Do you dream of telling travel stories for a living?
Travel is in our blood. It's in our DNA. We believe adventurous travel to be an essential part of our lives, and our goal is to inspire fellow nomads to explore their boundaries, travel informed, and do it as part of a connected global travel community.
How do we do this? By sharing our own personal stories. We here at World Nomads HQ are nomads ourselves, and it's our mission to uncover the best, the funniest, the freshest, the most gut-wrenching, or just the most beautiful travel stories to share with our community.
But we can't do it alone.
That's where you come in. We're looking for the best travel storytellers from around the world to contribute and share their stories.
Whether it’s a written travel essay or photo story, we’re looking for personal, authentic stories about life-changing journeys and experiences.
While sunsets, mountain vistas, and the sound of surf crashing on a white-sand beach are all important aspects of travel, what we want is the story behind the scenery: how that experience affected you. Did you meet locals who changed the way you view the world? What did you learn about yourself through what you saw and did?
Love: Whether it’s crossing borders for love, forming bonds that transcend boundaries, following your passion, moving on after heartbreak, or learning to love yourself, these stories explore how travel opens our hearts and expands our possibilities.
Fear: Sometimes travel is a test – of our wits, our nerve, our endurance, or all of the above – and it can take us far beyond our comfort zone. These are stories of nomads confronting their fears, testing their survival skills, and discovering just what they’re capable of.
Discovery: The best journeys don’t just show us the unfamiliar – they help us understand it. In these stories, our nomads dive deep into the local culture in search of the beliefs, desires, and history behind the customs.
Connection: An unfamiliar town that suddenly feels like home. A fleeting encounter that resonates forever. A stranger destined to become a friend. In these stories, our nomads share the moment the barriers fell away and they truly connected with a place and its people.
Transformation: People and places change over time – and often in very profound ways. These stories are about experiences that defy expectations, and how travel can shift our views of the world, one another, and ourselves.
And don’t forget, travel is a very sensory experience. It helps if your content also addresses sight, hearing, taste, smell, touch, time, pain/pleasure, balance, temperature (to name a few).
Want to learn more? Click below to read more specific tips and see examples of our published stories before submitting your pitch.
At World Nomads, we like to tell stories that go deeper than the location itself – we're all about unique local experiences, culture, or people.
With this in mind, be sure to ask these questions when submitting your story:
Think of it like this: an ordinary traveler posts a photo of a mountain, and talks about how majestic it is, how tall it is, where it is.
A Nomad posts a photo of a mountain and talks about how being there made them feel, about the people they met along the way, what they learned, and how the trip has changed them or their life.
Below are examples from each of these five categories:
The olive groves of the Klinci village in Montenegro were our classrooms, and Tim, our mentor, talked passionately about how to build an engaging narrative around our travel experiences. We pored over many articles, and then came up with our own assignments that Tim scrutinized in great detail and gave feedback on how to improve them.
What makes World Nomads photography unique is the rich and vibrant color, dynamic composition, mystery, and a sense of emotion in every exposure.
We're looking for images that move you – scenes that are captured, not planned.
Our images always:
While an exchange student in Japan, I had the epiphany that photography was my true passion. “Osaka Nightlife,” the project I started there and submitted to World Nomads, has now become something bigger – I expanded it to Brazil and I call it "Under the Nerve of the Night.” My goal is to keep doing it for many years and to document personal liberation in many countries.
We're looking to curate on-the-road video stories to showcase real expeditions of nomadic travellers who live and breath the World Nomads brand.
We want to build a catalogue of travel experiences and explorations that showcase world cultures, people, and places - with an emphasis on rich storytelling and Your personal experience.
Video Stories can be produced in a variety of formats - suiting your personality and style. For instance, it could be a first-person vlog style video, or a short-form documentary. The purpose of Video Stories is to capture a story from the point of view of a travelling world nomad, in your authentic style.
To accompany your video is a 500-700 word original, first-person travel narrative. It must go beyond the destination itself to focus on the personal experience of the traveler – the emotions they felt, what they discovered about the place, its people, or themselves, how the experience opened their heart, or changed their viewpoint. The goal is to inspire readers / viewers to travel and push their boundaries.
In particular, we're interested in licensing original video content that contains:
We want to leave viewers inspired to want to travel and experience what you have done.
Traveling the world while producing travel content gives me the opportunity to deeply connect with communities by sharing with locals and learning more about their cultures. World Nomads´ is a great community to share these experiences with.
Send us a pitch about your story idea. Pitches must fit the above criteria as far as theme, content, and tone.
Please submit a title (40 characters max) and a short synopsis (no more than 250 words) explaining the subject of your story, the format, the category it fits within, what makes it emotionally compelling, and why you are the right person to tell it. Also include a little bit about yourself and your professional experience.
Example of a good pitch:
The roses of Sarajevo
Sarajevo is known for its roses – but you won’t find them blooming by the roadside. As my new Sarajevan friend, 83-year-old Emir, told me, the nearby hillsides are strewn with bomb craters from the 90s conflict, painted rose-red in honor of the victims. Once you know where to look, signs of the war are everywhere here, but the city has endured and moved on. Now, the only gunfire you’ll hear is the cannon announcing the end of the Ramadan fast.
This 500-word written story is about Connections. Meeting Emir and hearing his stories gave me a whole new perspective on the city’s history, and a much deeper understanding of the indomitable Sarajevan spirit.
Why are you the one who should tell this story? How did the experience affect you personally?
When I first heard about the roses, I thought it only referred to a frankly quite ugly, rose-shaped artwork in front of the city cathedral. Over the course of the day, I came to understand the broader meaning. This city had gone through an unimaginable ordeal and emerged unbowed – something I hadn’t fully appreciated before.
Tell us a bit about yourself and your professional experience:
I am an avid traveler and filmmaker with a passion for telling stories. This story is based on my trip to Bosnia and Herzegovina in August of 2017. My short films have won two National Film Awards in India and I was a finalist in the 2017 World Nomads travel writing scholarship.
Written stories (500-600 words)
We pay .50 USD per word for written stories. The desired length and corresponding fee will be confirmed upon commissioning. We pay on publication.
Photo essays (5-15 images plus captions)
Photo essays will only be commissioned upon seeing the photos. Please do not include these in your pitch – if we are interested we will ask you to share your photos via Dropbox or Google Drive.
In your pitch, please explain your reasons for exploring this particular aspect of culture, and how it affected you personally (what you learned, how you felt).
The fees for photo essays are listed below – the number of slides will be confirmed with you upon commissioning. We pay on publication.
5-8 slides $350 USD
8-12 slides $450 USD
13-15 slides $600 USD
Video stories pitches will only be seriously considered upon seeing previous videos that you have created, or a video body of work.
Feel free to pitch more than a one-off video, for instance a series of videos.
In your pitch, please explain your personal angle on your video story, and how the story fits into one of the five categories.
The fees for video stories are negotiated on a case by case basis. Please note that we pay on publication.
What makes a compelling pitch? What are editors looking for? Pro photographer Mark Edward Harris shares his advice on creating your own work and how to get it published.
Creating an emotional connection with your viewer is the key to great storytelling. And as visual storyteller Gregg Bleakney explains, it’s all about thinking like Jason Bourne.
The 3 lucky winners of our 2016 Australia Travel Writing Scholarship are back from their road-trip Down Under. We catch up with them to hear all about their adventures.
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