#TBEX bound: Travel Blog Exchange conference Q and A

by Chris on June 24, 2010

Getting to know you, TBEX-style. A Q and A for travel bloggers, courtesy of Pam Mandel of Nerd’s Eye View.

Tomorrow night I head out on a red-eye flight to attend the second TBEX conference in New York City.

TBEX is short for the Travel Blog Exchange, an online gathering of travel bloggers big and small. I’m excited to attend, even though I’ll miss out on the Friday night socializing. I remember reading all the chatter from last year’s TBEX in Chicago and thinking, “I want to be there. These are people I can learn from.” As soon as registration opened, my husband and I signed up. More than 250 people will be there, many of whom I’ve “met” virtually through Twitter. Exciting!

Pam Mandel of Nerd’s Eye View came up with a great list of get-to-know-you questions. So I’m putting my answers out there. Looking forward to reading what others have to say.

  • Who’s your favorite travel writer? I’m always finding new writers I love. But Bruce Chatwin’s Songlines had a big effect on me, early on, as did National Geographic.
  • What’s your favorite blog for reading about travel? I love what Juliana Shallcross has done with Jaunted.
  • How much do you earn blogging? Nothing (see question on day jobs below). I’m hoping to learn some monetizing tips from others at TBEX.
  • What percentage of your travel is sponsored trips? At this point, about 1/3.
  • Do you have a day job, supporter, other source of income? After 20 years in newsrooms, I’m now a writer at Microsoft, where I’m basically the Lorax for the technologically clueless. I also have a husband with a day job (we’re both blogging fools. Check out his travel photography site). During the six months that I was on unemployment, I made a little money from freelance writing, speaking engagements and my iPhone app, the Philly Essential Guide.
  • What’s the last travel book you read? I just moved to Seattle, so I’m settling into the Pacific Northwest with Timothy Egan’s book, The Good Rain.
  • Where do you come down on Eat Pray Love? I’m so glad that other people dislike it too. For a long time, I thought it was just me. I thought it was self-indulgent and annoying. That said, I’m sure I’ll plunk down the money to watch Julia Roberts romp around the world.
  • Do you think blogging and writing are the same thing? I don’t believe that writing needs to be defined by a capital W. To me, writing is all about communicating information through words, in the most natural way possible. So most blogs do qualify as writing, as some sort. Whether or not it’s all good writing….that’s debatable.
  • Why are you blogging? Because after years of being limited by institutional conventions, it turns out I have something to say – unfiltered.

Yay, TBEX! Can’t wait to meet all my fellow travel bloggers out there!

| Chris Gray Faust is a veteran journalist, travel expert, social media butterfly - and editrix of this site. Like what you read? Check out her writing, editing and social media services.

{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

Camels & Chocolate June 25, 2010 at 6:24 pm

Ditto to Eat Pray Love! Liz Gilbert was one of my college professors, and I love her dearly and she is a very talented writer. But that was the biggest piece of crap I’ve ever read and clearly not written for anyone who has ever traveled before.

That said, I too will be seeing the movie promptly, sigh. Can’t resist Ms. Roberts and Mr. Bardem.


Patrice June 25, 2010 at 9:12 pm

So glad to hear about others Eat Pray Love. I put it down about half way through and never thought about starting up again.


Chris June 29, 2010 at 2:24 am

Wow, who knew there were so many who didn’t like EPL? I sense a post coming on… 🙂


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