#MediaMonday – Tracy Beard
Today’s #MediaMonday comes to us from Tracy Ellen Beard, a Pacific Northwest-based writer focused on luxury and adventure travel, fine dining, delicious wine and libations, adventure, and non-profits, notably for Upscale Living Magazine, LuxeGetaways, Northwest Travel & Life, and Wander with Wonder.
So, Tracy, time to share!
Tell us how you got your start in writing? Tell us your story!
My writing career began while working for a computer software company in California. As the senior marketing communications coordinator, I wrote and edited marketing materials and the company’s internal and external newsletters. Years later, after my two children were born, I founded an international children’s nonprofit, A Touch of Hope. After each distribution trip, I penned a newsletter sharing the story of each mission trip in hopes of inspiring adults and children to participate and to give funds. I love to travel. It doesn’t matter if it is backpacking in a foreign country or living it up in a five-star resort. I have always journaled about my travels and so six years ago I decided to take a course on travel writing and photography and to put my business experience to the test. I have been unbelievably blessed by the connections I have made and the people I have met. Telling stories, photographing my experiences is all great, but it is the people that make this job amazing. Success means different things to different people. I feel successful because I have worked with some incredible publishers, editors, PR representatives, DMO’s, chefs and business owners, and I have visited places I never dreamed of in ways I never thought possible.
What have been some of the most OMG stories you’ve covered?
I have never written about one of my life-changing days in Thailand. I went with a missionary to a small village and we helped make brooms with the locals. Afterwards, we sat on a woman’s porch and she served us what she had, fish bones with flies buzzing around, red ants and their larva, and a very poor grade of rice. She was so thrilled to share, and I was so touched to be there. I remember looking out over the village and seeing several mangy dogs roaming about. It felt so right, so peaceful and serene and yet I thought, “I must be on a movie set and where are the National Geographic camera people?”
I love experiencing things from one end of the spectrum to the other, hardship to luxury. One day I found myself sitting at a desk looking out the back window of the owner’s suite at the Blantyre in Lenox, Mass. Everything about this elegant hotel transported me back in time to the gilded age. As I gazed out over the back lawn, I could imagine women dressed in long gowns with wide-brimmed hats sipping on champagne, men dressed all in white playing croquet and children laughing and running about. To this day, the Blantyre is on my top ten list.
For our PR readers, what types of story pitches do you want?
Travel in the United States and abroad. I am always interested in chef stories as I attended a small private culinary school in San Francisco many years ago. I am thrilled to discover how Michelin-star and other award-winning chefs got to where they are. I love unique hotels whether they are high-end or budget friendly. I would like to learn about more exciting attractions and dine on delicious food at interesting restaurants. I’m interested in visiting places with exciting outdoor activities like kayaking, hiking, and sailing, and before I die, I want to stay at every Relais & Châteaux hotel and dine at each restaurant. (They are all incredibly wonderful and different).
Where did you grow up?
I grew up in Petaluma, Calif. My husband and I moved to Vancouver, Wash., 25 years ago to raise our two children.
Favorite TV shows or movies?
I don’t watch a lot of TV, but my three favorite movies are Eat, Pray, Love, Under the Tuscan Sun and Wild. I love movies about independent, adventurous women.
What is something readers would be surprised to know about you?
I love horses. I raised and broke four different horses by watching a horse training video tape by John Lyons. I’d watch for a few minutes then go out and try it with a horse. I was amazed that I was never bucked off.
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