How Long Have You Been Writing on the Road?


Q & A with travel columnist Dennis McCann from the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

This quote about travel writing caught my eye. How many of you can relate?

“In 1998, after I wrote a book about Wisconsin for the sesquicentennial, editors asked me to hit the road and stay there and I’ve been doing this fulltime since. Does it get old? Sometimes I would rather pluck my eyeballs out instead of getting in the car for a long drive, but then I remember what it’s like to work in an office and go to meetings.”

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Read on for the full answer of how he became a travel columnist.

“Q: carol of stevens point – How did you get to become a travel columnist, and does it ever get a bit old? You must be gone a lot.

A: Dennis McCann – To be honest, Carol, I got into this somewhat accidentally. I joined The Milwaukee Journal in 1983 (yikes, that’s a long time ago) as a farm writer and state rover, and while driving around covering stories I would find other things that interested me but really didn’t fit my beat. So those became my first columns for the paper, initially in the news pages, later in our old Sunday WISCONSIN magazine section and then in other spots. After the Journal and Sentinel merged in the 1990s we had lots of columnists and only so much space so my Sunday column was put in the Travel section, which led some to think of me as a travel writer. In 1998, after I wrote a book about Wisconsin for the sesquicentennial, editors asked me to hit the road and stay there and I’ve been doing this fulltime since. Does it get old? Sometimes I would rather pluck my eyeballs out instead of getting in the car for a long drive, but then I remember what it’s like to work in an office and go to meetings. No, it never gets old compared to that – and it can be a lot of fun.”

BTW, I’d move to Milwaukee in a heart beat for either 1) A good job, or 2) A good man. In fact, I don’t think I’ve ever come across a place other than Australia where I was confident I’d be happy living there.