I’m Terry Ward, a Florida-based travel writer by profession and lover of world cultures, languages, souls, food, oceans, wild spaces and urban places by nature.
Freelancer, journalist, reporter, travel writer
I’ve been called a few things since I quit my job as a copywriter in an advertising agency in 2000 to travel the world and work as a freelance writer.
I’m a contributing editor for Endless Vacation Magazine, Family Vacation Critic, The Points Guy, Conde Nast Traveler and Marriott Traveler as well as a frequent contributor to many other magazines and online publications. And I’ve paid the bills and funded the fun while chiming in on many topics, from experiencing true courage with a group of fearless local women in a remote Rajasthan village to joining a sailing adventure to the end of the icy earth aboard a boat better built for cruising the Caribbean. I’ve pieced together an intrepid living writing online reviews, too, and even penning in-flight audio scripts. But I thrive on more rewarding gigs, like contributing feature articles on such diverse topics as an anti-sex tourism hotel in a red light Bangkok neighborhood and venturing outside the cage with great white sharks in Mexico. In summary, I write. Mostly about travel, but other topics (food, parenting, lifestyle, art, home), too. It’s what I’ve always done. I don’t know what else I would do.
Ever since my first trip to Europe with my parents when I was 11 years old, I’ve been fascinated by all things foreign and kept diaries to record life’s highlights and hard times. My earliest cultural awakenings were basic but made an impression nonetheless–that they eat snails in France and there was a brand of gummy bears in Germany shaped just like little Coca-Cola bottles. The world opened right up for me at a very young age, thanks to travel, and I went on expanding my horizons from there.
I speak passable French, Spanish, German and Dutch. It’s a cliché, but I’ve learned way more through my travels and the people I’ve met all over this awesome planet than anything they ever tried to teach me at university (where I managed to get an advertising degree when I wasn’t helping friends of the non-writerly variety pen their finals papers). I studied French in Toulouse, tried to learn Arabic while living with the warmest host family in Fes, took a jewelry-making class in Bali and donned a skirt that looked like a lampshade to work as a cocktail waitress in a casino during the 2000 Sydney Olympics. And I owe it all to the freedom of the freelance life. I don’t have the insurance benefits that come with a stable job or an employer contributing to my 401K, but I wouldn’t trade this gig for all the frequent flier miles in the world. I have time to spend with friends and family, I dive everywhere I can, I ski and snowboard, I wander purposefully and sometimes aimlessly and, like most writers, drink coffee wherever it’s brewing. I’ve sailed under the midnight sun through the glacial waters of Greenland with my hero during a father-daughter trip of a lifetime, sailed with four gorgeous and adventurous Norwegians from Norway to the Faroe Islands, camped in the wilds of Northern Norway and finned among thousands of schooling barracuda under the shadow of Indonesia’s Spice Islands. And I love taking photos, too, many of which have been published with my work. Follow me on Instagram here to see more of those. I currently live in Florida with my husband and two young children.
Some places have pulled me in more deeply than others, namely Indonesia, Norway, Morocco and France. But I’ve hardly scratched the surface of where I want to go and what I want to do, and chances are I’m going to be writing about most of it. I travel on a monthly basis and I’ve called many places home over the years including New Zealand, Bali and France. Home for me, until recently, was southwest France. Lately, I’ve been back based in Florida. But anyone who knows me knows they’ll rarely find me kicking it on a beautiful Florida beach. I’ve tried to stop moving, but it’s against my nature—along with other things I don’t write about but probably should, and just might in the future thanks to my blog here . For professional writing, a sample of my clips can be viewed via my online portfolio. And if you’re interested in hiring me to write for you—features, opinions, blogs, ghost writing, reviews, travel advice, profiles, tourism copy and videos, I am open to it all—you can contact me here. I’ve covered home design and profiled cult interior designers for lifestyle magazines. And I’ve even gone tête-à-tête with an American vertigo-suffering famous French philosopher, one Bernard-Henri Levy, as part of my day-to-day. So when it comes to writing, it’s all fair game for me. I’ve heard “Can you pack me in your luggage?” more times than I remember–and more often, I’ve wished I could. So many places would have been that much better shared. And that’s where writing has saved me. Getting it all out on paper isn’t always easy, but it’s rewarding because it lets me bring you along for the ride.