Yes, it’s true. I traveled 5070 miles from Las Vegas to Manchester, UK for a weekend-long travel blogging conference. And it was awesome. At first, it was timing and friends that got me to do it, and it never occurred to me that I’d make such a trip again. But now, I’m already thinking of the next ones, TBU in Innsbruck and TBEX in Prague. In an ideal world, I’d get to turn each trip into a much longer vacation, but fitting weekend getaways into a busy life of working full-time sometimes means you make big trips for a shorter adventure.
There are worse things!
My reasons for attending TBU:
- Getting my dream job after 18 months of unemployment/freedom (depending on the day), I had to accept a corporate policy of no time off for six months. You know what that does to people like me. That ended mere days before TBU. The timing alone made it too easy. I was more than ready to get out the ol’ passport.
- The conference’s founder, Ollie, promised to pick me up at the airport. Fellow city slickers, you know what a treat this is.
- Ever since TBEX last year in New York turned out to be monumentally life-changing for me, I have a weakness for travel blogging conferences.
- Hello, like-minded people… Look, there are only so many ways an adult female in her mid-30s can meet new friends. I’d encourage anyone to go to conferences of people with the same interests as you.
- I can’t go to TBEX Vancouver this year, something I say with a very heavy heart, because my best friend is getting married that weekend in Maui. Twenty three years after a brave sixth grader let me, the new girl, sit next to her on the bus, I wouldn’t miss that wedding for the world. But that doesn’t mean I have to miss out on the travel blogging circuit entirely… What’s a few thousand miles?
- My Vegas travel blogging cohort, Diana, said I’d love @theaussienomad, @wildjunket @isabellestravels, @traveldudes, @velvetescape and @insidetravellab. (She was right.)
- The geek in me loves sitting in lectures by people like @goshpr, learning new things, wearing name tags and calling people by their Twitter names.
- I’d never been to Manchester.
Why I was glad I went:
- I unexpectedly got to go shopping. British clothing is more… feminine than American attire, and I now wear those ruffles with pride.
- I met @expatgermany (Laurel SHOWN below with Deedee), @jools_octavius, @mikeachim, @jm_deluxe, @chloesometimes, @campinginheels, @johnonolan, @justtravelous, @heatheronhertravels, @glampacker, @kathryntravels, @kellydunning @micheleaggiato, @pommiestravels, @mypostcardfrom, @floatingspheres and many, many more.
- Like at TBEX, I walked away a new member of a “club.” Then, it was TBEXA, the A team. At TBU, the talk is of Club 91. Guess you had to be there…
- I forgot how much fun it is to cover lectures like a press conferences, tweeting the highlights and gossiping with bloggers sitting 10 feet away from you. I’m looking at you, @travelingeditor, @theaussienomad and @bgb_news.
- My neighbors at Light @budgettraveler, @velvetescape, @travelwithamate @traveldudes, @axpet and @isabellestravel were the hosts of every after-party and my escorts when I didn’t know where I was going. Which was all the time.
- I finally got a thorough education in SEO usage.
- Travel bloggers keep me on my toes. By the time I landed in the U.S., my inbox was already flooded with everyone’s posts on TBU, my Facebook filled with tagged photos from the event. Since I went straight to a packed few days of work in NYC, my motto is… Better late than never. Enjoy!
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