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Well the time has come yet again, for me to stretch my networking muscles (acute dexterity with champagne in one hand and hors d’oeuvre in the other) and linguistic prowess (shameless lies and flattery) to the travel community. I don’t abhor the gratuitous drinking, but I do seem to falter when it comes to the endless conversations. Last month I came back to Europe (Spain) to get my feet wet at my first travel blogging conference TBEX. However, the world of travel goes far beyond the travel blogosphere obviously, and hacking away on a keyboard in a hammock is only a tiny drop in the bucket of possibilities for a life of jet-setting.
Where might I be stretching these muscles you might ask? Well this event is the World Travel Market, a giant exhibition of PR firms, travel agencies, tourism boards from all over Europe, and it has brought me to jolly old England, where the only thing more frightful than the weather are the prices.
I just arrived and have proceeded to empty my non-existent bank account on getting from one area of town to the other by being crammed next to a stage three obese mob and some punk rockers carrying multiple strains of hepatitis whilst on the Tube (metro). It was everything I hoped for when returning to London after a 12 year sabbatical. Except with more hyperinflation and hypertension than I recall – and a very strange Tube time schedule (who shuts down at midnight on Saturday?).
But the more important question of the day is, why am I here?
Well I have been giving this “making money travel blogging” thing some more thought, especially after witnessing some of the booty doled out after TBEX, where I met many dedicated travel bloggers beaming with optimism who have a serious passion to give back to the world. Which is great, since it will compensate for my zealous pursuit of material possessions and my mild cynical depression. And while I still remain a skeptic of the piles of fortune and fame that can be sent my way, the allure of this dream travel job, at least on the surface, more than buoys the risk of sticking it out in chilly Europe for another week when I could be sambaing with something much more seductive in South America.
Anyway, back to the topic at hand.
So as we have established, the idea of making money travel blogging, on the surface, seems like a great idea. It is basically location independent, has flexibility in monetization (ie, you can sell ebooks, ads, subscriptions, etc) and equally alluring: there is the possibility to score free press trips so you can live out your lavish childish fantasies by going on the luxury trips you never had. The event/conference, World Travel Market, will have over 5,000 companies in attendance and if one is serious about doing press trips, becoming a travel writer, or just wants to understand how the travel industry works, then I reckon this would be a good starting place.
So am I ready? I don’t know. I do not consider myself a writer, a blogger or pretty much much of anything except a guy who slaps keyboard and produces this babble, but I do love the traveling. So at least I got that going for me.
As Shakespeare once said, “Once more unto the breach my dear friends”. Well, I will be breaching this bitch all week, with Jack in one hand, biz card in the other, and will let you know, if this “make money travel blogging” is the real deal or ends up going on my laundry list of events that should be wiped clean of my memory (see: dating in high school, dating in college, dating in young adulthood, dating as an adult).