The outdoors and travel called to Longmont’s Joshua Berman, who is a writer, Colorado travel expert, Spanish teacher and social media director. Now he is using his years of experience to help a new generation hear it too.
Berman has built a career out of traveling and writing. Some of his early writing is included on his travel blog, Tranquilo Traveler. But he didn’t stop there. Over the years his skills as a writer have opened other opportunities including a monthly column, "Around Colorado" in the Denver Post, authoring “Moon Colorado Camping: The Complete Guide to Tent and RV Camping” and is currently working on a Moon travel guide on 75 of the best Colorado day hikes, due to hit shelves in 2023.
"This moon Colorado hiking book is kind of an umbrella that's been over everything and will be for the next seven months till my deadline. I've hiked 11 of the 75 trails of 64 to go," Berman said of his latest book.
Travel writing doesn’t only include visiting a place and sitting down to write; there is more, Berman said.
"You know, I've done three days in southeast Colorado and every corner of the state ... It's like a scavenger hunt having to find out all these facts about the place and experience them and then putting that into a story," Berman said.
Seeing the world is nothing new to Berman who was invited to join the Peace Corps twice. The first time he turned the offer down because he was working for a local outdoor publication. The second time the opportunity gifted him a chance to write about the then-emerging tourism scene in Nicaragua.
“At the time, there were no guide books dedicated to the country. So, that is really what stepped me into writing as a professional travel writer," Berman said.
Although travel writing is still a significant part of Berman’s life, he also gives back as a teacher at Shining Mountain Waldorf School. There he teaches Spanish, cyber civics and language arts.
Waldorf has a strong emphasis on relationships between people, arts and nature. Combining his experience with all three, he uses his journalistic background to teach students how to create publications by sharing his work in Colorado and Nicaragua. His students are exposed to so much more than the mechanics of the industry. He also shares his adventures with the class too.
"In the original days, I was still really writing about Central America quite a bit. So, I would be going on research trips, or guiding trips to Nicaragua, and running around with TV crews for two weeks with helicopters and volcanoes and all kinds of crazy adventures," Berman explained. "Then, I would come back and I'd be teaching Spanish and showing them the cool stuff I brought back. Having these relevant stories and connections with those countries was always a nice interweaving."
As an educator and journalist, Berman hopes aspiring writers heed a bit of advice: "Put the experience or whatever it is that you think you're going to be writing about first and learn about it that way. And then, oh, by the way, start blogging about it."
Opportunity has opened many doors for Berman to pursue his interests and to teach others how to follow their own dream. For now, though, he said, “I have a lot more hiking to do."