Connecting Travelers in a Digital Age

by Jessica on July 1, 2010    |    Add a Comment »
Tags: Jessie, TBEX


I spent last weekend in New York at the second Travel Blog Exchange conference with colleagues Sean Keener and Katie Hammel, and since the trip was a whirlwind of activity (for more than just me) it’s been interesting to watch the recaps filter through the blogosphere over the last few days. It’s easy to say “what a great weekend, that was so much fun” – and it was. But in order to make sense of what the weekend was about, especially to a group of travel bloggers and writers, it’s taking a bit more time to process.

For me, the biggest part of TBEX – and, in fact, the reason for the formation of the group – is the people. I dearly love what I do, even if it means sitting in my house for days on end tapping away at a computer keyboard and not really interacting with anyone aside from my cats and my husband, and I also love that what I do has led me to meet so many incredible people. It’s things like TBEX that let me turn those virtual meetings into real-life meetings, and I can’t thank the organizers enough for that.

Not all travel bloggers are predisposed to craving human interaction, as blogging is a solitary art and travel is often about observation. I feel lucky, then, that so many of the people I’ve interacted with online have turned out to be gregarious folk who are as engaging in person as I hoped they’d be. Simply buying an around the world ticket doesn’t make someone interesting or outgoing, nor does it make them a travel blogger. So while TBEX certainly attracts a particular sub-set of the travel community, it’s one that seems to be growing.

A scan around the conference auditorium or the social get-togethers at any given moment offered an interesting mix of feedback. For one thing, we travel bloggers like our technology. There was many a bowed head in a darkened bar, faces glowing from their smartphone screens, as we updated Twitter or scouted out the next stop on an NYC tour. But for all the travel iPhone apps that we think are helpful or just plain cool, for many there’s nothing that replaces the quality of conversation you get when you meet someone face to face. If we were all so devoted to technology that we preferred chatting via @-replies, those bars would have been significantly quieter.

Using technology to facilitate interactions with real human beings, however, is something I think all of us at TBEX can get behind. Being able to talk online with others who shared a common interest in travel is why BootsnAll was founded back in 1998, and it’s why we were so excited to launch BootsnAll Travel Connect just last month. Reading a travel guide online can help you travel better, but there’s nothing like getting personal tips on the best out-of-the-way tapas from someone living in Madrid, or hearing about a festival or special event that happens to be going on in Santiago while you’re in town. And without technology, it would be much more challenging to have instant connections in destinations all over the world.

I’m very much looking forward to next year’s TBEX conference in Vancouver, BC, and I know I’m not alone in that – but the travel bloggers I met last weekend and who I regularly interact with online won’t wait until next year to connect again. We’re engaging every single day, both online and off, in front of our computers and in real life meet-ups. At least for me, the border between my online life and my offline life is getting more and more blurry – and I love it.

>> To read more about BootsnAll’s experience at TBEX this year, here’s our TBEX 2010 Wrap-Up and Photos, Lessons Every Travel Blogger Can Learn from TBEX, and a personal Ode to Some of the People I Met at TBEX 2010.

photo by Sarah Sloboda


What is BootBlog?

BootBlog is the company blog of the BootsnAll Travel Network, a company that has been connecting travellers since 1998. Our goal is to inspire, educate and cultivate an organic community of independent travellers. But what does that mean? Well, we love to travel and we love to connect other travellers who have the desire to get out and see this great world of ours. BootBlog will showcase what is going on around the office, around the company and within our community of travellers.

Top Categories

 

Featured Post

BootsnAll Launches Traveler Connect Facebook App
BootsnAll Travel Network is launching a Facebook application to connect travelers. Portland, Oregon June 21, 2010 -- BootsnAll Travel Network has created a Facebook application -- BootsnAll Traveler Connect -- that helps connect travelers. The app lets you find other travelers going to the same place you are, or connect with locals living there. Users can ask travel questions, arrange … [Read more]

Member Spotlight

BootsnAll Member Bideshi in Portland
It's been awhile since we had a BootsnAll member stop by the office. However, thank to a recent post on the message boards wondering where the Boots Crew were these days, we managed to arrange lunch with Bideshi, aka Mike (blue shirt below). bideshi-apr10 With a couple of stints working in South … [Read more]

Events

Boston Globe Travel Show for (Almost) Free!
BostonAwhile back I posted here about getting into the Boston Globe Travel Show for free. Turns out that was for the trade conference during the day on Friday Feb 19th, not the travel show for regular consumers like you and me that runs from the evening of Friday, February 19 to … [Read more]

When you're looking for Cellphone Rentals, try our friends at GoNomad.



BootsnAll on Facebook
BootsnAll Helps you travel
Destinations
Flights
Beds
RTW Travel
Community
Travel Insurance
Adventure Travel
More BootsnAll
Travel Insights 100  Travel Maven

BnA on Twitter

Archives

We Recommend: