This weekend, I was in Milwaukee Wisconsin for the Women In Travel Summit or #WITS17 if you’re checking hashtags. To say that I was inspired is an understatement. I was surrounded by brilliant women, and moving women. TRAVELING women! I was in the midst of single women, married women, widowed, divorced and dating women. I was in the midst of first time moms and grandmothers. One thing united us all, and that was our love of travel. The nitty-gritty love of being on the road, in a plane, on a train, bike, or by foot. We love being everywhere, and taking in the beauty of it all.
In the short time that I was there, I learned quite a bit. I would share it all, but it would take a blog series, and I’m not sure I have it in me. Instead, I’ll share five takeaways, and reasons why you should join WITS in Quebec City next year.
1. Your People are Here
There were a TON of us first timers in the place this weekend. Some of us have been traveling for years and don’t have a hard time mingling with locals wherever we go, yet there was a bit of stage fright when it came to interacting sometimes. There were LOTS of people a little shy about approaching speakers or even attendees. By the second day, it all seemed to melt away because we all knew we were there to network, and share our travel stories. I found friends from every corner of the world. Some I’ve known on social media for a while, others I met for the first time at the Women In Travel Summit. I even found travelers that look for urban farms when they travel. Like, worlds colliding for real!
2. There is Something to Do and See in Every City You Visit
Before attending the event, we were sent options for tours and places to visit. When I say that Visit Milwaukee were great city hosts, I mean it. Just like when traveling for a feature on the blog, there was something to do even after the official tours ended. Places to eat. Little corners of the city to explore. There is always some place, and some street hidden behind a busier one, that’s just waiting for you to see it. On the architectural tour, we were able to duck in and out of some of the buildings and marvel at the architecture both inside and out. One of those places happened to be an indoor shopping center. Who thinks to look at architecture there except for travel writers?
3. Know Your Worth
We’re writers. People really want to know what we think, and to see a city, state, country, continent through our lens. They want to know WHY they should go to this specific space using their time off of work, and the money that they’ve earned. These places depend on people like us to drive those folks to their areas. We are more than just influencers who come in for a nice time and leave and write a great blog post, or newspaper article. We are word of mouth, and are experiences are vital to their success.
4. Perfect Your Craft
You aren’t above bettering your craft. There is always something new to learn. Always. This doesn’t just mean SEO either. It means your photos. Your videos. Your ways of touring. We all know that travel is fun, and being a travel writer is fun too, but it’s still work. We need to be our best at all times. Asking for help isn’t showing weakness either, it’s investing in yoursefl and your business, and presenting the best to your readers.
5. Do Something Different
We all know we have “things” we’re known for on our blogs. I’m known for family travel, and showcasing wonderful places you can visit with a family of six. But did you know that I like visiting libraries in cities that we go to? I also love taking Ryder the Bear with me on trips (I FORGOT HIM THIS TIME) and using him to really showcase areas that I visit in general. Ryder is a new aspect of the blog, as well as the series #TrippinWithMyDaddy I’m always looking for ways to incorporate our reality in a way that allows the reader to relate to the story. I’m sure many of you have taken road trips with your parents when you were little, but didn’t really think about how awesome it would be to do it with them as adults. It’s amazing!
If you are a woman who writes travel articles, then you can join in the fun next year. The Women in Travel Summit will be taking place in Quebec City, Quebec and you can snag tickets HERE for their early bird rate, which is how I got mine last year. Paying half price for such a valuable conference was worth it to me, and I’m sure if you’re in the travel writers business, and a woman, it will be worth it for you too!