…for travel writing. For the past 10 years, I’ve been a member of www.IgoUgo.com, a part of Travelocity, and one of the world’s largest travel communities. On IgoUgo (which had started off as a partner for Rough Guides), I masquerade as phileasfogg. And no, I have no hope ever of going around the world in 80 days.
While I’m not as prolific a writer as some of the other members, I have managed to notch up 100 travel journals—each with at least five separate entries—for destinations as far apart as Melbourne and Chicago, Ladakh and Strasbourg, plus many, many more. More journals are on the way, some partly done, some in the process. Travel writing is a journey in itself!
I’m happy to say that nearly all my journals have won a ‘Best of IgoUgo’ editor rating. (All except one; back when I visited Paris, there was a rule that an IgoUgo travel journal could only get that rating—irrespective of the standard of writing—if it contained at least 5 original photographs. Our camera was stolen at the Louvre on our very first day in Paris. So, while Paris lives on in my mind’s eye, I have no photos to show for it).
I’ve been nominated off and on for several years for one of the annual IgoUgo awards (including Travel Writer of the Year)—but have never won.
The IgoUgo Travel Awards for 2011 were announced yesterday, and yours truly won the ‘Chirpy Copy Award’ for best nature writing. It’s for a journal about one of my 2011 trips, to my favourite national park in north India: Corbett. The journal’s called ‘Deep in the Jungle: Corbett National Park’. I enjoyed my trip, I enjoyed writing about it—and I’m glad other people seem to have liked it too!
While I’m at it, I may as well toot on my trumpet a bit more, vis-à-vis IgoUgo. I’m a member of their Hall of Fame (I was inducted in 2006), and they’ve even interviewed me, after The Englishman’s Cameo was published in 2009.