What a Week! Part 2

Celebrating the Canucks' victory with happy locals.

So I have to say: a week into being 26, and it’s been a pretty awesome year so far. I just returned from my whirlwind trip to the Pacific Northwest and my first time in the breathtaking city of Vancouver, British Columbia. I highly recommend spending your birthday in downtown Vancouver when the Canucks are playing in the Stanley cup (and win). The streets – and its pedestrians – were painted blue. Not only every bar, but every store, pizza place, smoothie shop with a TV in it was over capacity with dedicated Canadians cheering on their beloved hockey team. Even my pretty pink tiara and winning smile wouldn’t guarantee entrance to a bar. It took many tries, but eventually I was able to celebrate my birthday with the rest of Vancouver.

Okay, enough about me. The real reason I was there this past weekend was because of TBEX (Travel Blog Exchange)! It was at Vancouver’s waterfront convention center that travel bloggers and travel professionals from all over gathered to learn, network, and socialize. With 600 registered attendees, it was difficult to get to know everyone, but we did our best and I’m happy to report that Anis and I not only learned a great deal from these talents, but we also made some wonderful friends, of which I am only able to highlight a few. I believe these few are speakers whose powerful take-home messages apply to not only travel bloggers, but travelers in general.

From Kirsten's Paris iPhone Collection. See more here: http://www.facebook.com/kirstenalanatravels

In addition to being the official event photographer, Kirsten Alana also taught a workshop all about how to take phenomenal photos with your iPhone. Her take-home message was that in this day and age, no one has an excuse to not take good photos whether you have a fancy DSLR, point-and-shoot, or just your smart phone handy. Thus, no one has an excuse to not have a visually compelling travel blog. And now I want an iPhone. (Tweet @Kirsten_al for iPhone camera app tips. She has a lot.)


Benny Lewis is quite a character. Not only is he a fabulous dancer and daredevil when it comes to trying Asian fusion vegie hotdogs, he has learned over a dozen languages. And is currently working on another. This, ladies and gentlemen, is the mastermind behind Fluent in 3 Months. This Irish polyglot has made the seemingly impossible possible and his take-home message was that there is no such thing as “language talent.” Imagine being able to converse with every Tripping host you stay with around the world or every Tripper you host in your city! Please check out Benny’s site to learn more.

"Communicating" with fellow bloggers (Benny on the right.)

Gary Arndt, creator of Everything Everywhere, and arguably the most influential travel blogger graced us with his participation in panel discussions, workshops, and the closing speech of the conference. Although much of his expertise and focus at TBEX was about building a successful blog, he wrapped up the conference with the reminder to never lose sight of your love to travel. I believe this to be something to take home no matter what your profession may be.

We would also like to include a few travel bloggers who we had the pleasure of getting to know this weekend and who are up to some crazy adventures:

Dylan Lowe (aka Traveling Editor) and his Grand Canadian Hitchhike

Michael Hodson (Go, See, Write), Ayngelina Brogan (Bacon is Magic), and Jeannie Mark (Nomadic Chick) will be taking off on their Ultimate Train Challenge along with several other notable travel bloggers.

Sherry Ott of Ott’s World and the Mongol Rally with Dave and Deb from ThePlanetD!

Thank you to everyone who was a part of my first TBEX, first time in Vancouver, and 26th birthday. It’s going to be a tough one to top!


  • http://www.goseewrite.com/ Michael Hodson

    Thanks for mentioning the Ultimate Train Challenge. Was great meeting you in Vancouver and getting to spend a little time with you. Looking forward to more meet ups in the future. (and p.s. Anil of Fox Nomad and Jenny of Where is Jenny will be joining us on the crazy train challenge also — don’t know though if you got to meet them at TBEX. Wandering Earl is the last member, but he wasn’t able to make it to TBEX this year). Thanks again!

    • http://www.goseewrite.com/ Michael Hodson

      and now that I actually look closely… you linked to the full page of participants. Duh. I need to go to sleep.

      • http://twitter.com/WanderLoz Lauren Nicholl

        Haha thanks Michael! Yes, I know there is an incredible list of participants. I was just giving a special shout-out to those of you I got the chance to really hang with at TBEX. I look forward to more meet-ups as well! Keep rocking the Tripping tee! :)

  • http://www.runawayguide.com The Runaway Guide

    I really hope I can attend the TBEX convention next year, it sounded like a blast and a great way to connect, in person, with the many great travel bloggers. I just started my site and I really hope to can gain a readership. I was wondering if you would be willing to exchange links with me or if you are in need of a tripper of the week, it would be a pleasure.
    Safe travels,

  • http://www.baconismagic.ca ayngelina

    It was so great meeting you, I just wish we had more time!

  • http://www.fluentin3months.com Benny the Irish polyglot

    Thanks for the honourable mention :D

    The chaos surrounding the defeat (which I’m glad to say I wasn’t present for) does overshadow a little how absolutely amazing the night of the win on Friday was! I was so glad to have the jersey and giant hand! Man – it’s a pity I had to go home early to get well rested for speaking – I would have loved to have stayed out all night partying!

    I’m sure our paths will cross again – it was great meeting you :)