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Travel interviews, social media, a travel community, and TNI

August 12, 2010
by budgettravelsac

When I first started writing, I never knew how much of a travel community existed out there or how much social media and networking mattered.  I wrote, crossed my fingers that people would be interested, and put my stuff out there.  I quickly found out, that’s not how things work.

I got a few friends to read here and there but in this process, I discovered that I loved what I was doing (this will be a follow up post later to Part I The search for job satisfaction).  In whatever you do, having a passion for it is the first step before you get anyone to care else to care about it.

I discovered Twitter after writing for a bit but it wasn’t until March that I really learned the value of a travel community.  I have connected with so many people all over the world through Twitter and other social media sites and am grateful for the people that love travel like I do.  Another great discovery has been #TNI (Traveler’s Night In) where people “get together” to discuss and share their answers to 10 questions on a travel topic each Thursday.

The lesson from all of this – no matter what you do, people are essential part enjoying life to the fullest.  While I’ve wanted to be a great travel writer and blogger, I found that my real success through this is that this travel community.  Not for what I have gained from it through writing but what I have learned from other people and the connections that have been built through a love of travel.

As a result, I have been inspired even more to write by learning, reading, and getting to know others.  I know many people love to blog and read about travel.  However, my greatest inspiration is getting to know the people behind the stories and the blogs.

As a result, my focus on writing lately has been on guest posts and interviews.  I love the interview aspect because I get to understand and connect with people by learning more about them that you may never read in a post or article.

So far, I’ve had guest posts and interviews with Ted Nelson (Part I and Part II) and Jenna Francisco (Part I and Part II) and I’ve got many more lined up.  In going over some of these interviews, it’s amazing how much I have in common with people who grew up in places and cultures so different than my own.  I’ve also grown in my admiration for the people I’ve gotten to know.

One of the interviews I did recently is an upcoming three part series with ZipSetGo’s April Mescher.  It was fascinating to get her take on travel, her perspective in the industry, and information on her personal life and travels.  Today, I just posted Part I of this interview with April (Social media and a travel community – an interview with ZipSetGo’s April Mescher Part I) in honor of today’s TNI on “Pay It Forward” (an idea I am sure came from April).  If you don’t get stories from her on this, I will share one later (her personal story will be featured here on this blog).

With all of the reading, writing, connecting, and interviewing through Twitter and social media, I am amazed how getting to know people and reading their blogs and articles has really helped me feel connected.  Believe it or not, there is a real travel community out there that goes far beyond our shared passion.

A lesson we have all learned in our travels is that some of our greatest experiences and memories are those with people.  The same can be said of travel writing, Twitter, TNI, and the travel community that we have built.

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2 Comments leave one →
  1. August 12, 2010 10:07 am

    Nice write up and I agree – the bonus or the real thrill for me with social media (whether in the travel industry or not) is connecting with people both online and off. It’s always fun to find someone new you relate to through a post, I look forward to more of these interactions.

    Wanderfly actually just wrote a piece on the role of social media in travel that you might enjoy:

    • August 14, 2010 9:18 pm

      Thanks Alisa. It’s amazing how much travel has changed in the last decade. You probably saw my interview with April Mescher who has developed a thing called #TNI on Twitter which has taken off among travelers. I also did one called Travel with Twitter: use social networking for a better vacation.

      I used to think of Twitter as a way to promote my writing and travel. Now, I treasure it for the connections I have made.

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