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Gearing-up for TBEX and BlogHouse in Toronto, Canada

This weekend I’m traveling to Toronto, Canada for the first time to attend Navigate Media Group’s BlogHouse workshop and my first-ever travel blogging conference. The Travel Blog Exchange (TBEX) is the largest gathering of travel writers, bloggers, and new media content creators in the world! Needless to say, I am simultaneously ecstatic and nervous as a newbie!

Preparing for the biggest event of the year (in the travel blogging world) is a very daunting, nerve-racking task! I can relate it to cramming for a final exam or writing a big paper in grad school at the (ahem) last minute. I’m a procrastinator. That’s always been a problem for me (cue stress, sleepless nights, panic). However, I will say that some of my “best work” was created under those very tenuous, pressure-cooker situations.

So here I am, a mere two days out from flying to Toronto, trying to make my schedule for the weekend (I want to attend all of the events at once!), make appointments to “speed date” with travel companies and tourist boards, research said companies and cities/states/countries (of tourist boards), create a media kit to provide to these companies and tourism boards (Media kit? What’s a media kit?), compile all of my seemingly unending questions I’d like to find answers to or advice on, creating content for my “normal” weekly posts (like the one you’re reading right now), all the while, talking to various web designers and developers and reviewing various mock-ups with a scrutinizing eye in an attempt to have a “professional looking blog” as soon as possible (unfortunately, this won’t roll out until after TBEX). Phew. Like that run-on sentence? That’s how my life feels this week. If only I could steal a few more hours…a few more days….to get everything just right. Then again, when are you ever 100% prepared for anything in life?

I’m also approaching these events from the perspective of a student, or maybe better- an apprentice. My overarching goal for the next two weeks is to learn as much as possible and to improve my blog and my skills. I think I am most excited about The BlogHouse, to which I’ve had the extreme fortune of being invited to attend. Actually, I applied and was one of the twelve bloggers selected to attend! I can not wait to pick the brains of some of my favorite travel bloggers, learn best practices, brainstorm, work on photography and video, practice pitching, and meet fellow travel bloggers also fairly new on the scene. I’m a little start-struck, as well, that Gary Arndt from Everything Everywhere will be stopping by one night to hob knob with us, the next generation of travel bloggers.

Oh, and we get to stay in a castle:


De La Salle Victorian Castle in Downtown Toronto  citation

That reminds me, I need to charge my Nikon D3100 batteries…

These are the prolific “Senior bloggers” who will be mentoring and guiding us through the week: Pete and Dalene Heck – Hecktic Travels, Sherry Ott- Otts World, Lisa Lubin- LLWorld Tour, Michael Tieso- Art of Backpacking, Stephanie Yoder –Twenty-Something Travel, Cailin O’Neil- Travel Yourself, Michael Hodson- Go See Write, Matt Gibson- Matt Gibson.

How KEWL?! What a great cross-section of fantastic and successful bloggers!

And these are my compatriots (the BlogHouse participants): Megan- Megano Travels, Noah- Somewhere or Bust, Keryn- Walking on Travels, Mara- Mother of All Trips, Alana- Paper Planes Blog, Melissa- Suitcase and Heels, Emma- An Opportune Moment, Alouise- Traveler Ahoy, Kay- The Kay Days, Stephanie- Nerd At Large, Cacinda- Points and Travel.

Please check out their blogs. These are amazing people with fascinating, funny stories and invaluable travel tips!

Did I mention that we will be staying in a castle?

citation -TBEX

I wish you were here?  citation

I will have much more to say and blog about TBEX and BlogHouse in the upcoming weeks. Stay tuned! I’m excited to take you along this learning adventure with me!

xo, Lindsay

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26 Responses to Gearing-up for TBEX and BlogHouse in Toronto, Canada

  1. alliblair May 24, 2013 at 11:46 AM #

    Tell me more!! What exactly do you DO at these types of conferences! How did you sign up? What are the costs involved? What do you take away! Man, had no idea. Toronto is just 2 hrs away from me. Maybe next time!

    • The Traveluster May 24, 2013 at 2:50 PM #

      @alliblair they are still selling tickets to the conference if you are interested! Check it out on their website A ticket for the three days costs $127 for bloggers. I’ve never been, but the schedule looks amazing. It’s huge for networking (with both other bloggers and potential partners in the travel industry) and I imagine extremely informative. There are all of these events and parties at night, too, so it should be quite fun! I’m staying at Canadian backpackers for about $25 a night- there may be room still! Seriously, you should go! Let me know what you decide! Would love to meet you. Oh, and I think the N America location changes every year? The next one in Europe is in Dublin in October. I’m planning on going to that one as well!

      • alliblair May 25, 2013 at 3:32 PM #

        Hey! I think I’m going to register… I still can!! The itinerary is a bit overwhelming! Looks great. I take it there’s a bunch going on and you just go with whatever one you want? Seem like lots of fun! Once I register is the itinerary a little easier to follow along? 🙂

      • alliblair May 25, 2013 at 3:46 PM #

        Are the tours open to sign up for AFTER i register? It looks like it says all tours are closed for registration… but I’m not sure if that’s just because I haven’t registered at all yet?

      • The Traveluster May 25, 2013 at 4:35 PM #

        I think the tours are all full. I wasn’t able to resister for any of them. I’m just going to site-see on my own in between Bloghouse and TBEX. I’m doing a day tour to Niagra with Moose Travel Network on Friday b/f the kick off. So, I just went through the 2 day TBEX scheduled today and added the sessions i wanted to attend to my calendar. There are several time slots with 3 sessions I’d like to attend all happening at the same time, so it will be a game-time decision at that point 🙂 (although one or two are being led by some of my favorite bloggers- so it may come down to that) – we should swap email info so we can get in touch and meet up!

      • alliblair May 27, 2013 at 7:19 AM #

        Hey Lindsay! What is your e-mail? I finally think I figured out how this thing works lol. I originally didn’t think there was so much flexibility! Wow, so many lectures to choose from… I’m gonna look them all over now and choose which ones I wanna do. Are you doing the Centre Island ferry on the Saturday night? Send me your e-mail and we can go over our plans! 😀

  2. alliblair May 24, 2013 at 11:51 AM #

    I wanna go!!!!!

  3. Expat Eye May 24, 2013 at 12:04 PM #

    Sounds amazing! The castle is just the icing on the cake!

  4. l-jeezy May 24, 2013 at 3:44 PM #

    have an amazing time, lu!! we have to challenge ourselves to grow. you’re gonna have a blast. xx

  5. Lisa Lubin (@llworldtour) May 24, 2013 at 4:24 PM #

    Hi Lindsay! I’m really looking forward to meeting you at Bloghouse next week. I just read your about page and first post…and I know I will be giving you a big hug. So glad you started your blog!

    • The Traveluster May 24, 2013 at 5:42 PM #

      Thanks, Lisa! So excited to meet you! We have a tuxedo cat (Sosuke) who looks kind of like your sweet Beast did. Looking forward to getting to know you and picking your brain! Oh, and I LOVE Chicago! I’ve only been once, but my sisters and I decided that we needed to have an annual girls trip there (or that one of us should move there so we could all visit- all the time).

  6. Megan Allene Smith (@meganotravels) May 24, 2013 at 9:35 PM #

    As I was writing an almost exact copy of this post (without having seen it!), I checked my stats and saw that I had a visitor from this post and popped over to see that you are equally as excited and nervous as I am about the BlogHouse and TBEX! I’m really looking forward to meeting you and to learning as much as possible from each other and the senior bloggers! As Cailin said, only three more sleeps! 🙂

    • The Traveluster May 25, 2013 at 8:20 AM #

      I can’t wait! I still feel so unprepared (as with anything exciting and important in life, I think!) Excited to meet you- and I have a feeling I may be seeing you again in ATX in the near future!

  7. Erin Elizabeth May 25, 2013 at 7:00 AM #

    I just wanted to share my blog with fellow like minded traveller. Hope you enjoy my hiliarious Ecuadorian adventure as much as I have enjoyed reading yours.

    • The Traveluster May 25, 2013 at 8:22 AM #

      @atruetalltale Thanks! Just hopped over to your site. I love Ecuador and look forward to following your journey there!

  8. © Keryn Means/ walking on travels May 25, 2013 at 9:52 PM #

    Thanks so much for the shout out! Very excited to meet everyone in Bloghouse and see some friends at TBEX. It will be an awesome time for sure!

  9. Gary Arndt (@EverywhereTrip) May 27, 2013 at 10:43 PM #

    Looking forward to meeting you too!

    • The Traveluster June 3, 2013 at 10:00 AM #

      @EverywhereTrip I’m bummed I missed the opportunity for a hand-shake hello, but so glad you came to bloghouse to chat with us! Would love to do an interview with you at some point soon!

  10. Alison June 3, 2013 at 7:09 PM #

    Thank you for this fabulous list of travel bloggers! Off to do a little research 🙂

    • The Traveluster June 3, 2013 at 7:53 PM #

      @Allison – they are THE BEST! And just such fantastic people to boot!

  11. PointsandTravel ✈ (@Pointsandtravel) June 3, 2013 at 7:15 PM #

    We did have fun! So great to meet you!

    • The Traveluster June 3, 2013 at 7:51 PM #

      Likewise, Cindy! I’m sad its over! I wish EVERYONE could go to Dublin, and we could relive the glory days!


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