10 Travel Writing Clichés you should never use again

abbey road

There’s certainly no shortage of travel writers out there at the moment. From one-man band bloggers who’ve ‘escaped the cubicle’ in search of a life on the road, to published writers in critically acclaimed travel guides, there’s one thing almost all of them have in common. They just don’t seem to be able to resist these textbook travel writing clichés…

1. “Quintessentially…”

Was this word created specifically for travel writing? Typically…just say typically.

2. “Best kept secret”

So secret it’s being written about in a travel guide? I’m pretty confident that the little café you found after taking a wrong turn down a side street in Naples truly isn’t Italy’s best-kept secret. At least not anymore you big spoil sport. They serve Carling now for fuck’s sake!

3. “Snow capped mountains”

There’s got to be another way to describe this?! Brushed, topped, tickled, tipped, teased, dashed. Lets mix it up a bit, yeh?

4. “The real…”

Just because you’ve found a bustly square lined with vintage boutiques and quirky little coffee shops that coincided with your pre conceived notions, that doesn’t make the street round the corner with a bookies and a McDonalds any less real. Quite the contrary.

5. “Where East meets West”

I literally have no idea what this means. Did they get on? They do say opposites attract…

6. “You won’t find in the guidebooks”

You can just feel the smugness oozing through the page with this one (I won’t even mention the contradictory bit).

7. “I’ll be back…”

More of a threat than an endorsement. At least as far as the locals are concerned. Who do you think you are, Terminator?

8. “Untouched”

I just saw a sheep shitting in the stream over there. It’s been touched, okay?

9. “Authentic”

Now used largely to convey unfounded opinion as opposed to undisputed origin. The word is ironically losing its authenticity, one lazy article at a time.

10. “Nestled”

The fact that the dictionary definition uses the example “picturesque villages nestled in the wooded hills” says it all. Yawn!

Admittedly, my gripe with these clichés is perhaps more of an occupational hazard than a considered observation (I read countless travel blogs on a daily basis). Needless to say, I’m sure I’m not the only one who’s repeatedly come across them. And there’s plenty more where that came from. Let me know in the comments if you can think of any that I’ve missed…

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Sunday Vibes

Feeling in a pretty good place tonight. Thanks to a very fortunate turn of events, I’ve gone from not knowing where I was going to sleep on Saturday, to living in a penthouse today. Penthouse or not though, I’m feeling more motivated and creative than ever before – and that can only be a good thing. Hopefully I’ll have some actual evidence of that in the coming months…for now here’s a little pick-me-up for anyone not relishing the thought of Monday morning. It’s never as bad as you think…

Tyler the Creator quote


Here we are! The moment you’ve all been waiting for – a glimpse into the mind of Tim O’Dwyer (who?!).

I’ve held off from one of these for quite some time. Mostly down to laziness admittedly, but also the notion of blogging as a whole generally leaves me slightly disillusioned. The ‘come and listen to all these amazing things I’ve got to say’ mindset really isn’t me – I’ll leave that to the travel bloggers (ooh he’s started early!). The amount of blatant ulterior motives is also a little disheartening. There’s only so many badly integrated links for cheap flights you can overlook before it becomes a bit tiring. I’ll leave it up to you to decipher whether or not that one was paid…

Alas, my motive here is by no means beyond what is obvious or admitted. Simply an excuse to get me writing. An online notepad if you would. And if anyone should actually read this – well that’s just a slightly embarrassing bonus I guess.