A huge ‘congratulations!’ to the winners of the World Nomads 2018 Travel Writing Scholarship to Argentina. Yes, we applied, but unfortunately on this occasion we were not successful. However, with 7,000 travel writing entries we are not disappointed with this – competition was incredibly tight!
For the other applicants, here’s a little message from us: don’t give up! If you love travel writing then make sure you keep working on it. On the back of this, we’re going to post some travel blogging tips in the next week to help any aspiring bloggers with a passion for travel.
Read the winning entries here:
And here is our entry, written by Rachel:
Alone in Taman Negara
It’s midday, and the humidity is high in Taman Negara. October is a humid month for the Malaysian rainforest, and I am grateful for my camel pack as I walk through the lush greenery. I pause behind our guide, DJ, and listen in vain for the sound of wildlife. DJ shakes his head kindly, the animals know better than to come near the walkway, where locals and travellers wander alike. We have already trekked to the highest point of our chosen path, and stood and surveyed the 4,343 km2 expanse of trees. It is breath taking scenery, and DJ is well versed in interesting facts about the area, showing us bark from which incense is made, telling us stories of his life here. My partner, Daniel, and I listen, fascinated, grateful for this private tour. It is all heading in one direction, and that is one that I have been afraid of since before we arrived. The canopy walk. I am terrified of heights. DJ takes us to the bottom of the canopy, and tells us he will meet us at the end, where we will go and have lunch. I take a deep breath. As DJ walks off into the forest, he turns and laughs, ‘No crying!’ We climb to the start. It’s the lowest of all of the bridges, and I take the first step onto it. I couldn’t wait for Daniel to go before me, I knew that if someone wasn’t behind me I may never go. One step in front of the other, slowly, carefully, I shuffle along the single wooden board. I try to keep my gaze steady, facing ahead. And then, the bridge begins to swing. I turn, a child stands at the other end, laughing and pushing it to and fro. It’s too much for me and I quicken my step, desperate to reach the post in the middle, wishing to be on the ground. Daniel is quickly by my side, having enjoyed his first bridge, and grinning in the heat. My knees begin to shake, in a comical way, literally knocking together. I stare at them in disbelief. ‘I can’t do this.’ I say to Daniel, trying to remain calm. ‘You can!’ he responds, as children pass us, running onto the next bridge, filled with confidence. I clutch my stomach. Either, I follow Daniel over the bridges, which I know climb until you are above the trees, or, I take a chance on finding my own way back through Taman Negara rainforest. Hastily, I choose the latter. I cannot go on. I turn and walk away from Daniel, back across the smallest canopy bridge. He calls after me. ‘Take some more water!’ But I cannot turn around. I am too afraid. Alone, I descend into the forest below.