LAST WEEK, Matador Network and MatadorU co-hosted our first Twitter chat with G Adventures. It was a #travelstoke success — G Adventures, who hosts Twitter chats regularly, said it was one of their most engaged to date. Coolest of all, the official chat hashtag, #GadvMatu, was trending in the #1 spot on Twitter in the US.

Congratulations go to Kristen Pieszko (@krispsko), winner of a MatadorU course of her choice, and Michele Herrmann (@micheleherrmann), who took home a $250 G voucher from G Adventures.

Matador plans on throwing more Twitter chats in the coming months, so stay tuned — we’ll be announcing the next one soon.

The topic for the Twitter chat on June 19th was: How do you tell travel stories? Here are the questions posed by Matador Network Senior Editor David Miller (@dahveed_miller), MatadorU Dean of Education Joshua Johnson (@joshywashington), and G Adventures Moderator Andrew Hickey (@andrewmhickey), along with some of the stellar answers tweeted by the hundreds of people involved:

Q1. What do you look for in a #travel story?

@OutBlueprint: “Details and ideas so I can understand if its a place I would want to visit! And visuals!”
@joshywashington: “The travel story should stir the imagination – should express a love of travel. It should be original, honest and compelling.”
@buckingzebra: “People/characters we can relate to despite difference of background, environment, etc.”
@jason_baker: “Authenticity and descriptive details of what is happening in the place where experience is taking place.”
@PegsontheLine: “I really love stories about people, whether it be the traveller or the people they meet.”

Q2. What is the best advice you’ve ever heard for writing stronger travel pieces?

@WSouldier: “Write with your own voice instead of trying to match someone else’s.”
@vagab0nderz: “Don’t try to sound like a writer. Be yourself, let your personality shine through.”
@kate_siobhan: “Stop telling, start showing. impactful, thoughtful, layered details; observant, symbolic, and poignant.”
@dspunkytraveler: “Stop trying to tihnk what you will write while you are traveling. Just experience the journey and words will follow.”

Q3. What is your goal as a travel writer / photographer / filmmaker?

@MyIrieTime: “To pay back those whose stories have helped me, I write to help those who are planning their trips.”
@micheleherrmann: “To challenge myself as a professional & a person. Extend boundaries. See & do things I wouldn’t try otherwise.”
@cosmicsmudge: “The three “E”s: entertain, enlighten, educate.”
@CanvasOfLight: “Just becoming a visual storyteller 🙂 History is brought to us through stories. We’re the “New Age Bards”. *plink*”
@AlapParikh: “To experience cultures and nature around the world and try and do my best to replicate it for the people who can’t.”

Q4. What compelled you to share your first travel story / photo / video?

@indtravelphoto: “It was for my own self; so I don’t forget the good memories.”
@krispsko: “Something about sharing the joy and beauty of your travel experiences with others that makes it more meaningful.”
@candicewalsh: “Nobody was writing about Newfoundland, my home. Never underestimate the places that have become ordinary to YOU.”
@LeeAbbamonte: “All my friends wanted to know where I was and what I was doing so I started my site with pics and stories in 2006.”
@LosViajesdeNena: “To inspire other girls like me. I was 21 and travelled on my own (not common in Latin America). I had the best experience.”

Q5. What are the negative aspects of being a travel writer / blogger / filmmaker that nobody talks about?

@BartVerdeyen: “Sometimes you are powerless to change things, you can only document and share.”
@MalloryOnTravel: “Being an extremely busy pauper ;)”
@angelatravels11: “How to get started or promote your blog. Most say ‘what works best for you.'”
@EverywhereTrip: “You can be out exploring or in front of a laptop, but you can’t do both. Time management is really hard.”
@nashtysmans: “Taking too many photos and thinking of a story so much that you don’t really see the place like you’re supposed to.”

Q6. How does the pursuit of stories, images, video change your experience as a traveler?

@halamen: “Changes not only travel, but everyday life. i’m always thinking: how could i best present this moment to others?”
@TatianaLouise: “It’s made me stop and notice the little moments. The small things. The details. I am so much more present now.”
@BaurJoe: “I’m more compelled to ask questions and have a better excuse to approach strangers.”
@MikegoesMIA: “It pushes me to try the things I may be hesitant about doing. The best stories are the craziest experiences.
@wanderingiphone: “Made me travel with all my senses. Makes me want to connect.”

Q7. How do you envision the future of travel storytelling?

@erinskennedy: “I see more multimedia pieces rather than one single form to tell a travel story.”
@MsBoice: “More available wifi & advanced technology will allow for more immediacy.”
@dahveed_miller: “Full integration of multimedia / holographic experience until one day it goes back to cave paintings”
@haydenvharrison: I feel like more vlogs will be incorporated, like combining Vine and #travel.”
@Mellovestravels: “Not sure storytelling will change. It has not since the depth of time. But the medium we use will change.”

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