After being laid off from one job in Oklahoma City, I got a tip that the Oklahoma Tourism and Recreation Department needed a writer to provide copy for brochures and tour guide manuals. Upon getting the job, I learned I also would be supplying the weekly "Mini-Trip" feature promoting an Oklahoma destination or event for the Saturday edition of The Oklahoman daily newspaper, for whom I'd worked as a copy editor and music critic a year before. Boom! I was a travel writer, a perfect expertise to have when my wife got orders to transfer to Great Britain. Travel journalists don't always get a lot of respect from news journalists, but I found it one of the most challenging genres to master. It requires diligence to accuracy and timeliness, and you have to serve as a hand-holding guide while also providing specific and enticing experiential details of the destination. Honing that skill through disciplined observation along with my Off Duty editor coaching me to be the reader's proxy rather than tour guide made me a better all-around reporter and writer for all genres in which I work, from theater reviews to national commission reports.