Writing Life Stories Inspired by Travel


Turn your memories of travel into powerful explorations of emotional and intellectual journeys.


What you can learn.

  • Read and discuss writing by published authors to help you understand what makes powerful storytelling
  • Learn the elements of crafting powerful stories from your lived expriences
  • Develop at least one travel-informed story and a query letter to pitch it to publications
  • Give and receive feedback on works in progress

About this course:

"American travel writing is about trying to find the light," says the global journalist and author Pico Iyer. Of course, he's not just talking about the light we see when we gaze at a Greek island sunset, a Mt. Fuji sunrise, or a full moon over the Aztecan pyramids. He's talking about revelation. When we travel we often feel fully alive--engaged in a three-dimensional exploration in which we find a sense of freedom, humanity, and our true selves again. Such experiences can make for insightful, compelling narratives, set as they often are against dazzling and surprising landscapes. Indeed, the best travel writing examines the trip to find the journey. To that end, this course helps you explore and capture on paper some of the moments when you have been profoundly moved--even transformed--by an adventure you've had in a far-flung locale. Each week, you read and critique excerpts of the best travel writing, write from prompts, and discuss the craft and how to place your stories in online and print publications. By the end of the course, you will have written as much as a 2,000-word travel story and a query letter that you can then send out to publications of your choice.

Contact Us

Speak to a student advisor. Hours: Mon-Fri, 8am-5pm.
Ready to start
your future?
By signing up, you agree to UCLA Extension’s Privacy Policy.

vector icon of building

Corporate Education

Learn how we can help your organization meet its professional development goals and corporate training needs.

Learn More

vector icon of building

Donate to UCLA Extension

Support our many efforts to reach communities in need.

Innovation Programs

Student Scholarships

Coding Boot Camp

Lifelong Learning