In three days, the North American portion of “world’s largest gathering of travel bloggers, writers, new media content creators, and social media savvy travel industry professionals” will begin! Sounds good, doesn’t it? My excitement, anticipation and I will be joining the movers and shakers. Here’s why I’m giddy:
- Workshops, workshops, workshops – My notebook and pen await the insider tips and tricks from the speakers that travel and media veterans. I have my plan of attack written, ready to execute.
- ESCAPING – I’ve been trapped in Philly far too long! (Hence season one of Global Lipstick’s web series…shameless plug 😉 ). After returning in 2012 from years of living in Spain, I’ve had a travel dry spell for what’s felt like millennia. I went to Vegas last year but if a person travels and doesn’t get a passport stamp, did it really happen? Mexico is one of my favorite countries. This conference is on time, personally and professionally.
- Exploring Outside of Cancun – Of every place I’ve been, there are only three that I did not like. Negril (Jamaica), Prague (Czech Republic) and…Cancun (Mexico). Yes. Say it ain’t so. Although Mexico is one of my favorite countries, my experience in Cancun in 2007 was a little blah. Very watered down. It was stocked with the cliché Señor Frog’s, all-inclusive resort, tourist endeavors. Not authentic. I’ve decided to switch up my game plan this time around. One of those things will be to visit neighboring beaches and pueblos. I’ll share more when I return. All in all, I’m expecting this trip to outdo Part 1.
- Meeting Virtual Friends – Yes, I am a product of the social media era. It’s a love-hate relationship. I love meeting and interacting with people all over the world but it’s such a tease! 140 characters will never replace face-to-face conversation. I look forward to in-person chats with other travel content creators that I’ve met in cyberspace.
- Mexican Food – The way to my heart. Tortas, huevos rancheros, flautas, avocado everything, jicama. I am a Chipotle kinda gal but real burritos they are not. The amount of authentic Mexican eats where I live (in the Philadelphia area) is slim. My tongue will probably land before I do.
- Blue Waters – Trips vs. Vacations. Night and day. My definition of vacation involves sand, sun, water and umbrella drinks. A calm, relaxing environment. For me, a vacation is a much more distant memory than a trip. Thankfully, I’ll be there outside of the conference days. And even though it’s rainy season in Cancun, I have faith that Operation Beach Bum will be completed.
- Networking – Not just with my Twitter and Instagram friends. Those that I have not yet connected with on social media or elsewhere. The ones that have a fountain of wisdom. Ones that have been at this for years (see #1). Ones that also want to create lasting relationships.
- Celebrating Mexico’s Independence Day – Wait, Cinco de Mayo is Mexico’s Independence Day, right? Nah. September 15th and 16th, the country celebrates its Independence from Spain. In addition to parades, flag- waving and fireworks, I’ll be hearing a whoooole lotta “Viva México!”
- “Mande” – This little Mexican colloquialism means “yes?” or “repeat please”. Say it in any other country and you WILL get the side eye. I used it once in Peru and was told I was “muy Mexicana”. I like to blend wherever I travel, so I swap “mande” for whatever response is used in that location. I’ve missed using it. I’m anticipating our reunion.
- Pictures! – Mexico = Vibrance = Life = Memory Card Full
- Renewal – Occasions like these are full of learning opportunities. There are highs and lows in the travel media community, as with others. Conferences are made to give us a booster shot so we come back 10 times harder. Ready to receive mine!
Happy trails to all the other TBEX-ers and see you soon!