I returned to Colorado after a weekend in Toronto for TBEX with an overstuffed bag, a daunting stack of business cards and the notion that I’d definitely like to return to Toronto for a longer stay.
Toronto is a great city, from what I experienced (which, granted, was not nearly enough). Easily walk-able with some great restaurants and some interesting natives, I know that there is much more to explore and that I just scratched the tip of the proverbial iceberg. I’ll share more about Toronto and my favorite parts in a subsequent post.
I want to talk about TBEX in this post, but I’m conflicted. I started writing this on Monday with one perspective and angle, then erased it yesterday and started it again. Then erased it yet again today to start afresh.
I’m not going to comment on the number of attendees (1300 people is a large group); I’m not going to dissect each keynote or seminar (there are plenty of people out there who are providing recaps that you might enjoy); I’m not going to talk about the friends, old and new, that I got to see (they’re great and took me two solid days to recuperate from the fun).
But here’s my $.05 worth of opinion (I raised it because Canada eliminated the penny and I pay attention to details): after the internal struggle that I faced about admitting that I was a travel blogger, I think I realized that I’m not really a travel blogger.
Confused? Join the club.
I’m not saying my continued online identity crisis is completely due to TBEX (I have trouble explaining where I’m from, much less who I am, if you really want to get down to it), but being at the conference did bring some things to light.
Travel bloggers are supposed to have a niche; I have too many things that I like to do and ways that I like to travel. Monetizing is a worry/goal/end result for a travel blogger; I like money and it’s necessary for some things, but it’s not the overarching impetus behind my writing. I actually have to work at other things to make a living. Travel bloggers want a free trip and I…well, a free trip would be nice, but that’s not why I’m doing this.
I love writing. I love traveling. I love meeting people and hearing their stories, the ones that make me shake my head out of amusement, amazement or empathy.
But I don’t have a positioning statement. I don’t have a blog strategy. I don’t have a website that is as functional and navigable as I’d like.
So, I’m not sure that I’m a travel blogger. Maybe I’m just an aspiring, struggling, hopeful writer that happens to have a blog.
I’m okay with that.
I’ll just keep on keepin’ on. I’ll keep contributing to other blogs and keep blundering through this one. I’ll keep finding new people to meet, stories to tell and adventures to attempt.
Was TBEX fun? Absolutely. Was it worth it? Yes. Travel is always worth it. Did I learn anything? Yep.
Hi. My name is Katie. And I’m not really a travel blogger.