“Spring is the time of plans and projects”
— Leo Tolstoy, Anna Karenina
In February I began an online travel writing course. I haven’t taken a course since I finished grad school so it feels like a treat to have protected reading and studying time. It’s safe to say that for chunks of the day, I have been transported from the poles to the equator and everywhere in between. Part of becoming a good travel writer, as I’m sure you’re aware, is that you must read copious amounts of travel literature. “I’m reading for my course” has been my excuse when dinner is not ready on time or we’re eating leftovers, again.
The course commenced as things like this often do, with introductions and enthusiasm from all the students. In the beginning, I focused on the objectives and the online progress bar (on a side note, anyone who enjoys organizing would really appreciate the progress bar feature as it allows students to check off each item that they have completed). As time passed, though, only the committed and enthusiastic students continued to complete the assignments and contribute to the discussion boards. Weeks in, I realized that one of the most important benefits of the course was connecting with the other students through critiques of each other’s writing. As it is an online course we have not seen each other face to face but, there is a sense of connection being that we are all travellers and writers. We’re learning together and it is fascinating to read about different experiences in the same location.