Tag Archives: travel blogging

On Career Transitions: Cutting Through The Noise and Embracing Focus

Over the past month, I’ve thought a lot about time management, priorities and focus – hence my slight silence on the blog besides sharing postcards. This thinking exercise isn’t anything new – it’s been a regular occurrence ever since I embarked on the rewarding but demanding journey of transitioning from the law into travel photography and now writing.

More recently, however, I was reminded of the importance in learning and shifting priorities to go farther in this new field and make the best use of my talents.

These thoughts were triggered by TBEX, when I realized during and post-conference that I was sitting on potential and what I needed the most was focus. Focus on learning from the best – whether it means taking classes, workshops or attending the best of conferences – and focus on consistently seeking out opportunities and knocking on doors.

With all of these thoughts on my mind on the plane home from Colorado, an amazing opportunity came my way.

I opened my email to find a message from a fellow blogger currently on a trip around the world. In the email was a link to an ad for a travel writing gig, one for which she thought I was a perfect fit.  It did sound amazing and I knew I was qualified. A year ago I might have let fear or doubt take over, but after TBEX I realized that my true love is for travel writing and photography and not blogging full-time per se. I left feeling inspired and ready to push harder.

I spent the entire weekend drafting a cover letter and crafting a travel resume (the last one I wrote was for my legal experience and most of my travel-related gigs so far have mostly come from my networks). I edited, proofread and perfected and hit send. What’s the worst that could happen, I thought?

Within a few days, I received a response: I was selected for an interview. I was so excited, I must have read the email at least five times. Then I thought, well why not me? Ha.

Fast forward, a week after my one-hour phone interview, I was selected for the next step. I had just under 14 days to submit a near 50-page proposal.

I can’t quite describe the feelings of excitement, anxiety and adrenaline that came over me all at once. I was so excited and grateful to prepare this piece that I lived and breathed it for two weeks, all while I juggled my full time legal gig (I still consult as an attorney when I’m back in the US half the year).  Still, it didn’t prevent me from completing the work and I even had one day to spare for editing and perfecting.  I was  >> Continue reading »

Slideshow: My First TBEX Experience

All in all, my first TBEX experience was wonderful. There were a lot of first-timers as well as veterans, so it was a great mix.

The conference had lectures and smaller sessions during the day, many of which I found useful – like branding advice, how to get sponsorship and even how to create and pitch your own TV travel show (favorite quote: “Tell a story and make it about the story. If it’s about you, it’s a therapy session!”).  My sister always said I should be on camera (got to love family) and I like to tell stories so I think it’s time I made travel videos, don’t you think? Next trip.

In addition to connecting with a few wonderful folks in PR and pro travel journalists (including having lunch with fascinating, award-winning travel journalist Christopher Baker), it was great to finally meet some of my virtual travel blogger friends in real life after many months and in some cases, years: April of Absolute Travel Addict, Kara of The Vacation Gals, Erin of Our Tasty Travels, Lillie of Teaching Traveling and Robin of Robins Have Wings. The funniest comment was probably from Kara, who said she didn’t recognize me all covered up (in my sweater and coat)  because she always saw photos of me online in sundresses. Ha! That tells you where I’ve traveled the past few years.

And Keystone, Colorado? What a picturesque, peaceful location. The altitude did kick me hard and I had a headache the first couple of days (so much for thinking my Ethiopian-born self could handle it).  Not to mention, one beer felt like three at once, so I didn’t go too crazy (all that free wine too, such a shame).

I put together this slideshow below (to some Caribbean steel pan music, of course) to give you a quick peak into my TBEX weekend. Would you believe, I barely took out my SLR and have about 10 shots.  The rest are courtesy of my Instagram app.

Just as soon as I recover fully and process all my thoughts, I’ll be posting about my most inspiring moment and lesson of the weekend.

Oh and a big thanks to Absolute Travel Addict who treated me to dinner on our last night and to Visit St. Louis for my morning breakfast on the ride to the airport. The travel community is full of wonderful folks.

Ready? Click Play and watch that volume.

Snapshots: my First Tbex Slideshow: Lily’s trip from Washington, United States to Keystone, Colorado was created by TripAdvisor. See another Keystone slideshow. Take your travel photos and make a slideshow for free.