My First Travel Massive – Thank You, Philadelphia!
Have you ever noticed how you’ll do things when away from home that you haven’t, but could, do at home? It’s strange, right? Why is it travel invites us to explore and meet others in a way we don’t on home turf?
Well, that happened to us in July when I attended my very first Travel Massive.
What’s that? You don’t know what a Travel Massive is? That’s okay: I wasn’t all that clear either.
Travel Massive (formerly Travel Tribe) was started in 2009 in Sydney, Australia by Ian Cumming and Alicia Smith, two newly minted Sydneysiders looking to connect with other people in the local travel industry. It started as a casual meeting on a Sydney rooftop bar with a few others from the online travel industry, and within a few months the meet up had grown to a massive event at the Scary Canary bar in Sydney and was attracting international guests and travel CEOs. Alicia Taggio from Canada then started the meet up in her home town of Toronto … and Travel Massive started to spread around the world.
So, after first confirming with the organisers that a canine guest was welcome, we decided to go. It happened to be on when we were visiting Philadelphia anyway. Talk about good timing!
I had a blast! First, I got to meet other travel bloggers. I mean, let’s face it, we are an eclectic bunch! Our Philadelphia hostess, Suzanne of “The Boomeresque,” was there with us of course (someone had to make sure we didn’t get lost) and we also got to meet Kae Lani Kennedy from “A Travel Broad.” She’s now a food critic too. (That’s a gig I’d like to take on!) What an honour to meet these people! We were thrilled!
I also met some other folks who seemed to be charmed by me, none more so than author Stacia Friedman. (blush) Stacia recently published her book Nothing Toulouse. I think I have a devoted fan there!
I met folks from every part of the travel industry at the Massive: travel agents, travel start-ups, photographers, travel professionals, people who are just curious about travel, people interested in promoting travel within their city, folks offering new and fun activities (like City Segway Tours!) and, of course, travel bloggers. The Massive is where business cards are exchanged, ideas flow back and forth, and the wonderful art of networking happens. Some “I will scratch your back if you will scratch mine” is always a win-win.
And then there was the food. I personally enjoyed some pizza and cupcakes. Mom tried the yummy ice cream.
Dad had a microbrewery beer and, overall, we just had a really good time! The fun part for me is that for some, meeting me was their highlight. (tail wag) That is really nice to hear… or read. We even enjoyed the little speeches. How often can you say that?
So, if I ever find out there is a Travel Massive in a city I happen to be visiting, I will definitely attend. (As long as they allow canines, of course.)
But back to my starting point about doing things when travelling and not at home … It was funny that my first Travel Massive was in Philadelphia since not only do Toronto and Montreal have meet ups, but Ottawa does too! Every second Thursday of each month, no less! So I am going to see if I can attend or, at the very least, send in a biped as a scout. (Our bylaws are not very pet friendly here.) Ottawa has a diverse travel industry, so I am curious to find who attends my local Travel Massive chapter.
Have you ever been to a Travel Massive? Where? What did you think? Have you done or attended something else in another country that you could have tried at home but didn’t?