In 2010 my wife and I, newly married and kids-free, embarked on a dream backpacking trip starting in Thailand and ending in the US (with Malaysia, Singapore, East and West Europe, Morocco, India, Egypt, Turkey and Mexico in between). When we returned to Australia, I was eager and hopeful of writing a few freelance travel pieces about some of the more exotic places we had visited for the travel sections of newspapers and magazines.

I submitted several story ideas and photographs but no editor would bite. I was disappointed but not entirely surprised, since I'd submitted what I thought were interesting ideas (a story about why tourists should visit my home town of Johannesburg was one) but had received polite "no thank you" responses.

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