developing stories

3 Tips for Developing Stories in Foreign Lands

When Ryan Bidulph offers to write a blog post, I’m usually game. I’ve watched as his developing stories became a successful blog. I know he’s got insights my readers need from a world travel perspective. And besides, I know he rocks a pen.

The secret tips he shares here probably aren’t really secrets at all, rather incredibly well thought out tips and recommendations from a seasoned writer and blogger. Try them. You’ll appreciate his developing stories and blog posts too.

Here are his 3 tips for developing stories in foreign lands.

I have been known to weave a colorful international travel tale or 2.

After circling the globe with my wife Kelli over the past 6 years I have experienced a few wild moments on the road.

When I created Blogging From Paradise in 2014 I decided to integrate my travel experiences into some of my blog posts and eBooks.

I want to share a few key pointers for developing your stories in foreign lands.

1: Observe Local Customs

Kelli and I know that in Southeast Asia, the customer is not always right.

We understand how saving face is the norm in places like Thailand.

This means Thai people may lie intentionally to avoid offending or insulting you. I know this sounds silly to many Westerners. But if you lived in Thailand for 2 years like I have you understand it is simply a local custom that everybody agrees to.

You betcha I have worked saving face into my travel tales. I have also shared how in Fiji a “what’s mine is yours and what’s yours is mine” policy exists. Meaning Fijians will be unbelievably generous to you but in the same breath will gladly take whatever you aren’t using if you are away for a bit. This is the exact reason we were asked to do a 4 month house sit in Savusavu, Fiji. Other expat neighbors who left for weeks or months returned to find their homes cleared out.

Far from being robbery, the locals simply used what you were not using. Makes sense to Fijians. Said Fijians being just as quick to offer their possessions, like the lady at the airport in Nadi who bought a large coffee and after seeing me waiting for our flight to Savusavu literally offered me the whole coffee.

Work local customs into your travel stories to introduce the “wow” factor that we all crave. Doing this entertains and educates your readers, a 1-2 punch that makes your tales memorable.

2: Immerse Yourself in Nature

When it comes to storytelling in foreign lands, nature never fails.

Every single country I have visited has a different natural feel to it.

Even almost entirely man-made Doha, Qatar was subjected to wicked sand storms, one of which sand blasted me into submission.

Foreign lands each have their own prime character; nature.

Thick, deep jungle set the backdrop during our stay in Buena Vista, Costa Rica, a town of 15 people that saw a population decrease when Kelli and I trudged 3 hours into town every Friday.

The aforementioned sandstorms in Qatar combined with arid desert scrub made for a formidable setting, and this was well before Doha’s infamous 130 degree, humid summer months.

Kerala, India is deemed God’s country by Indians. I can see why after spending 3 weeks in the peaceful jungles nestled by the pristine waters of Kovalam Beach.

Step outside. Immerse yourself in a natural setting to add a prime element to your international storytelling arsenal.

I can recount urban Istanbul’s natural beauty through city parks and Fiji’s Avatar-type, movie-worthy, jaw-dropping natural magic just as easily because I trained myself to be in and add the character named “nature” to all of my exotic stories.

3: Be a Details Demon

The taming of the shrew was nowhere on the horizon.

The piercing squeal of both mama and babies echoed through the living room.

It seemed like mama shrew was working a carnivore conveyor belt, steadily bringing All manner of rich meat to her growing babes, tossing tasty treats their way every 15 to 30 minutes.

These fierce predators will take down anything they can overpower. In Central Vietnam, that leaves quite a hefty menu of options.

When we lived in Hoi An, Vietnam, a picturesque, UNESCO world heritage site with a heavy French influence, a family of shrews moved into the large home we rented for the month, a few minutes away from lush, expansive rice fields.

These feisty little creatures pretty much ruled the roost. They had the mole world in their hands; I was just living in it……

My most colorful travel stories are rich with vivid details.

Whether I am sprinting from 2 fearsome, aggressive, sticky-fingered, Thai lady boy prostitutes on the streets of Bangkok or being attacked by 2 volatile wild men in Kathmandu I add as many details as possible to take my readers with me to far off, exotic, foreign lands.

You think in pictures. We all do. Add as many details to your international tales as you can. Help your readers teleport themselves from their home town to Bali, or Fiji or Cyprus.

See your story in mind. Imagine colors, shapes, textures, sounds and emotions to make your travel tales come to life.

Your Turn

What tips can you add?

About the Author:

Ryan Biddulph is a blogger, author and world traveler who’s been featured on Richard Branson’s Virgin Blog, Forbes, Fox News, Entrepreneur, Positively Positive, Life Hack, John Chow Dot Com and Neil Patel Dot Com. He has written and self-published 126 bite-sized eBooks on Amazon. Ryan can help you build a successful blog at Blogging From Paradise.

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