Reconstruct the images

Start by looking through your images from an experience. At first, you are not looking for bigger themes or conclusive thoughts, just details. You might be  fortunate to have physical/digital photographs, or you may be pulling from memory.

Let these images inspire free-form writing of details, sensory or mental.

Headlines in kanji and colors. Tobacco on display. Blue-ponytailed nonchalance.

Educator and contributor to the National Writing Project Ann Gardner explains in an article that poetry is about constructing images. In order to teach her students how to write place-based poetry, she explains her mental process of developing ideas for poetry, step by step: 

I search for an idea from my life map. “I would like to write about the time I got bucked off of my horse, but that seems like a pretty complicated experience to be conveyed in a poem. That memory might be better for a story. My poem needs to capture a moment in time. It has to be caught like a photograph. . . . I think I will write about my grandmother’s house—but wait, that idea is enormous; I need to narrow it down. . . . I know, I’ll write about waking up at grandmother’s house.” I draw a picture of my moment in time as I chatter about the details in my illustration, listing sense words I can see, hear, smell, taste, and touch, and that I feel in my heart.
— Ann Gardner, National Writing Project

While travel writing can take the form of poetry, the method of sifting through images, pulling out details, and reconstructing these images with words can result in rich moments a reader can envision. These details can be raw materials for a bigger essay or narrative. Sometimes providing the images isn’t as fun as letting the reader envision them by your words.