Do you remember how your gut dropped as your first plane launched into the sky, and your first look through the cabin window into a sea of clouds? What about the empty stretch of road racing past your window on your first family road trip? It’s precious memories like these that inspired Lori Metze to pursue travel and capture it with her writing. “Our family travels gave me my fondest childhood memories,” Metze explained in an email. “Details such as sleeping on two chairs pushed together or my first glimpse from the air of a city I had never before seen have an excited emotion attached to them that I can’t seem to live without.”

Lori Metze has been a luxury travel writer for about ten years and currently writes for Medium. She typically averages one trip a month and rarely travels to the same place twice. “For the most part, once I have been to a place, I am eager to explore elsewhere, especially since one person can’t physically see the entire world in one lifetime,” Lori said.

Lori visits sled dogs in Alaska.Recently, Lori has been writing about locales closer to her home in Seattle. Her last piece was on the high-end restaurant Herbfarm, which was equal parts experience and dinner. The visit included a nine-course meal with locally-grown ingredients, and the venue displayed carefully curated, English-inspired interior design. Lori reviews her visits to this restaurant because food is an important part of any traveling experience.

And while the travel alone might seem to make it a dream job, the writing itself serves a special purpose according to Lori: “When I sit down to write a story, I approach my experience from many angles to find the one that will entertain and inspire someone else to follow in my footsteps. I believe it is human nature to want to share beautiful moments because the act of sharing heightens experiences, even retroactively.”

Though Lori does try to plan each of these moments to keep from missing out on any adventures, she recounts that many of her best moments weren’t on an agenda.

One such occasion was with her husband on a trip back to her hotel in Wisconsin. They passed a Victorian mansion and lawn dotted with people. Lori describes them as “spilling out the front door in period hats and ostentatious feather boas, smiling and hollering at the sky.” Curious, the two approached. “As we hurried in, the inn owners supplied us with hats and drinks and explained their tradition is to dress up and toast the sunset at the end of every day, inviting everyone eating dinner there to join in. It was a magical evening!”

Capturing these magical moments is a process of its own. Lori must decide between being in the moment or preparing to write it, and the job requires a bit of both. Lori takes pictures and notes and maps out the piece in her head before sitting down to write.

And it’s not just these priorities Lori must balance—she also writes for a changing industry. “With the advent of peer reviews,” Lori said, “everyone has a voice, not just writers.” For travelers, “they can now choose if they’d like a peer’s perspective or a professional’s perspective.” It’s Lori’s aim to provide professional input for a new age of choosy travelers. The good news? “This empowerment has been beneficial to travelers by increasing transparency—no longer is it possible for hotels and attractions to hide behind a glossy website.”Lori learns to sail with her husband on the Puget Sound.

Lori often takes her family on her travels. She said, “My most important priority in life is my family. Their reactions to our combined experiences fuel my writing.” Many travel writers hit the road alone; however, Lori is an example of a travel writer proving that you can take a piece of home abroad (or several pieces when she brings more family members).

When asked how her experiences as a travel writer have changed her, she said, “I now travel with a more distinct intent which allows me to be present—to truly focus on each moment, one by one.” Sharing these moments with others makes life sweeter, and Lori has both her family and readers with whom to share her travels.

—Rochelle Burnside