Posts

What It’s Really Like To Do A Travel Writing Internship: My Experience at The Sunday Times Travel Magazine

 

It’s 2:30pm on a sunny Friday afternoon in February. It’s 15 degrees, unusually warm for this time of year given that we’re still in winter, and I’m sat on a rooftop terrace overlooking London’s epic skyline. Balancing my Uncle Ben’s rice pot in one hand, and my paperback book in the other, I’m savouring one whole hour of ‘me’ time whilst on my lunch break at the end of my first week as an intern. It’s a funny word, intern. It sounds alien, strange even, and makes me think of a character in some trashy American sitcom.

 

View this post on Instagram

This is the face of a girl who's just finished her last Monday at work! 😬😬 Really excited to share some news with you all… 🙈 1. I'm quitting my job (again) sorry mum 😂 2. I've been offered an internship at the Sunday Times Travel Magazine to see how the world of journalism works! Roll on 2 weeks in London for lots of learning 💻 3. In March I'm off to travel round Australia all by myself! This trip is an absolute dream come true and I can't wait to spend 6 weeks exploring the other side of the world 🇦🇺 After that I've got trips to Scotland, Spain, Italy & Greece lined up between May & September so I've got another busy year of travel coming up and I couldn't be more excited! 🌍 I've taken another leap of faith to give myself a better and brighter future and I'm soooo ready for my new chapter to begin!! 2019, let's do thissss 🙌 #MondayMotivation #NewBeginnings #BringItOn

A post shared by Jess Buck|JourneyswithJessica (@jessica16_x) on

 

At 26 years old, I’ve become an intern for the first time. I’ve done work experience in the past (as a shy 16 year old at an estate agents whilst doing my GCSE’s) but I never thought that I’d be in a similar position a whole ten years later. The truth is, I’m at a weird stage in my life. I’ve just quit my full time job at a luxury travel company in order to take a leap of faith, step into the unknown and trust that it’ll all be ok. Last week I returned from my epic trip to Australia, where I was on a 6 week adventure to try and ‘find myself’. It’s something I’d wanted to do for a long time, and I finally had the courage (and money) to be able to do it. Before that though, I pushed myself out my comfort zone in a totally different way. My two week internship was at the Sunday Times in London, working on their travel magazine department. I applied for the position after seeing an advert on Twitter, and didn’t expect to hear anything at all until I got an email back asking when I could start! I was so excited, and completely nervous, but really looking forward to trying my hand at something new, and gaining an insight into the world of travel writing on a professional level rather than just in the blogosphere.

My first day didn’t get off to a great start. My train from Oxford was delayed after an attempted suicide on the line (poor soul) and it took me over 3 hours to get to London Bridge, where the office is based in the News Building, right next to The Shard. When I eventually turned up I was a bag of nerves; late, sweating, lost because Google maps had me running round in circles. It wasn’t ideal, but as I straightened myself out in the bathroom mirror and topped up my make up, I started to breathe and calm down; ‘you can do it Jess’ I whispered to myself, encouraged by a text from my mum wishing me luck.

 

View this post on Instagram

First day of my internship at The Sunday Times = COMPLETE! ✅ The day started horrendously when my train was delayed because of an attempted suicide and it took over 2 hours to get to London! 😩 Then I got lost and couldn't find the office (google maps is a liar) and I walked round in circles for 20 mins on what should have been a 3 min walk 🙈 Then when I finally turned up all hot and sweaty (and late) my friggin suitcase got stuck in the posh carousel door that twirls round and I got stuck with it and it was SO EMBARRASSING 😂 I'm not sure I'm made for London life but on the plus side I got to do some writing for the magazine today and tomorrow I'm doing some Instagram work with them so it's not all bad! 😍 Time to settle down in my cosy room and get a good nights sleep before day 2 begins tomorrow! Ya gal needs to catch some Z's 😴 I hope your Monday was less stressful than mine! 🙈😂 #internshipproblems #notcutoutforthis #londonlife

A post shared by Jess Buck|JourneyswithJessica (@jessica16_x) on

 

Week one has certainly been an eye opener. It’s so different to anything I’ve ever done before and not what I expected at all. I’ve been fact-checking, reading, researching and writing and I’ve actually taken on more responsibility than I thought, after having visions that all I’d be useful for was doing a bit of proof reading and making the tea. Don’t get me wrong, there have been times where I’ve had barely anything to do and have been twiddling my thumbs but, for the most part, I have been a busy bee and have been getting totally stuck in.

Fact checking can feel like a chore at times, constantly having to read and re-read every word and every sentence to check that a) it’s correct b) it’s relevant and c) there are no grammar issues. It can be very repetitive, scanning through reams of text and analysing every single word, as well as ringing phone numbers and checking websites to make sure they’re correct. Although it’s tedious, fact-checking has been useful and has helped me understand just how much work goes in to a travel magazine, and how accurate you have to be before anything even goes to print.

I struck lucky on the third day, when I was asked to write a piece for the Take Me There section of the magazine, which is the part where words are needed to complement eye-catching images that take up the entire page. I was tasked with writing a piece about Gdansk, a destination I’ve never even been to. Although I was super excited, my hands were trembling as I took to the keyboard. Usually I can bash out a paragraph of text in less than 20 minutes, but when you’re writing for a magazine, and you’re trying to impress people, things become a whole lot scarier. It took me around 4 hours to put that paragraph together, and I had to re write it twice after my feedback was that my writing was ‘solid’ but a little ‘guide booky’. Finally, after 3 attempts, my piece was approved and sent off to the publishing team ready to appear in the May issue of the magazine! I couldn’t believe it! I was thrilled that the team had even liked my writing, let alone approved it to be published, and getting a by-line in one of the UKs biggest travel magazines will surely give my CV an added boost.

 

 

By the end of the second week I’d done even more fact checking and researching, as well as putting together some ideas for the next issues Take Me There section. I’d also spent a few hours going through the magazines’ Instagram account and giving it a little critique, sharing my feedback and passing on some ideas of how to improve it. This is something I really enjoyed, and it made me realise just how much I love social media, although I’m not sure I could do it as a job! The rest of the week was spent assisting the team with anything they needed and I got a real feel for magazine and editorial life. Unfortunately I had to cut the internship short by a couple of days due to issues with my commute from Oxford, but I still feel I had a good amount of time in the role.

Overall I had a great experience interning at the Sunday Times Travel Magazine. I got a real insight into the world of professional travel writing and now have a much better understanding of how editing, publishing and production works. It’s also made me realise two important things:

  1. I don’t ever want to live in London. Nobody talks to each other, everyone’s rushing around in a hurry and in truth I found it a little lonely. Sure I love visiting London, but gimme back my countryside life any day of the week, I am so not a city girl!
  2. I don’t actually want to go into journalism. I love writing, but I love blogging more. I love the freedom and creativity that comes with blogging, and I love the voice it gives me. Journalism is very strict and formal and I just don’t think it suits my style and my creative streak, but it’s not a bad thing, I’m glad I’ve discovered this now rather than paying to do a journalism course or taking a job on something I wasn’t sure about.

Have you ever done an internship before? How did you feel about it? I’d love to know what career breaks you’ve taken before. Big thanks to Alex and the rest of the Sunday Times Travel Magazine team for looking after me during my internship!

 

View this post on Instagram

That's a wrap! My internship at The Sunday Times Travel Magazine has come to an end 💻 I've had a great couple of weeks learning about the world of journalism and I even got to write an article that got approved and will be published in the May issue of the magazine which means… MY NAME WILL BE IN PRINT! 🗞 It's been a great experience but I can't wait to come home – I'm not sure London life is meant for me as I've spent the majority of the time getting lost and ending up in places I didn't even know existed, and no one smiles or talks on the tube which makes it soooo lonely 😭 Until next time, London, I won't be back for a while! 👋 Ps. Omg forgot I'm there Tuesday to fly to Australia 😂✈️ #whatislife

A post shared by Jess Buck|JourneyswithJessica (@jessica16_x) on

 

September Newsletter

Hi everyone,

Another month has gone by and I’m reminded daily that we are in the latter part of the year now, with Christmas countdowns on and the nights drawing in it really does feel as if my amazing summer of 2016 is well and truly over! Noooooo!! I’ve had the best few months, and September has been no exception to that – here’s what I’ve been up to…

I had another announcement to make

 

 

So most of you will already know this, but this month I made ANOTHER exciting announcement and took a brand new step forwards in my travel career… I have been selected as an intern for UK Blog Awards and I couldn’t be more thrilled! As well as gaining bags of social media experience, I’ll also be expanding my blog writing and hopefully attending events and networking too, which will definitely boost my confidence. The internship is only for three months but I’m so excited to be working with such a fantastic company and I’m already hugely enjoying it!

I had the most amazing time on my Italian Escapade

 

Made it to the Collosseum! 🏟🏟 #Rome #twinnies #matchingeverythinggggg

A post shared by Jess Buck|JourneyswithJessica (@jessica16_x) on

 

I literally flew back from Rome late Friday night and I had the BEST time on my Italian Escapade with my sister! We flew to Venice for 2 nights, then took the train to Florence for 3 nights before catching another train to Rome for 3 nights and then flying home on the 9th day of our adventure. We took a gondola ride in Venice, climbed the Cathedral in Florence and explored the ancient ruins of the Collosseum in Rome – more things ticked off the bucket list! We had SO MUCH FUN explore beautiful Italy and it’s left me already wanting to go back for more!

I attended the annual #bloggersfestival

 

Best backdrop ever 🌸🌸 #bloggersfestival @scarlettlondon #flowerwall

A post shared by Jess Buck|JourneyswithJessica (@jessica16_x) on

 

It was my first time at the #bloggersfestival, hosted by Scarlett Dixon of Scarlett London Events, and I had such a lovely afternoon meeting new people and fellow bloggers! We were treated to goody bags galore by the sponsors and took part in competitions and fun events throughout the day. I left with tonnes of freebies and lots of new friends too – thanks for a wonderful afternoon Scarlett!

I collaborated with two local restaurants

 

 

This month I was lucky enough to be asked to review not one but TWO wonderful local restaurants, one in Oxford and one in a small village in Oxfordshire, and I was only too happy to oblige! I had two lovely evenings out tasting some fantastic food and enjoying lovely pub atmospheres; it was a pleasure to write the reviews and I know I’ll definitely be back to both places in the near future!

I continued to grow my brand new freelancing business

 

 

So my shiny new business is almost 2 months old, and I can’t quite believe it! I’ve been working my butt off to get things up and running; staying up late, having my lunch at my laptop and marketing myself on social media to gain new clients. I’m so pleased to say that it’s going really well so far and I’ve been maxed out with work for the past few weeks! I’m offering a range of services from social media management and content writing to Skype sessions for fellow bloggers and ad-hoc computer admin work for some of my larger clients. I seem to be getting busier as the days go on and am so pleased with how my little freelance life is turning out. Please contact me directly to see how we can work together!

I had a fun girly day out at Ascot Races!

 

Best day at the races with my girl 🐎🎉💖 #ascot #raceday #winners

A post shared by Jess Buck|JourneyswithJessica (@jessica16_x) on

 

So today me and one of my best friends are attending a fab day out at Ascot Races, one of the most popular racecourses over here in the UK! We’re dressed up to the nines and are praying that the sun continues to shine for us and that our good fortune comes in when we pick our horses… wish us luck! 😉

Pheeeew, another month of madness over – and it’s time for October already! I’m looking forward to Halloween, especially as I’m going to Thorpe Park’s Fright Night for the first time EVER and I’m also planning a little visit to beautiful Bath in a couple of weeks too. How was your September, what did you get up to? I’d love to hear about your upcoming winter plans too!

Love Jess x

 

Arriverderci #Venice – you've been beautiful! 🇮🇹 #Italy #venizia

A post shared by Jess Buck|JourneyswithJessica (@jessica16_x) on

,

Another exciting announcement: Something new in my travel career!

twitter-news

 

Hi guys,

So I know I had a big announcement to make last month, and becoming a brand ambassador for the first time with TransferTravel was super duper exciting news, but it’s all systems go in my little life right now, and you probably won’t be surprised to read that I’m taking on another new challenge as well!

As of this week I am now an INTERN for The UK Blog Awards, one of the biggest companies in the blogging industry! I was lucky enough to be selected and am delighted to be working closely with founder and MD Gemma to boost my social media and blogging skills and to learn lots of new things along the way.

 

 

As most of you will know, I entered the 2016 UK Blog Awards last year and was honoured to be shortlisted for Best Travel Blog by you lovely lot. This year I’m hoping to enter my blog into the awards again, and am aiming to be shortlisted for the second year running; who knows, I might even have a chance of winning the coveted award too! *Please be aware that my role as an intern for the company will NOT affect my entry in any way, shape or form and I will be entering in exactly the same way, just like any other blogger.*

I’ll be interning with Gemma for the next three months and am so excited for us to work together. Hopefully I’ll get the chance to attend a couple of events with the company too and I can’t wait to see where this opportunity leads for me! I’m getting myself out there and taking on as much as possible whilst I’m trying to launch my freelance writing & social media consultancy business as well as being a brand ambassador and blogging full time too.

So, it’s going to be a hectic few months between now and Christmas but I cannot WAIT to get started and to embrace this new role alongside my existing commitments! As always, I’ll be sharing everything with you all, every step of the way… Watch this space guys!

Love Jess x

December Newsletter – End of year round up!

received_10207899881196340

Hi everyone,

It’s that time of year again! I can’t believe we are now at the end of 2015… IT IS CRAAZYY! I have had a fantastic year and been to some beautiful places so am excited to start planning my 2016 over the next few months! I’ll be combining this newsletter with my end of year review but I’ll start with December and it’s been a cracker of a month.. here’s what I got up to…

I went to DISNEYLAND!

I had the most MAGICAL time at my favourite place on earth a couple of weeks ago. Me and two of my best friends booked a last minute, Christmassy trip to our happy place and we never wanted to leave! Read my trip highlights for photos, reviews and tips a plenty.. I dare you not to be filled with Disney wanderlust!

I finished my content writing internship!

linked in recommendation

If you saw last month’s newsletter you’ll know that I recently took part in a month long internship for Freedom2Explore. I’ve now finished the internship and got a great LinkedIn Recommendation from my point of contact over at the company. I’m hoping the invaluable experience I gained whilst carrying out the internship will open other doors for me and will enable me to take my first steps into the world of travel/content writing when the time comes. A HUGE thank you to Becky & Jonathan for having me!

I had my works Christmas do!

Works Christmas parttyyyy 🎄🎅🎉👯

A post shared by Jess Buck|JourneyswithJessica (@jessica16_x) on

For my annual works Xmas do we dressed up and headed to the beautiful Eynsham Hall for a casino night. We were treated to a slap up three course meal, disco and casino experience and danced the night away! I’ve been to Eynsham Hall many times over the years and it’s such a gorgeous place- I even had my two school proms there! Here’s me glammed up not looking like my usual, plain-Jane self at alllll!

I published my first post for ShopperLottie.com

My first post for the fantastic Shopper Lottie magazine went live a few weeks ago and I was sooo proud to have ANOTHER piece of published work! My first post was all about London at Christmas, and it’s so beautiful you just HAVE to visit! Read on for some serious city inspo

ITS CHRIIIISSTTMMASSS!

This Christmas I spent some super quality time with my nearest and dearest, and I was able to really relax and enjoy myself at home with my family. We had such a lovely day playing games, exchanging presents and eating lots of yummy food! My family mean everything to me and have been there for me every step of the way, so I was thrilled to be able to share this special time of year with those who mean most to me! Ok that’s enough soppiness now… 😉

We're the three best friends that anybody could have…Merry Christmas everybodyyyy! 💖🎄🎅👯💖 #sisters #girls #love #christmas

A post shared by Jess Buck|JourneyswithJessica (@jessica16_x) on

Overall I’ve had a fantastic 2015, filled with lots of fun and adventure, but also some personal health traumas and heartache along the way! If you’re an avid follower of my blog (I love you, thank you! If not, why aren’t you subscribed yet?) you’ll know that I recently hit a bit of a brick wall and have been struggling to feel content with my current situation so have decided to make this year the time for change!

I’m yet to decide what to do, I’m torn between interailing round Europe or road tripping across America for a few months… HELP! What do I do?! Your response to my recent Mid Life Crisis article was AMAZING! I was so overwhelmed with all your lovely comments, some from people I know in the travel blogging world, and some from complete strangers! THANK YOU!

I’m now looking forward to 2016 and the life changes I’m going to make to ensure I see as much of this world as I possibly can and I want to meet lots of shiny new people along the way! As ever, I’ll be posting regularly and will keep you all updated. I’ve also got some new blog features planned which I’ll be sharing with you into the new year and I want to say a massive THANK YOU again to each and everyone of you who have subscribed to this blog, liked me on Facebook or followed me on Twitter.. it means the absolute world and I can’t wait to reach out to even more of you in the coming months!

All that’s left for me to say now is… HAPPY NEW YEAR PEOPLE! Wishing you love and happiness and the very best for 2016! Now where’s my glitzy party dress?!…

Love Jess x

#oxford #itsstillchristmas 👯🎄🎉🍸

A post shared by Jess Buck|JourneyswithJessica (@jessica16_x) on