Recently, I attended an international travel bloggers conference in Athens, Greece. As some of my good friends know I plan to launch a travel blog and website next year focusing on affordable luxury ideas for solo women travelers. This conference was on my "to do list" as part of my research and launch preparation. The three day conference was great with many substantive breakout sessions, short course options and lots of influential networking. Being a complete blogging novice, I decided to take the travel writing pre-conference course. I was concerned I would be "laughed at" because I had absolutely no prior travel writing experience but I decided to ignore my fears and "go for it." Glad I did. The class was made up of 12 highly interesting people that have been writing about fascinating travels. I struggled through the in-class and homework writing assignments but in the end I was quite pleased with what I had learned and accomplished. My travel essay, "The Unforgettable Taxi Ride," will be my next blog post.
The biggest plus of the course and conference was I to got to know and socialize with the travel writer rock star, David Farley our workshop instructor. I failed to look up his bio when I signed up but when we got through our individual introductions at the first session I almost fell out of my chair. Mr. Farley is an award-winning travel, food and culture writer. He is a contributing writer to AFAR, Conde Nast, Travel and Leisure and National Geographic Traveler magazines as well as the major news publications such as the New York Times, the Los Angeles Times and the Washington Post. His prize winning stories have been consistently featured in the Best American Travel Writing books series. Irronically, I had read the 2013 book in this series and remembered reading his "Vietnam Bowl Secrets" piece. Currently, he is an adjunct professor at Columbia University and also teaches writing at New York University. To say the least, I was intimidated by his reputation but I gave it my best.
In the photo Dave and I are sharing a glass of wine during a delicious taverna lunch with our classmates. Bottomline; The class and the entire TBEX travel bloggers conference was a blast and I definitely learned a lot!!