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Vocation: And they pay you?

Snorkeling, snowboarding and sightseeing for a living, it's a tough job but someone has to do it.

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In a decade and a half, as a freelance writer and photographer in big demand, Seldon has logged hundreds of thousands of miles on land, air and sea, covering destinations as diverse as Alaska and Aruba; as far away as Hawaii, France and Mexico; and as close to home as the Blue Ridge Mountains and Urbanna, Va. Every year, Seldon's articles and photographs appear in more than 100 national magazines including: Golf, Ski, Smithsonian, Travel & Leisure, Washingtonian, Modern Bride Caribbean Travel & Life, and Southern Living. His article on scuba gear in the September issue of Playboy is on newsstands today.

Seldon has the inside scoop on most "soft" sports. He can tell golfers how to get an additional 10 percent distance on a drive. It's simple: play a round at Coyote Moon Golf Course at Lake Tahoe where the thin air at an elevation of 6,300 feet makes for less resistance. He assures the wary scuba novice about to make a shipwreck dive, that "diving is far less risky than skiing" and that "sunburn — not a shark — is usually the greatest danger facing divers."

In short, Seldon is a guy on the go and a far cry from his intended career in finance. Seldon attended VMI where he wrote for the school newspaper. Following graduation, he served three years in the Army and was stationed in Germany. A weekend visit to the isle of Crete not only spawned eternal wanderlust for Seldon, it inspired a story for Stars and Stripes. It also planted the seed for a career in which Seldon makes a good living by playing and working hard.

Like all jobs though, a travel writer's vocation has its stresses, right? Deadlines, packing, airport hassles. Seldon smiles and shakes his head. The Internet makes filing a story from any location a snap. He doesn't even complain about the added precautions at airports these days; he often wraps up a story on his laptop in a quiet corner before boarding a plane. As for packing, he's got it down pat. "Make lots of lists," he recommends.

If Seldon is not working on a magazine story, he is working on another book. More than a dozen of his travel books are in stores.

When not on location, Seldon writes on a laptop in the back yard of his Fan home. His wife, Cele, maintains an office inside where she markets his work and manages travel arrangements, correspondence and their Web site. Whenever possible, she travels with Seldon and recently took up sea kayaking to explore the Eastern Shore with her husband.

And what if one day children enter the picture? "We'll pack them up," Seldon says, "and be on our way. There are lots of travel destinations for kids to be covered."

So where in the world does a world traveler like Lynn Seldon go on vacation? He prefers a quiet week at the Outer Banks or a quick trip to Baltimore to watch the Orioles play. About the upcoming holiday weekend, he grins and says, "We're staying home." S

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