Travelling and Writing and Traveling


Back in Galway again, after two weeks of traveling the British Isles. Feels good to be… home?

A decade ago, when I was on my London semester abroad, I took a course called Traveling and Writing. It was more or less a writing workshop where we shared personal essays about our experiences in a new culture.

I didn’t have a laptop at the time, so I would always type my papers in the computer lab of the study abroad office. We were in central London, so all the computers were set to British English, not American English. Spellcheck behaved a bit differently:

American English = Traveling

British English = Travelling

For an entire semester, I turned in essays for my Traveling and Writing class with a heading that included my name, the date, and the name of the course: Travelling and Writing. I actually became convinced that was how traveling was spelled, which took a while to unlearn once I got back home.

I have been thinking about that combination a lot over the past two weeks: Traveling and Writing or even Travelling and Writing. We’re in the middle of finals at school right now, but because all my finals are 5,000-word essays, and the appeal of a writing career is that one can do it anywhere, I decided to take this show on the road and write one of my essays whilst travelling (“whilst travelling” – doubly British).

It worked. I missed out on some stuff, but we planned the trip accordingly and with my writing habits in mind (performs best under a deadline). I really wouldn’t mind a life of Traveling and Writing.