Travel Peeps I want to Meet at TBEX (8-10)

19 May

Twitter is a small world.  Especially in the travel blogging community.  Let’s face it. Some of us are addicts. Some of us may spend more time on Twitter than we do with our own family or friends.  I may be one of those people. As the Twitter motto is:  follow your interests. Through this motto, I have been fortunate to have met some really amazing bloggers out there who are passionate about travel and life.  I haven’t met most of the people on this list in real life. The ones that I have met in real life, I wish I had a chance to speak with further, mainly because I’m genuinely curious and admire them in some way. Otherwise, I am hoping I can learn from their successes in some way to further better myself.  Bonus: They’re going to be at TBEX  (for those who don’t know, this is a conference called the Travel Blog Exchange) in Vancouver in June.  Holiday! Celebrate!

This is not Marilyn, but the Banff Squirrel (@BanffSquirrel) she made famous! Photo via: National Geographic Traveler

8. Marilyn Terrell (@Marilyn_Res) The grand pooh-bah of all researchers out there; she is the chief researcher of Natioanl Geographic Traveler and very heavily involved in Traveler’s Social Media efforts. (Pssst: you can always find her sharing her knowledge on #TNI on most Thursdays).   She is also famous for finding the picture of that squirrel that popped up in a honeymoon photo and went viral in 2009. This then spawned the birth of @BanffSquirrel and many forthcoming hilarious tweets. Word on the street is that she’s one of the nicest gals around, and of course passionate about travel. My only issue:  Will I actually get to have a conversation with her, without the 500 other attendees hounding her to work at National Geographic? Sigh. Plus, She is one degree of separation from the Holy Grail: Keith Bellows, Editor in Chief of Traveler. You can see for yourself when Kim Mance toured the National Geographic Traveler Offices with Marilyn.    I have a great idea I want to share with her, but how do I approach her without making her feel bombarded?

I can’t think about Andrew Evans without thinking of a penguin.  Photo: National Geographic Bus2Antarctica blog. 

9.  Andrew Evans (@WheresAndrew) Another “celebrity” of the travel community. I like to call him the “Where’s Waldo?” of travel.  His twitter handle should be a revealing clue. Andrew holds the enviable title of Digital Nomad who gets to tweet, video, and blog about his adventures for National Geographic Traveler, where wanderlusters try to decipher the riddles and clues of his upcoming expeditions. My assumption is when he’s not tweeting or speaking, he’ll be pulled in many directions because everyone knows who he is and will maybe get two minutes of his time.  This saddens me, because I would really like to have an in depth conversation with him on how he made it into the industry and how he got the attention of  Traveler. As someone breaking into the industry, how do I go about it? How do I make it while still being able to pay my rent?  Rather, is it possible to juggle an assignment from a publication like Traveler while still holding onto a full time job? (for instance, if I took a leave of absence).  I’d also like to know which destination he feels is under-rated. The great thing about Andrew is that he’s chock full of knowledge on a variety of topics. I would love to talk to him about indie music and compare bands (he wrote a great post on the indie music scene in Melbourne).   My idea: Please do a slideshow of your Bus2Antarctica trip or do a joint slideshow with Pam Mandel (who just went to Antarctica).  I think this will subside those asking him questions and would be a very popular session.

One of Peter’s stunning images in Morocco.  Photo:  Peter West Carey

10. Peter West Carey (@pwcarey) Peter is the all encompassing camera man. He’s the guy you wish would be behind the counter at your local camera store assisting you with such an important investment piece.  Because this is the issue: most guys behind the counter WON’T tell you how to use your camera. My other pet peeve is that most sales guys only let you play with the camera for about 10 minutes before you drop over $500 for a piece of equipment.  (The exception to this rule is the wonderful Pietro of Wolf Camera in San Francisco.)  Peter has a  FREE guide on his site called 31 Days To Better Photography.  He helps you get around the tricky situations you have with the camera from white balance to capturing waterfalls. I know he’ll be speaking at the conference, so we’ll be able to get questions in. I just hope I can geek out with him over my Olympus E-PL2. Maybe he’ll even do a little photo workshop in and around Vancouver that he does in other cities?  Plus, I’m betting he is as witty and cheeky as he is on his site.

Are you going to to TBEX? Who do you want to meet?  And of course, come find me!  I’m a chatty Cathy about the following places and subjects: New York, Paris, Toronto, Buenos Aires (it’s on my list), Barcelona, food, architecture, travel literature, spelling and punctuation, breaking into the industry,  blogging vs. journalism, travel magazines and the people that write  for travel magazines.  This is really a segue to converse about Andrew McCarthy.  What’s your favorite Andrew McCarthy story? Discuss.

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