I’m finding myself more and more not relating to people in a lot of ways. That might sound funny but it’s the truth. I’ve been jobless for 2 years now, I’m never home and I sleep to whenever. That being said I used to love talking to other backpackers but even that bores me quickly now. It’s always the same conversations over and over. Where are you from? Where have you been? Where are you going? What did you see? blah blah blah.
The best conversations I can remember in the last year were with other travel bloggers (yeah I’m that guy now). I relate to them more because they’re more then just backpackers. They travel because they love it but they also let us into their world, showing others things that they might not have thought about, dreamed of or knew. It’s a small world out there in the travel blogging community and everyone somewhat knows each other. If you have been blogging for more then a year or two, odds are most other travel bloggers will at least heard of you.
So you want to see me get more excited then hearing that the strip club is giving away free lap dances? Just tell me a travel blogger is coming to the city I’m in and you will! Seriously these people are my heroes, my Babe Ruth of baseball, my Michael Jordan of basketball, my Angela Joe Lee… wait, maybe not that far but you get the point.
In the last year I have been able to meet a lot of bloggers. Some only for a brief hour, others I got to hang with and become more then just a fan but a friend. Listed below (in order) are those such people.
Jason and Aracely were the first travel bloggers I got to meet. When I heard they were in Quito, I quickly gave them a shout out and invited them to an early Christmas dinner. I was so happy when they showed up as they were even better in person.
Jason does the videos and Aracely the photos and together they make a powerful team that writes one of the most visual travel blogs out there. I met them before they were married and now that they are I hear they are taking off again to see the world. I’m sure their blog will be even better in 2011!
Ben and Alonna came to Ecuador on their way south to Argentina. They were doing a 1-year gap trip around the world and I emailed them to ask when they would be in Quito. Alonna came two weeks before Ben to take some Spanish lessons and I was able to help her find a Spanish School in Quito that she liked. I spent a few days with Alonna showing her some sites in Quito and when Ben came we all went to the Middle of the World together.
They write a simple yet inspiring blog about a happily married couple who decided one day to just pack it up for a year and see all they could. This is a fun blog to start reading from the start to track their progress and see what unfolded for them. They are now back in the USA working and being happy!
I did a guest post for Anil while I was in Ecuador and when I read he was going to be in Quito, I emailed him to see if he had a free day. The man stays busy 24/7 but we were able to meet up at my hostel for an afternoon and talk. I even did a “Faces” interview of him (which I haven’t posted yet) and got some great photos from that session. Wish we would have had more time but I’m sure our paths will cross again.
He was one of the first people I got to meet that was a long term traveler and was supporting himself from his websites. We talked mostly about how to travel long term and making money off your travel blog. His advise was awesome, as it should be, because he’s got several websites that are rocking.
I had been writing for Dave as a guest author for 4 months before I finally got to meet him. In fact he was a big reason why I ended up in Medellin, Colombia when I left Ecuador. Basically the whole time Dave and I were in Medellin neither one of us got much done (well Dave did get some posts up but he could have done a lot more). We partied out, seen sites and soaked it up! Dave would get to feeling guilty for not getting any work done but I did write a few guest posts for him just so he’d come out at night to party… how is that for a guest author!
If you haven’t read Dave’s blog, you should, especially the articles I wrote! It’s a fun site with a wide range of subjects, with quick read articles and weekly videos.
I’m sitting in a hostel in Bogota, Colombia, and checking my twitter account (which is rare for me). I seen an update by her and clicked on the photo she posted. It was of her baby, Cole. I closed the photo and a lady walks out of a room in front of where I am sitting and the baby she is carrying looks exactly like the photo I was just looking at, in fact she looked like the lady from the blog. I shouted out “Almost Fearless” a couple times and she finally stopped and said “Yeah???” I must have looked like a creepy idiot there yelling “I’m a fan of your website! I didn’t know you were in town!” The rest is history!
We chatted late that night and then met back up in Medellin a few weeks later. They were only suppose to stay a week but it ended up being 3 weeks. Some of the best days I had in Medellin were with them and hated seeing them go. We have since stayed in touch and they will be the ones I will be meeting with in India. Her husband Drew and I have a few adventures lined up for India, wish us luck.
If you don’t know her blog, then your not much into the travel blog scene. She’s got one of the top ones out there, so check it out ASAP. FYI guys: Her baby is a total chica magnet!
Ayngelina got in touch with Dave, who Dave let me know she was coming to town. We meet up at a park in Medellin and had an expensive meal. Which is funny because if you have read her site, you would know that she normally only pays about $2 for a meal when she travels. Opps, our bad for taking you to the Ritz! I made up for it later that night as I did a BBQ for her that was free!
Aynelina has a fun corky website that she doesn’t hold back on. She does some awesome photography as well and her food photos will leave you craving for whatever she shows you. Like I said before, the best part is that she only eats at local places and gets the cheapest meals when possible, showing us the world that traveling can be cheap and exotic. She’s planning on not returning to work and keep-on moving-on!
Jodi, oh my sweet little Jodi! By far the coolest travel blogger out there and a smart one at that (she’s a reformed lawyer). I got to meet up with her for a night when she was in Medellin on business. She didn’t have much time but was able to come over to the house I was staying, party with us and eat. We had a big BBQ that night and about 20 people showed up. Dave and I took her to a club with us for a few hours afterwards and forced as much booze as we could into her before she had to leave out early the next day. If you ever get a chance to meet up with her, DO IT! You won’t regret it, as she’s oh-to-funny and just someone fun to be around.
She writes differently then most travel bloggers, as her articles aren’t so much of “go see this or that” but more about insights to cultures and events she has seen when traveling.
I met Jason at the same party as Jodie that night in Medellin at my house. Jason might be young but he’s got a rock solid game plan for long term travel. Very interesting guy to meet up with and talk business. Check out his page “My Seven Years of Entrepreneurial History” and don’t tell me you didn’t say WOW! I wish I could of had more time to hang out with him in Medellin but I was leaving in a week. He’s the type you can learn a lot from in a short time.
Benny the Irish Freak! This guy knows 7 languages and is on a mission to know them all, seriously! I met him at a bar the night I met Jodi and Jason (yeah it was like a mini travel bloggers convention that night) and he had me rolling. The guy is crazy and his dance moves are even more crazier. Dave got some video of it, that I took with his camera and maybe one day he’ll get it posted on YouTube to prove it.
I only got to hang out with him for a few hours at the pup but that was enough for me to know that it will be great getting to party with him again someday (soon I hope). If you ever want to learn a new language, check out his site, as he knows his stuff when it comes to grasping the foreign tongue… he’s a machine with it, read his blog to find out how and why.
Brian left a comment once on my blog and because so I started following his blog. Anyone who can load up a bike and take off on it is tops in my book! We kept in contact here and there for a year almost. When I was in Mexico and seen he was near me, I quickly hit him up for a meet-up. I meet up with him in Tulum, Mexico for a few hours and was great talking about bikes and road tripping. He only had a few hours, as he had to get up early the next day to leave and was really sick that night he met up with me but he still took the time to say hi to a reverse-fan (is there a word for that at all? Might need to coin/TM that phrase). Last I heard he’d stopped with the bike and headed to Europe for a while, as it’s been a while since he has posted.
When I went to Vegas just before Christmas I posted it on my Fan Page on Facebook. Diana quickly hit me up and said to give her a ring when in town. We made plans to meet up the first night I was there and she totally hooked my friend and I up that night. She had to visit a restaurant and try a dish for her job and when she told her boss that she had friends coming into town, he said “Fine, they can go to and eat whatever to, just don’t order the lobster and a $200 bottle of wine!” SCORE!!! I think the final bill between the 3 of us was $240 and I was so full I didn’t even eat dessert. D was just awesome and even drove us around Sunday even to show us some of Vegas that most never get to see. It’s was one of the best parts of that Vegas trip and owe her for that.
I got to meet Abby through D, while in Vegas. I had been following her on Twitter for a while and enjoyed her updates. When D said she might be able to meet us for a brunch, I quickly said I kill to. She went to Costa Rica and lived there for a while off a merger budget. Since I have some property in Costa Rica, I really wanted to hear her stories and adventures first hand.
We had brunch at the Palms Hotel, yeah the one where the Playboy Club and penthouses are. Would have been a great brunch except I was so hung-over from the night before that I only ate two piece of food I think. Was still worth the money just to be able to talk travel blogging with her and D that day. She kind of lives a sweet life there in Vegas, as every time I see her twitts, she’s going to another hosted party somewhere. If you want to know Vegas, give her a shout out.
~~ My Wish List For 2011 ~~
Travel Blog Heroes I’d like to meet this year… some how… some way!