TravelCon – A convention for travel bloggers/writers
MY NEW T-SHIRT
After a momentous year of travel involving three wonders of the world and the Great Barrier Reef, it’s been a mixed bag that included chipped teeth, a torn rotator cuff, a stolen iPad, and a lost pair of Prada prescription dark glasses which blew overboard on a snorkeling trip. After chipping my teeth, busting my lip, and tearing my rotator cuff when I fell down in Guadeloupe in February, I was in so much pain that I considered shortening my travels for 2018.
As it turned out, I ended up going the distance and scored my 100th. country on May 22nd. when I touched down in the Maldives. I nursed my shoulder through the months, and managed to do quite a bit of scuba diving. Avoiding injury while getting in and out of the equipment was a tricky endeavor.
After traveling for almost four years, where do I lose my luggage? In the United States courtesy of American Airlines of course.
I arrive at TravelCon at a most opportune time to take my victory lap, meet my tribe, and figure out where I am going with all of this. Will I take the blog to the next level or just keep it as an amusing travelogue and hobby? How long will I continue to travel excessively? Hopefully, I’ll come up with answers to these questions during the convention.
It would be nice to become a published travel writer on top of all of my adventuring, but it is great to have so many open options at my disposal in my current status as international vagabond and person on permanent vacation. I pretty much travel around, meet people, have adventures, consume delicious and exotic foods, have weekends off, and I am my own boss. I could be living in an “if it ain’t broke don’t fix it” proposition.
It’s sort of like what Harry Nielsen sings in “Everybody’s Talkin”
Everybody’s talking at me
I don’t hear a word they’re saying
Only the echoes of my mind
People stopping, staring
I can’t see their faces
Only the shadows of their eyes
I’m going where the sun keeps shining
Through the pouring rain
Going where the weather suits my clothes
Banking off of the northeast winds
Sailing on a summer breeze
And skipping over the ocean like a stone
NICK HUGGINS – The leader of our Austin Food Tour – Here he is cradling a bucket of chicken.
BURRO – Purveyor of spicy grilled sandwiches on sourdough bread.
Here we have Keir modeling a delicious sandwich. Her specialty is fashion and female solo travel.
TORCHY’S TACOS – One of Torchy’s Tacos minions offers up a tasty treat.
TripAdvisor – Everybody’s favorite travel search engine that is offering new features for its users.
NOMADIC MATT – Number one travel blogger and TravelCon founder with one million followers per month.
KIERSTEN RICH – The Blond Abroad
THE BLONDE ABROAD’S REVENUE – An exceptional blogger and inspiration in our community.
ONE OF MANY COCKTAIL PARTIES
SIGHTS AND SOUNDS OF SIXTH STREET
POLICE – TEXAS STYLE
There are easily over a dozen bars within three blocks that offer live music. This is my kind of town. Tex-Mex and quality barbecue complete the package.
The unpleasant byproduct of dozens of bars is the large quantity of drunken douches.
AN EXCEPTIONAL DOUCHEBAG – Here we have a MAGA hat sporting, f#ck antifa t-shirt wearing, white supremacist shithead. His momma probably didn’t breastfeed him when he was a child, and he spent his time here trying to provoke confrontations so as to gain attention. A pretty pathetic specimen of a human being.
Most of the bands can be seen and heard from the street so you can shop around for the sound you prefer. The bar is set pretty high in Austin so there is a lot of quality and variety to be found here.
BACK AT THE CONFERENCE
FLYTE – Foundation for Leadership and Youth Travel Education
The Foundation for Learning and Youth Travel Education (FLYTE) is a nonprofit organization that empowers youth living in underserved communities through transformative travel experiences. Today’s education system provides very little in the way of global education, and many struggling schools and teachers have little or no opportunity to offer their students access to resources that can provide any type of experiential international education. FLYTE was created to change that.
Being a Travel Zealot, this is a philanthropic initiative that truly resonates on a deep level. Having traveled for years, I believe that there is no better classroom than that of world travel and the resulting exposure to different cultures. It promotes accelerated learning, stimulates hope, and expands one’s horizons. I plan to get involved with this project in the near future. Travel changed my life, and it can make a difference in the lives of underprivileged youth.
NOMADIC MATT & ROLPH POTTS
THE TRAVEL ZEALOT & NOMADIC LEGEND ROLPH POTTS AT THE FINAL PARTY
Rolph Potts is the author of “Vagabonding”, one of the truly inspired pieces of writing covering long term travel with a philosophical bent. It could be considered a nomads bible, and it was nice to meet him after reading it five years ago, before embarking upon my journey.
TravelCon had copious cocktail parties with open bar, and supplied many tasty meals over the three days of the convention. It ran incredibly smoothy on its maiden voyage, and Matt and his team deserve a round of applause for their efforts.
The speakers were superb and it was nice to rub elbows with so many noteworthy bloggers. Frankly just hanging out with my peers here in Austin would have been worth the price of admission. I have already bought my ticket and booked my hotel for next years event in Boston.
THE PECAN FESTIVAL – SIXTH STREET – YOUR AVERAGE, REGULAR, BORING STREET FAIR
MY ROOMMATES AT THE FIREHOUSE HOSTEL RECEIVE A PITCH
KEEPING AUSTIN WEIRD
KEEPING AUSTIN FED
VOODOO DOUGHNUT – SEEMINGLY AN INSTITUTION HERE
FIREHOUSE HOSTEL – The Firehouse Hostel is a hostel in a repurposed firehouse. It features a speakeasy style bar behind the bookcase in the reception area.
LOUNGE BEHIND THE BOOKCASE
ODDITIES MUSEUM in a shop.