My first time at TBEX; the conference for travel bloggers

My first time at TBEX; the conference for travel bloggers


As a first timer at TBEX I really had no idea what to expect.  I had been wandering solo around South America for a year but I was more nervous about meeting nearly 400 travel bloggers than catching my night bus to a remote Amazon town and swimming in a lake with piranhas and alligators.

I needn’t have worried.  Once I had got past the stress of deciphering the official TBEX website (TBEX administrators: please take note – a glossary for newbies would be ENORMOUSLY useful) and once I had juggled my trips, hostels and hotels, I jumped on my last minute flight to Barcelona.

There was a fabulous Welcome party in the grounds of the Hotel Santa Marta where old friends caught up and mingled with the new.  We were fed and watered like royalty, entertained and educated over the course of the conference at the Evenia Olympic Resort and we had the opportunity to see all that Lloret de Mar had to offer tourists.  We were treated to a sangria reception courtesy of Eurail and there was a closing party sponsored by Lloret de Mar and Costa Brava. My FAM Trip (luckily I eventually worked out that these were not restricted to families before all the spaces were taken up) was my first major press trip and I couldn’t have asked for a better introduction as I was wined, dined and shown all that the Pla de l’Estany region in Catalunya had to offer.

And after all of that, I decamped to the resort of Platja d’Aro where I recovered my senses at the Hotel Planamar for 6 nights.  It was here that I made plans to take my blog to the next level, inspired and encouraged by all of the people that I had met over the previous week. Not everything is rosy in my life and I still have some very dark days, and while I certainly wish that some things had been dealt with or had turned out differently, I do not regret for one minute handing in my resignation, quitting my job and taking off to follow my dreams.

I can’t mention everybody by name but I will keep in touch with and collaborate with many bloggers and quite a few of the show sponsors and I am also intending to be at TBEX in Bangkok. But I do want to mention and thank Jaume Marin, the director of Patronat Turisme Costa Brava Girona and his team who put together a most spectacular package of opportunities and who showcased Catalunya, at its very best and the hotels which hosted me – the Hotel la Sala de Camos in Banyoles and the Hotel Planamar in Platja d’Aro


The Costa Brava and TBEX

The Costa Brava and TBEX

Where am I off to next?

TBEX is the world’s largest gathering of travel bloggers, writers and new media content creators who will be meeting in Spain this week, and I am VERY excited to be a part of it.

The TBEX conference itself takes place in Lloret de Mar over two days, beginning with a welcome beach party, complete with food, drink and entertainment but there are events and press trips arranged across two weeks.

I get into Barcelona on Sunday and will stay at my hostel which is in the thick of the city.  I will be taking part in two separate tours to see parts of Barcelona which are new to me, before heading up to Lloret on Thursday.

the view from my hostel rooftop terrace

In Lloret I was unable to reserve a room at one of the conference base hotels (or at least at a price that I could afford to pay) so I am staying in the town at a hotel with a pool and a gym and hopefully wonderful wifi as I will need to be doing an awful lot of work over the weekend.

Following the conference I will be heading south to Salou for a few days where I believe I have 4 nights free in a hotel (courtesy of links with TBEX) and where I can catch up on some R&R and much writing.

I am excited that I will be meeting lots of other travel bloggers – many whom I have been following avidly myself since before I was blogging, but I also will be pitching my plans for an online programme to members of the travel industry.

I have been busy putting together a digital e-course which I hope will encourage people to grow their self confidence and self esteem via the the medium of travel.  Whilst is is still in the draft stage (thank you to my little band of testers) I am bursting with ideas and enthusiasm for it.

So follow me and learn what goes on at a travel blogger convention (I am quite in the dark at this stage myself) and see how my ideas for my new concept are received.

I could also mention here that I am pleased to be flying  to once again with Norwegian Air – my new best airline – who have again have come in the cheapest for my dates and destination (future discounts and free flights gratefully received)

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