coaching and teaching Everything, Everywhere, Travel Writer How to plan a social media trip Learn Travel Writing Lifestyle Online Journalism courses Travel Writer private group

Learn Travel Writing

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  • January 5, 2020
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Get the Tips You Need to Grow Your Career in the Travel Industry

$10 Cheat Sheet You Need Today!

Mini-Course Available here
Plan Your Solo Media Trip Mini-Course
Plan Your Solo Media Trip is a high-value, low-cost mini-course cheat sheet created by a five-time award-winning journalist and travel writer, Joan Mead-Matsui.
I’ll teach you the essential tips you need to land exciting travel assignments.


Learn Travel Writing with value-packed courses and get the coaching support you need before, during, and afterward.

We’ll talk about the afterward below.

But first,

Know I’ve been there — at the point where I’d taken a full-blown travel course but truthfully didn’t know where to apply the information I learned. I was frustrated, to say the least.

“Plan Your Solo Media Trip (Like A Pro),” is one example of the mini-courses I created to help you dive into travel writing. They’re niche-specific and help you break down the barriers that hold you back from planning the solo media trip of your DREAMS.

That’s why I created a high-value $10 mini-course cheat sheet that teaches you THE FUNDAMENTALS OF PLANNING AN EXTRAORDINARY SOLO MEDIA TRIP. You can buy it here, now, and get a jump on your plans today. 

Why is a solo trip so important to your career?

There’s safety in numbers and group trips can also be exciting for a few reasons.

  1. You get to check on your competition.
  2. Group trips shield you from the limelight.
  3. Most group trips are orchestrated and you travel together.

But what if, for example, you don’t want to visit a winery or brewery or you’re not interested in sports? Or hiking? Or fly fishing?

A solo media trip gives you more flexibility and a chance to conduct one-on-one interviews with key people in the lodging and tourism industries. In other words, in most cases, you can plan your own agenda, order the meals of your choice, schedule your day(s), and negotiate services and costs. Those are a few of the perks of taking charge of your destiny.


The Travel writing field is FLOODED with writers, journalists, retirees, and just about everyone else who loves to travel. In fact, there’s so much more to consider when you’re plotting your course.

  1. Protocol
  2. Transportation
  3. Cost
  4. Schedule

Theoretically, when you invest your time and money in a travel course, you should be able to come out of the gate and land a travel assignment. It’s as simple as that. Or is it?

Learn from a Pro

Before I branched out into travel writing, I spent most of my career in PR, advertising, event planning, and photojournalism. Make no mistake, those positions helped prepare me for every position I’ve held in 30 years. Clearly, I’ve discovered through trial and error, you need more skills than a love for travel and an ability to document your every move.

I’ll Guide You Through Your Journey

So how do you make your way through a densely populated forest of writers and get your name in front of the people in the travel industry who book travel writers?  

My cheat sheet focuses on the tips and techniques I’ve learned as a journalist and travel writer while covering a myriad of destinations and events on more than 50 media trips in five years.

How do you get your name in front of the key people who set up travel assignments?

Buy my Cheat Sheet and scroll down for more information about my coaching services and a phenomenal new platform I’ve created with coaching and additional courses.

Imagine the possibilities that await you in the travel world!

I’ll teach you how to break into the travel industry with step-by-step instruction and help you set goals.

Throughout my careers in journalism and travel writing, I learned we all need a coach now and them to help us achieve our dreams.   

The truth is my years as a print journalist were some of the best days of my life and winning five newspaper association press awards was the icing on the cake.

But I owe my success in travel writing to the mentors and coaches who guided me along.

That’s why I created the Everything, Everywhere, Travel Writer “Learn Travel Writing” private group. You’ll find the answers to your questions, guided support, weekly challenges, writing prompts, and so much more for $49 per month.

Give me a month and I’ll get you started in your travel writing journey.

Everything, Everywhere, Travel Writer Learn Travel Writing courses and coaching

You can grow into an Everything, Everywhere, Travel Writer and cover exciting assignments around the world. Join my private group today and soar to new heights.

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freelance writer and entrepreneur tips home business skills Lifestyle Work from home

How to Stay Sane

How to stay sane when you work from home tips and techniques for writers and other entrepreneurs

When You Work From Home

Proven Tips and Techniques from a Stay-At-Home Entrepreneur

How can you stay sane when you work from home?

Friends and colleagues ask me time and time again, “How do you stay disciplined?” Their initial query is often followed by one or more bold statements like, “I could never do that,” or “You’re so lucky you can do that,” or “I’m not focused enough.”

Nonetheless, they all remind me of how fortunate I am to have the luxury to plan my day from the comfort of my dining room or wherever I choose to be. No commute continues to be one of the perks I enjoy most. In theory, when I travel on assignments and spend long hours on the road, I am commuting. However, I don’t travel every day and taking off on an assignment for a few days is also a freelancer’s benefit. Travel is a diversion and not a distraction.

Is Your Life A Pendulum?

What happens when you experience the seesaw days when your energy level and moods are up and down?

More than likely, you need to balance the time you spend at work and in front of your computer with exercise and mindfulness. When you take a daily walk or find a YouTube exercise video you can follow at home, you are giving yourself a much-needed break. Enroll in a class or learn a new hobby to find the optimal balance in your life.

TIP 1: When I’m home for weeks at a time, I sign up for a ballet class and I fly fish in the spring, summer, and fall. Planning my day is what I love most about being my own boss.

Get in the Groove

TIP 2: The truth is I’ve had 26 years, to be exact, to establish a schedule that allows me to devote time to my family and businesses. To be well-rounded, develop strategies that will allow you to stay connected to the world around you.

Scroll down to the guidelines I’ve mapped out for you.

Benefits of A Home Office


Regardless of where you work, you will have disruptions and ultimately, it’s your job to work around those situations before they throw you off-track. You won’t have the same type of distractions working from home as you would if your cubicle or office were surrounded by co-worker drama, endless cell phone conversations, chatter, and gossip. That spells mayhem for many employees. But make no mistake, it’s your choice whether you get back on task or flounder the rest of your day.

How Does Diligence Play a Role in Your Success?

Consider your current work ethic and habits. Take a moment to read the following questions and jot your answers in a notebook or leave a comment on my Facebook travel page.

The mere fact that you have a business plan on paper is a step in the right direction. If you don’t, it’s time to get your plan together, even if you’re already working from home.

Forge Your Own Path

  1. Do you have a clear business vision and a plan?
  2. Do you know your strengths and weaknesses?
  3. Why do you want to work from home?
  4. What skills do you have that will propel you and your business?
  5. What are your expectations?
  6. Does your product, service, or skill stand the test of time?

TIP: Produce content, write articles, and interact on social media media every day. Not sure which social media platforms you should use? Get started with the Big Five: Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest. You’ll soon discover how different they are and which one will work best for your business. Contact me with your questions.

9 Tips to Stay on Track From the Get-Go

Strategies for the Entrepreneur

Once you leave your job, or after you’ve already transitioned,

  1. Stay in touch with friends in your former workplace.
  2. Establish a network of friends who work from home. Set up frequent masterminds. Don’t have time for a weekend getaway? Meet for coffee, breakfast, lunch or dinner to discuss your successes and failures.
  3. Make it your business to stay in touch with key people in your community — virtually and locally. We tend to focus only on the bigger picture but remember there’s always something happening in your town.
  4. Take frequent breaks during your workday that might include a walk or lunch with a friend.
  5. Get outdoors. Fresh air IS INVIGORATING. Nature rules!
  6. Focus 80 percent of your efforts on marketing and 20 percent on content creation. Selling yourself is more important to your business than creating content.
  7. Take an online course often to refresh your approach and find out if you’re on the right track.
  8. Hire a virtual or marketing assistant to banish overwhelm and shed new light on your work. Working with someone who knows more than you about content creation, social media, website management, and digital marketing can be the best way to test the waters and your ideas.
  9. Resolve to give equal attention to the can-do ideas and the more challenging issues.


Create a goal today to stay motivated, happy, peaceful, and engaged with the world around you. To do that, surround yourself with the people and comforts that relax and motivate you.

What are your thoughts about a work-from-home life? Send your questions and comments to

Learn more about my travel writing courses and membership group here.

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America travel destinations Art and Culture Art Exhibits Art in America art of travel Arts and Entertainment Authors Chigirie Japanese Art Online Course Lifestyle The Art of Travel Learn to Plan Your Solo Media Trip

Barnes Foundation Tribute to the Impressionists

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  • December 17, 2018
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The Barnes Foundation


An Afternoon of French Culture


Philadelphia Art and Culture The Barnes Foundation
Before the lunch crowd arrived, customers stopped by for a beverage at the coffee bar. Photos by Joan Mead-Matsui unless otherwise noted.
The Barnes Foundation Tribute to the Impressionists is best experienced after a relaxing breakfast or lunch at Le Pain Quotidien, (translated from French to English, “the daily bread”), a Belgium bakery and restaurant that’s only steps away from the museum.

Set the stage for your visit to the Barnes with a selection of French-inspired pastries, soups, and savory lunch options. Healthy, plant-based selections headline this eatery’s menu. Gluten-free is consistently my first choice for a midday meal but vegetarian fare is also available in a tantalizing array of dishes.  The Zucchini Noodle Pad Thai was outstanding. Suffice to say, an afternoon at the Barnes and Le Pain Quotidien the ideal combination of Philadelphia art and culture. Le Pain emanates European culture with the comforting aroma of bread baking in the kitchen and casual French-country charm. It’s a perfect prelude to an afternoon at The Barnes. 

Le Pain Quotidien is located at The Granary, 1937 Callowhill St., Philadelphia, PA. Le Pain Quotidien is a franchised eatery founded by Alain Coumont. I chose Le Pain because I was in Philadelphia for a travel assignment at The Barnes Foundation and the online menu reflected my hankerings that day. 

Call ahead to be sure seating is available during peak times.1 215 789 9870

Philadelphia Art and Culture The Barnes Foundation and Le Pain Quotidien
Are you feeling “cultural” and hungry for artisan food? If you’re looking for a French-inspired meal that will set the stage for your visit to The Barnes Foundation, Le Pain Quotidien is close by and the aroma of bread baking is only the beginning of your romance with European culture in Philadelphia.


Why are we so fascinated with museums? 

I’ll tell you why I can’t stay away from them or better yet, I’ll show you why you should set aside time to visit The Barnes Foundation. (See my gallery below). Photos by Joan Mead-Matsui unless otherwise noted. 

Museums are my go-to place for inspiration for my own art ( and an opportunity to tune into my creative side and tune out the noise and chatter around me. Too much time had passed since my last visit to a metropolitan museum and upon reading more about The Barnes (as it’s often called), I knew I had to set aside an afternoon to experience this Philadelphia treasure. The Barnes Foundation houses a must-see collection of art by the world’s greatest master painters, sculptors, and designers. 

As I made my way around the first-floor galleries, I came across paintings by my all-time favorite Impressionist painters: Renoir and Monet. And then, gallery upon gallery, the genre expanded to Matisse, Van Gogh, Picasso, Cezanne, Seurat, and Modigliani. 

I was so enthralled by the selection of paintings that I didn’t allow enough time to visit the second-floor exhibits but that’s all the reason I’ll need to plan a follow-up trip to Philadelphia. 

The Barnes, (as it’s known to many) is a non-profit Philadelphia cultural and educational institution recognized for its exceptional art collections, programming, and special exhibitions.    

Thanks to Dr. Albert C. Barnes for his vision and the foundation that honors his name for maintaining this collection of priceless treasures by impressionist, post-impressionist, and early modernist artists. 

Dr. Albert C. Barnes assembled a collection of African art, Native American pottery and jewelry, Pennsylvania German furniture, American avant-garde painting, and wrought-iron metalwork that are interspersed with the paintings throughout the galleries. Image courtesy of The Barnes Foundation

TIP: Allow ample time (three to four hours) to explore the galleries. 
African art, Native American pottery and jewelry, Pennsylvania German furniture, American avant-garde painting, and wrought-iron metalwork are arranged throughout the galleries in a manner that encourages time to view, study, and reflect on each object in the ensembles. 

Watch this video clip and visit for additional insights. 

Learn how to plan a solo media trip here


The ensembles, each one meticulously crafted by Dr. Barnes himself, are meant to draw out visual similarities between objects we don’t normally think of together. Created as teaching tools, they were essential to the educational program Dr. Barnes developed back in the 1920s.

Directions: The Barnes Foundation is conveniently located along the Benjamin Franklin Parkway, 2025 Benjamin Franklin Parkway, Philadelphia, PA. No need to worry about parking. Visitors are invited to park in the lot adjacent to the foundation. 

For additional information, call 215.278.7000. 


My visit to The Barnes Foundation was comped but my opinions are my own. 

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