Yahoo Travel: Rest in Peace

I lost my job at Yahoo Travel this week.

sunset-yahoo-travelIt’s my first involuntary separation. I initiated all of the previous ones. The first time was in college. I had a stellar work-study job – bartender at the campus pub. When I returned from summer break my senior year, the pub was transformed into a sleek food service operation and I was told that my beertending responsibilities now included food prep. Like Norma Rae, I cried “Hell no! I won’t fry!” and was promptly reassigned to a position as receptionist at the Cultural Center.

For the past year I was fortunate to participate in an innovative program called the Yahoo Explorers. I first heard about it at the New York Times Travel Show in January 2015. I attended a panel discussion and Yahoo Travel Editor Paula Froelich was one of the speakers. Her presentation made me chuckle and snort so I liked her immediately, and she mentioned that the company was rounding up travel bloggers to launch an initiative called the Yahoo Travel Explorers. Writers would contribute articles and, if selected for publication on the main travel site, they would be paid. Paid? Money? For generating content? There must be a catch. I assumed payment would be made in bitcoin or Dunkin’ Donuts coffee chits.

Manhattan-sailboat-skyline

 

I cast out an email to Paula who generously passed me on to Annie Daly who was the first coordinator of the group. After a few weeks, the program launched, and it was exciting to be part of an experiment. Like Dr. Frankenstein, I was curious to see what we’d create. The Explorers had a group Facebook page, a Tumbler feed, and a Pinterest board. On a daily basis, I had the opportunity to connect with passionate, like-minded people, to read some great writing, see beautiful photos of faraway places, and get input from editors who tweaked my work for the web. What I learned from them is that the public will consume anything if you package it as a list and a headline isn’t a headline until it includes at least one superlative. This partially explains Jeb!

Unfortunately, Yahoo’s stock has tanked¬†and executives are initiating a turnaround strategy, so 7 of the site’s digital magazines were shuttered this week, including Yahoo Travel. I received notice on Wednesday and by Friday, the magazine was removed from the Yahoo home page. Things happen fast in the digital sphere. In the real world, I’d still be loading the contents of my desk into a copy paper box.

Central-Park-grizzly-bear

 

 

Fortunately, I still have the 8:30-4:30 job that pays my bills and provides my health insurance. But my Yahoo Travel Explorer position fed my soul. So I return to life before Yahoo, to walking the harsh path blazed by solitary freelancers before me. Before the Yahoo Travel site evaporates into internet ether, I invite you to take a look, identify someone who speaks to you, and follow them on their individual sites and feeds. Besides Paula and Annie, I enjoy reading family travel articles by Laura Begley-Bloom¬†and Kim-Marie Evans. In my next life, I hope to be Sherri Ott, and the Past Present Project is very cool – Christian Carollo is recreating his grandfather’s travel photos. Speaking of photos, follow any or all of the contributors to this piece about Instagram; they’re very talented.

To Yahoo Travel – thanks for the ride – and, to my fellow Explorers, Mark Twain said the sure way to tell if you like people or hate them is to travel with them. You know what? I like you guys. I really do. Bon voyage!

The Open Suitcase on Yahoo Travel:

Articles:

Cut the Glowsticks: A Music Festival Survival Guide for Gen Xers

What You Need to Know Before Renting a Car in Europe

Last Minute Summer Getaway Idea: Visit a College Town

Car Racing: A High-Octane Alternative for the Fourth of July

How to Take Great Travel Photos: Tips From a Pro

JetBlue Might Just Make You Feel Good About Airlines Again

Prost! Munich’s Most Authentic Beer Hall

Macy’s Thanksgiving Parade 2015: 5 Secrets to Doing it Right

5 Ways to Get a Million-Dollar Manhattan View for Under $50

An Easy, Cheap Way to Check a Place Off Your Bucket List

Tybee Island, Georgia: America’s Best-Kept Secret

Collaborations:

50 Reasons to Love the World

Obsessive Travelers on the Books That Changed Their Lives

The Worst Travel Advice We’ve Ever Been Given

Want to Start a Travel Blog? The Truth from Successful Bloggers

What’s Your Weirdest Travel Habit – Is It as Strange as These?

The Best Travel Advice We’ve Ever Been Given

The Most Annoying Travel Pet Peeves Ever!

Expert Opinions: 16 Places Everyone Will Be Talking About in 2016

Will Travel for Music: Crazy Lengths People Go to See Their Favorite Bands

Travelers Share Their Memories and Love for Paris

6 thoughts on “Yahoo Travel: Rest in Peace

    • Thank you. It was a wonderful ride and I am sorry to see it end. The Yahoo team assembled a group of very different voices. It was nice to read pieces from people who have unique travel experiences.

    • What’s the saying, Shelley? Something about closing windows and opening doors? Thank you for the vote of confidence!

  1. Working with the folks at Yahoo Travel was one of those moments in time that I wished would go on forever. I have never had so much fun working so hard– more than 80 stories in the 18 months I freelanced for them. Loved your work there. Best wishes in our new Yahoo-less world.

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