie, or read a magazine, but I chose to do nothing. All I could think of is how I would fare in a foreign country. I tried hard to remain optimistic but stubborn and doubtful thoughts kept surging back.
After 2 hours, we arrived at the Orlando airport. It is the largest Swedish airport located about 42 km north of Stockholm, in the Uppland Province. All the passengers alighted the plane. They started moving in the direction of immigration and customs checkpoints.
Then I felt a hand on my shoulder. I spun around and came face to face with Katarina Andreasson holding a placard written my name. I had not met Katarina before, but I recognized her immediately. What struck me was how ordinary she seemed. She looked small, trim and pretty, with coiffed blonde locks, resembling a student more.
A moment later, we sat down in the airport restaurant, ordered some hot beverages and snacks. I did not have much of an appetite. Any enthusiasm for food had been lost after a tiresomely long journey. What I needed was a cosy bed to guarantee a good night’s sleep.
As if she read my mind, Katarina went straight into explaining my itinerary. It covered study tours to youth organizations in Stockholm and sightseeing a couple of places.
We later drove to Oden Hotel, renowned for being a leisure tourist hotel. Its located in the central part of Stockholm, just 30 km from the airport. Everything was within walking distance of the hotel: the subway, buses and city attractions. On arrival, Katarina took me to the reception desk to check-in.
Minutes later, Katarina left me to repose. My room had en-suite facilities and a private safe. I was too tired to marvel at my new beautiful surroundings. Fortunately, I managed to take a quick refreshing bath; jumped into my bed and fell into a deep slumber.
The next morning, after a night in a comfortable bed, I went to the restaurant downstairs for breakfast. The food was plentiful. A generous buffet of bread, meat, eggs, and cheese with yoghurt cereals and fresh fruit, was served. Coffee, tea and other soft beverages were given free of charge. I must have been very hungry, judging from the way I tucked into the food. Afterwards, I hired a cab to LSU for my first official call.
The evening schedule was more relaxed and informal. Katarina took me to Gamla Stan, reportedly number one tourist attraction of Stockholm. Its narrow, medieval streets and monumental buildings created a unique and irresistible atmosphere. It just mesmerized me. It is one of my most enduring memories of Sweden. The scenery is so lovely and the sort of place I could visit repeatedly.
The next day, we went sightseeing. Firstly, we visited the Nordic Museum, one of the most popular museums in the city. Items on show displayed almost every aspect of Nordic cultural ancient history. We had no intention to remain there long, but the impressive collection kept us there for hours. There was so much to see. Most of the exhibitions related to daily life, therefore, appealed to a broad audience.
After Lunch, we briefly stopped at Drottningholm, the palace of the Swedish royal family, located on an island near Stockholm. We went by ferry. I enjoyed the ride as it was my first time to ride a ferry. Otherwise, just looking at mundane buildings would have been monotonous.
The next day, Friday, Katarina collected me from the hotel to the railway station. There we met a group of 15 youths who were coming with us to Sodermanland County. A comfortable, efficient train service took us there in just 3 hours. As the train zoomed away, I looked out of the window – transfixed – it really was another world.
The weather was unwelcoming. As soon as I stepped off the train, the chilly air hit me. I was used to the sunny and pleasantry warm climate in Harare with its summer temperatures ranging from 20 degrees Celsius. The sudden change to cloudy, drizzly and rainy, and sometimes, misty and foggy days, was the worst nightmare. I wore a heavy-duty coat to avoid freezing but it made me stand out in stark contrast to the group who dressed lightly.
We stayed in a country house entirely made of wood. Everything inside was in fine wood; the flooring, walls, ceiling and the exquisite furniture.
We spent more time indoors except when it was not raining. Taking a stroll across the countryside, with its incredible scenery and legendary great outdoors, was awesome. Everywhere I looked, I saw pools of water. The Swedes have a culture of cleanliness, as we rarely came across litter.
We cooked our own simple and satisfying food. For lunch, we had Swedish smorgasbord, a speciality consisting of a number of small dishes from which to pick from. Swedish meatballs, salmon, pies, salads, eggs, bread, boiled and fried potatoes made up the small dishes.
To get familiarized, we staged a roundtable conference where each delegate briefed the delegates about organizations they were representing. A question and answer session followed. General questions around broad cultural lifestyles.
When it was my turn the participants were so keen to hear me sing the Zimbabwean national anthem. What an awkward request that was! By then, Zimbabwe did not have one yet. So, I sang them the South African anthem, much to their amusement.
The countryside was popular with families who came to embrace nature in a peaceful environment. Our weekend, spent in a relaxed atmosphere, was exhilarating and a memorable experience.
After a month’s stay, I returned home with many presents, including the Swedish Wooden Dala, the country’s symbol and most popular handicraft and souvenir. – the end –
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