Travel writing not only has the potential to compete with novels on literary merit, but to excel. After all, it’s potentially got everything: exotic locations, true adventure, multiple story lines, peak emotion, honest reflection, and poetic insight… for starters. So why is most of it—in short (magazine) form, anyway—so bad? Follow the money. No other literary genre is expected to sell peripheral products—tickets and tours and gear and (gulp) insurance—in addition to magazines and books.