Aside from our ongoing posts in the Talking Travel series, we're now profiling industry insiders and leaders. This month we chat to Sue Gough Henly – an award-winning photojournalist and writer. We also feature some of her best photography throughout the piece.
What’s your background and where can we find your work?
I am an Australian freelance photojournalist and travel writer who writes for about 15 different publications around the world including Travel & Leisure, Fairfax (The Age, The Sun Herald, Melbourne Magazine), News Ltd, Nine MSN, Vacations and Travel, Luxury Travel Magazine, Royal Auto, The Toronto Star, The UK-based Australia and New Zealand Magazine, The Wine Enthusiast (US) and several airline magazines. I am also just about to finish my first iPhone App on Australia’s Best Places. In addition to travel I write general features as well as profiles and stories about culture, food and wine.
I lived in the United States for 18 years where I was the editor of The Best Places guidebook series to the west coast of the United States and Canada as well as an editor at Workman Publishing in New York, publishers of The Food Lovers’ Guide to France, The Silver Palate Cookbooks and 1000 Places to Visit Before You Die. I am fluent in French and also worked for several years as the press attaché for the Bordeaux Wine Trade Council.
To find out what is around the next bend, to give full reign to one’s curiosity, to escape stultifying routines, to feel alive and engaged with the world. It is also important to remember that you can also ‘travel’ in your own home town, go on safari in your local neighbourhood, if you are observant and open to new encounters and experiences.
What’s your most memorable travel story?
This is difficult as there have been so many. One that always makes me smile ran as an essay in the New York Times (first result here). For me travel has always been about making connections.
What advice or insights would you share with budding travel enthusiasts wanting to break into the industry?
Show don’t tell. Use words that evoke what you see, smell, hear, touch and feel when you are discovering a new place or even exploring a well-known haunt so that I, as a reader, can go on that journey with you.
As for the industry, it is changing in front of our eyes as new media evolves. As a result there are loads of exciting opportunities for travel enthusiasts, especially those who fight the good fight for inquisitive, adventurous, and free-spirited writing and against fairy floss, flabby solipsism and other forms of somnambulant drivel.