Travel Massive

I went to a Travel Massive meet up. And I had a great time.

I heard about Travel Massive through Evelyn Hannon, who encouraged me to go to a meeting last week. I’m so glad I went. It’s an amazing group of travel bloggers (and people in the travel industry) who get together to talk shop and basically have all the coolest people in Toronto in one room (that’s not how they advertise themselves, but it might as well be). Since everyone was a traveller and had been new to the group at one point (and, more importantly, remembered having been new to the group), they were all super nice, and I met some really cool people.

The folks at the meet up came from various backgrounds. Some had full time non-travel-related jobs and blogged part time, others made a living off of blogging (or close to), and some worked for big travel companies, like G Adventures. We talked about everything from getting started, to best trip, to worst trip, to dream destination, and everything in between. I realized that one of the most important things to remember when trying to become a successful (or at least competent) travel blogger is to keep going.

Stuff won’t just fall into my lap; I’ve got to dedicate a significant amount of time to pursuing this. I also have to get my name out there – this is not something I’m great at. I really am going to have to start being better at staying in touch with contacts, asking for help and advice, and self-promoting. However, to be fair, I feel like I am hampered by the fact that I don’t have internet at my house, and am forced to go to libraries or coffee shops whenever I want to get online. It’s definitely a minor problem (#firstworldproblems anyone?), but it’s getting bigger.

You’re probably thinking – duh. That’s the same for anything. And I know that, but sometimes I just need someone to point the obvious out to me.

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Meeting Evelyn Hannon

It’s very rare that you leave a conversation with someone and feel inspired to be a better person. But that’s what happened when I walked away from my conversation with Evelyn Hannon, otherwise known as Journey Woman. She’s an incredible woman, who runs one of the largest travel websites for women in the world.
It all started with a 35-day trip back in 1983. At that time, Evelyn noted, it was not common for women to travel on their own. She got a lot of strange looks, and people who were curious where her husband/boyfriend/father/brother was. But she overcame this, as well as other obstacles, and became an inspiration to other women looking to travel on their own.
It had never occurred to me that there was a time, so recently, when it was frowned upon for women to be solo travellers. It seems like such a foreign concept. Nowadays, while I do sometimes get surprised looks that I’m travelling on my own, it’s really not that much of an issue. I barely thought twice about embarking on a cross-Canada cycling tour as a lone female. Now I know that that’s only because of women like Evelyn, who helped to break down the gender barrier for solo travel.