Freelancer writer for Engineering News-Record; travel blogger for “Greg’s Getaway”
This week, The Hoyt Organization talked with well-known travel blogger and freelance writer Greg Aragon about his work, his travel blog, and his opinions on modern journalism.
As a journalist who covers construction and engineering stories across California, what initially attracted you to these types of stories?
I was born and raised in Los Angeles and have spent my entire life in California, so I find it fascinating to see how the landscape changes over time. I have also always been interested in the historical aspects of city-scapes, so when I decided to get into journalism, I was naturally drawn to writing about architecture and construction.
At this point in your career, what still surprises or excites you about these stories?
To this day, I still get excited when a new building or mega-project is being built. Construction is very exciting. There are new technologies and innovations popping up every day and it’s fun to be at the forefront in learning about them.
As a travel blogger, was there a moment in which you first decided you wanted to share your travel stories with other people?
The first time I returned from Maui, Hawaii and a friend asked me to write about it. I wrote one story and I never looked back. I have been writing a travel column called “Greg’s Getaway” for 15 years now.
What is your process for chronicling these stories? Do you take notes during the trip, or do you soak in the experience and start writing after you return home?
I do a little of both, but I’ve been doing it so long, that the experiences are just absorbed into my soul and brain and are subconsciously chronicled and written in my head, so I can dictate the story when I’m ready.
With how public policy, media and technology have changed in the last decade, how has your job as a journalist changed?
Things have changed incredibly fast! It’s hard to believe that a few years ago I used to have to go to a store to get my photos developed, wait a few hours, pick them up and then take them to my company’s art department to be put in print.
Have you had to modify your process for finding stories to adapt to these changes?
Not really. I believe a good story is always out there, you just have to want it and do a little digging.
What article you’ve written is your favorite or the one you are most proud of? Why?
I did a story a couple years ago on an army veteran, who was badly wounded in Iraq, that I still remember. While spending months recuperating at Walter Reed Medical Center, he got involved in construction. When he was finally able to leave the hospital, he took some more construction classes and kept pushing himself and soon started his own construction company, which hired other military vets and became a very successful company.
One last question for fun! What is the best book you’ve read or movie you’ve watched recently?
I am currently reading “Cannery Row” by John Steinbeck. I read it when I was in high school, but since I visited Monterey, California a couple weeks ago, I wanted to go back and re-read it. It is a great book.
A special thank you to Greg for taking the time to tell us more about himself. Greg’s work can be found in the Engineering News-Record and other publications. For more information on his famous and long-running travel column, “Greg’s Getaway”, please check out his Facebook book page here.