Interview With Travel Writer, Colby Lee Burk Hilton Head
Colby Lee Burk Hilton Head resident is an expert travel writer. He travels the United States and around the world in search of the best possible experiences to share with his readers. His recent travels have taken him to Portland, Oregon, Florence, Italy, and Edinburgh, Scotland.
He got his start in travel writing while he was in college. His college newspaper editor encouraged him to submit some of his travel pieces to magazines. His early success as a freelance writer was slow, but he was able to share many of his great experiences with readers.
Burke went on to work as a copy editor to support his freelance endeavors. While he was working as a copy editor, he honed his writing skills and made important professional connections. As he gained more success as a travel writer, he was able to quit his day job and focus on travel full time.
Burke has an exciting new perspective on travel, leading his readers on virtual journeys around the world. He is deeply interested in cultural activities, and he includes dance, music, and local festivals in his writing. His writing continues to entertain and inform many readers and to inspire their own fantastic journeys.
1- Hello Colby, Can you please introduce yourself?
I am a freelance travel writer from Hilton Head, South Carolina. I also spend time in Portland, Oregon, where I grew up. I am excited by the opportunity to share my travels with my audience. I really enjoy getting out in the world and experiencing all that it has to offer.
2- What are your focus areas and why?
I focus on cultural activities as well as restaurants, accommodations, and natural features. Most of my readers are culturally savvy and they appreciate tips on the newest museums, music performances, and city festivals around the world.
3- How do you describe your career in
I would describe my career as such: hard work and dedication. Freelancing is a difficult proposition, and you really have to put yourself out there to make it work.
4- What do you love the most about Hilton Head?
Hilton Head is a fantastic place. The atmosphere is so relaxed. I enjoy being there because it feeds my soul.
5- What do you recommend people do in Hilton Head?
There are so many great things to do in Hilton Head. Most people who come to Hilton Head want to golf, and we have many outstanding courses. To take time off from golf, people often spend days on the beach, enjoying themselves in the warm Atlantic. I recommend Hilton Head Island Tours to get you out of your comfort zone and enjoy an insider’s view of the area. The Coastal Discovery Museum is also great when you are traveling with your family.
6- Where do you think it’s making an impact?
Hilton Head is making an impact because it is a naturally beautiful area with many fantastic amenities. The hotels and restaurants are amazing. I love spending time in Hilton Head. Every day is like being on vacation.
7- What advice would you like to give to those just starting in the writing world?
Be prepared to work hard. Writing seems like it would be an easy job, but the actual writing is only the beginning of being a freelancer. You have to promote yourself and spend a lot of time writing pitches to magazines. It’s not like the work walks up to you and puts itself in your lap.
You also need to spend time networking with editors and other writers in hopes of getting tips on who is accepting articles. I have built a name for myself, so it’s easier for me to get assignments these days, but it still isn’t the easiest thing.
8- Do you think your mindset has anything to do with your success?
My mindset has everything to do with my success. I am a go-getter, and it shows in my work.
9- If you could turn the time, what would you love to change in regards
to your career?
That’s a difficult question. I appreciate all of the life experiences that have led me here. The only thing that I might change would be keeping my day job a little longer. I wasn’t really ready to be financially independent when I quit copy editing, and I found that my budget was extremely tight. It would have been smart to build up my savings first.
10- What is the “one-word” advice you will give to our readers when it comes to succeeding at working independently?
The one-word advice that I would give to an aspiring writer is “hustle.” You have to be self-directed in this business. There is no boss telling you what to do. You have to get out there and promote yourself.
11- What are you most excited about at the moment?
I’m very excited to be planning my first trip to Egypt. I hope to spend time doing touristy things like visiting the Great Pyramid and also to enjoy the local restaurants and markets.
12- The last word or final thoughts?
Travel writing is a fun and rewarding career, but you have to be prepared to work hard to get what you want. It’s not a job where you can sit back and let work come to you. For every hour I spend writing, I probably spend two looking for work. When you finally succeed, you can do what you love every day, which makes it incredibly rewarding.