If you don’t and are like me when it comes to technology (Ironic and I don’t blame you) hearing that I went to Canada is news.
So… I went to Canada! Land of Poutine, where people say “sorry” too often as well as “aboot” and the not as common as you would think, “aye”.
I stayed in Toronto for a bit then headed north to Peterborough and The Kawarthas for a few days. (If you haven’t heard of Peterborough and The Kawarthas you will soon, it’s beautiful there!)
What was I doing in Canada?
I went to Canada for TBEX (Travel Blog EXchange) and for a press trip further north immediately after. TBEX is currently the largest travel blogging conference out there. This year there were over 1200 bloggers who had registered, not to mention various companies and PR people.
Not only did I want to go to meet up with all of the people I had met online through blogging and travel, but also because I figure if I want to get serious about adventure travel blogging I need to become more active in/with it.
The conference was something else
I actually ended up taking a road trip from northern Colorado all the way to Toronto for it. I had no plans of where to stay (as usual) but ended up finding out last-minute that WE Hostels was going to put me up at the HI Youth Hostel for the weekend. (Thank you guys for that!)
The conference was from Friday to Sunday. I got into town Thursday night, enjoyed the night life a bit then began the conference with a canoe paddling tour Friday morning (post coming soon).
As for what happened after that, it was kind of non-stop that weekend. For about 3 days straight it went from seminars to parties back and forth with networking during and in between.
About the seminars…
I’ll admit I didn’t attend every one I could. Many of the times the seminars were packed and there was no room to squeeze in. Aside from that, many of them covered a lot of the basics of blogging and photography.
I’m not a prominent name in adventure travel blogging or photography (yet), but I have been doing it for over 2 years now. Many of the seminars were geared towards a lot of the newer guys, which is great. This industry is huge and there is room for others.
I’m not complaining, but rather taking it as a kick in the ass in regards to my blogging and writing habits.
It’s not magic
There is no “secret” ingredient to becoming a big blogger. Those at the top are the people who are the most passionate and the biggest hustlers.
I went with the intention to network and find out what the “secret” was. Then I realized the only secret is that I’m not applying myself enough. I know what I have to do. I’ve listened to the big names repeat what I know. It’s nothing new, I just have to start applying it to my blog.
Easier said than done right?
Let me backtrack a couple of posts to where I put in my notice at my job.
Me, quitting my job, for a wild shot at this lifestyle…that just happened.
I’m not obligated to anything any more. My “survival” is on my own shoulders at this point. I said that earlier too. I jumped off the cliff, but not without the tools to make a parachute on the way down.
Granted, I’m free-falling and have little time, but I am able to do it. I know that, that’s why I jumped.
I’m an adventure travel blogger/photographer
That’s what my business card reads. That’s what I’m passionate about. That’s how I was introducing myself and being introduced. Also, that’s what I had to explain to the guy at the border who had no idea what that meant. ha
He asked if I was like Spiderman. Doing crazy stuff and setting up the perfect shots for what I do. I kinda like that actually. Becoming Spiderman… ; ) (I feel a post coming, don’t steal that!)
What’s my direction?
Most of my takeaways came from many of the people who I met throughout the conference. I went in somewhat hesitant with what I had going on and now have a head full of ideas on what I want to do.
First, I initially loved the idea of the title “Where’s Pablo?” and after sometime its worn off. I started to feel like it was too centered on me. I brought this up to a lot of people at the conference and they all thought I was silly for thinking so. I’m creating a personal brand and the idea of the title was reinforced which felt great.
Also, after going on the press trip, I realized that is an avenue that I don’t mind taking. (more on that later)
I’ve been saying this, but I need to be more personal with my blog and really focus on my passions. This conference and press trip helped me blatantly see that. Maybe not necessarily the conference itself, but the people in it. People read and expect certain things, I need to become more of who I say I am and show it more through this.
TBEX was a step in the right direction for me. Hopefully this isn’t the last TBEX I attend and maybe at some point the roles will be switched and I can be motivating others to stick with what they’re passionate about, commit to it, and see it through.