Becoming an Armchair Traveler
Editors need two traits that are seldom mentioned in journalism school: planning skills and flexibility. As DeSoto Magazine went into the final days of production for our annual travel issue, the staff needed both because our timing for this popular issue could not have been worse. Long after we assigned stories to our writers and just as we were beginning to design the pages, the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pretty much shut down the travel industry.
Producing a print magazine starts months before readers actually flip through the pages. The DeSoto editorial team met in January to plan the April issue; then, we assigned stories to writers who had a month to interview sources and produce stories; and in late February we were editing and checking photos. In early March, production began as the news was filled with dire warnings about this insidious virus that was spreading around the globe.
Why am I offering a primer on magazine production? I want readers to understand that planning each issue takes time. Short of cancelling the April issue entirely, we had to proceed with some adjustments.
We join the thousands of health experts who recommend using sanitary precautions and staying away from crowds. We hope readers will enjoy this month’s destination stories as armchair travelers and include these places in future travel plans. After all, travel is a multi-billion-dollar industry, and we hope it rebounds quickly from this nightmarish situation
While we advise precautions about travel plans, we also know that you can’t sit home all summer without a few outings, especially after the Coronavirus subsides. Make this the summer to explore your own backyard. Cheré Coen and I pulled together some staycation ideas that will create memorable experiences – without getting on airplanes or ships.
Although most of us won’t be exploring our big, beautiful world this summer, we hope this issue helps you to be a well-informed armchair traveler full of future travel dreams.