Sometime back I queried myself, “I’m over 50, is it too late to become a travel writer?” Of course, my answer to myself and anyone else is a resounding, “No”. It’s never too late if it’s what you would love to do and you are still physically able.

Nizuc Resort and Spa, Cancun, Mexico. FWT Magazine.

Photo: Nizuc Resort and Spa, Cancun, Mexico – the kind of place you find yourself as a travel writer. (c) John Lamkin. FWT Magazine.

The writer exploring Mayan temple (c) John Lamkin. FWT Magazine.

Photo: Travel writer John Lamkin exploring Mayan temple (c) John Lamkin. FWT Magazine.

Snorkeling, Mucura Island, Colombia. FWT Magazine.

Photo: Snorkeling, Mucura Island, Colombia (c) John Lamkin. FWT Magazine.

I first started travel writing when I was much younger (I’m in the beyond part of the ‘fifty and beyond’ now). I wrote a few articles, but only published one—the pay was decent. But my travel writing career was put on hold. Then came after a divorce, a move back to the land in the wilds of Nova Scotia, graduate work at the San Francisco Art Institute, the startup of San Francisco Camerawork, moving to Taos, New Mexico, back to the land again and building my own house. Finally, in that ‘way beyond of fifty’ I took up travel writing again. A really good move!

Family shelling crabs, Santa Cruz del Islote, Colombia World's most crowded island. FWT Magazine.

Photo: Family shelling crabs, Santa Cruz del Islote (c) John Lamkin. FWT Magazine.

Now I’ve experienced luxury, adventure, many new and interesting places, other peoples and their customs, new food and much more. I did many things I wouldn’t have otherwise done and have seen so much more.

Tarahumara girl, Copper Canyon Mexico. FWT Magazine.

Photo: Tarahumara girl, Copper Canyon, Mexico (c) John Lamkin. FWT Magazine.

You aren’t born a travel writer, you learn. It helps if it’s doing, or making it possible to do, what you love. For my partner, words magically flow onto the page or the computer. For me it’s a much slower process, more work, but as they say in Spanish “vale la pena.”

I’ve climbed Mayan pyramids not open to others, seen the inside of prisons, including a different prison that even had a spa. I’ve visited a cemetery island built by the Mayans to bury their elite and royalty and later used by pirates such as Captain Jean Lafitte to attack shipping in the Gulf of Mexico and gone to caves where the people have been making panama hats for generations. I’ve had the privilege of going to places where tourists don’t go, places where people commented, “You aren’t going there are you? It’s very dangerous” and found them to be and feel safer than my hometown and my country.

Mayan family. Small village, Campeche Mexico. Travel writer John Lamkin for FWT Magazine.

Photo: Mayan family, Campeche Mexico (c) John Lamkin. FWT Magazine.

There are so many things I wouldn’t have been able to do if I had not become a travel writer. I’m not in it for the money. I’m in it for the love of knowledge, adventure and the chance to do what I love. So if you want to ask the question, regardless of your age, this is your answer.

Look for travel writer John Lamkin’s book Our Interwoven Lives with the Zapotec Weavers: An Odyssey of the Heart

Chillin on Mucura Island, Colombia. FWT Magazine.

Photo: The writer chilling on Mucura Island, Colombia (c) John Lamkin. FWT Magazine.