Erica, excellent read. This line in particular reminds me of a David Sedaris quote, from his nook Me Talk Pretty One Day (the title a transcription back to English of him attempting to speak French). He said he refused to date anyone that claimed to “discover” a restaurant that was already listed in the phone book. : )
Making yourself the star
I’m curious who some of your favorite travel writers are. Thinking of my own favorites like Paul Theroux and Bill Bryson, they do violate this rule all the time, but let’s face it, recounting the funny and shocking things that happen to them on the road makes their work more intimate and entertaining.
I suppose there are shades of difference between pure travel writing and travel-inspired humor and adventure.
Finally, if you’ll indulge me, I dabble in travel writing also. Now I’ll have to go back and scan which passages violate your golden rules.