TBEX 2011 officially confirms that I’m not a Jabroni

Leaving Vancouver after TBEX was a little surreal. After meeting so many like minded travellers, writers, and people involved in the tourism industry, it was sad to say goodbye. Fortunately, bigger and better things are on the horizon which are giving me a new lease on my future in the travel writing industry.

Vancouver Convention Centre during TBEX 2011

I’ve taken away so much from the writing conference. From the sessions, the advice from industry professionals, to even the profound conversations I had with fellow travellers. It seemed like everyone was “getting it”. There is a future for independent travel writers, there is a future for online blogs, there is a future for a small niche website dedicated to the budget travel & outdoor adventure in Canada.

I lost count of how many people I met over the weekend who asked “So what do you do?”. After the 20th time I started to have fun with it. The question would be asked, and I would strike a pose, directing their attention with my finger to the nametag above my right bosom. “You backpack Canada?” “Yep, I Backpack Canada”. I would then go on to explain what I’ve done and what I want to do, and typically things went good. In fact, 9 times out of 10 things went great.

Advice was given by the barrels, and I received a lot of insight into where the future of Travel Writing lies. One thing many people (not just bloggers) were agreeing on, is that it wasn’t in print. The first place anyone goes when seriously considering travel is the internet. You google the cost of a flight, you google a review, you find photos to see if its something you might enjoy. This has become the normal behaviour, and for some reason it took hearing it from writers I aspire to be like to fully believe.

All doubts that I ever had have been wiped off the face of every neuron in my brain. I Backpack Canada is here to stay. It will evolve. It has a future, and most importantly, it has a purpose.

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