Every journey is a pilgrimage. That belief forms the foundation of Don George’s travel writing career, which has spanned 90-plus countries and resulted in more than a thousand articles for print and online publications. It’s also the philosophy of this workshop.
During our four-week journey together, we read essays and stories that embody this philosophy while working on our own stories of pilgrimage. With Don’s guidance, we discuss the varieties of sacred experiences, pilgrimages small and large, as we address the creation and shaping of a pilgrimage story or essay.
Class by class, participants conceive and craft a story about a journey of their own. We begin by talking about and pinpointing the central idea of each participant’s story. We then discuss the arc of the story and the lesson it conveys, refining it from week to week.
The most meaningful stories are the ones that record our sacred experiences in the world: the simple act of touching a finger to a basin of water and then to one’s forehead at Notre-Dame Cathedral, a close encounter with a whale in Baja California, getting lost in a Cambodian jungle ruin.
Don helps you discover and convey the sacred heart of a travel experience that has special meaning for you—a process that not only enhances and enriches your life but also the life of your reader.
This program is open to writers of all levels.
For the convenience of participants, recordings of each class session are posted privately for one month after the end of each session. Santa Fe Workshops takes the recordings down after one month to protect the intellectual property of our instructors.
Don George is the author of The Way of Wanderlust: The Best Travel Writing of Don George, How to Be a Travel Writer, and Wanderlust in the Time of Coronavirus: Dispatches from a Year of Traveling Close to Home, as well as the editor of ten literary anthologies. Currently editor-at-large for National Geographic Traveler, he has served as travel editor at the San Francisco Examiner-Chronicle, Salon, and Lonely Planet. Don has been honored 17 times by the Society of American Travel Writers and has taught travel writing at UC Berkeley and San Jose State. He has given presentations at Google and The New York Times and been featured as travel expert on NBS, CBS, ABC, and NPR. Don leads tours around the world for National Geographic and Geographic Expeditions.