For those of you who do not yet know me, two years ago I was infected by a bug: a travel bug, to be more precise. In my third year of university, I decided to challenge everything that I knew about comfort, character, human nature, and life in general. To do this, I signed myself up for an exchange in 2008, only to be whisked away four months (and several interviews) later to a tiny little country in South East Asia called Singapore.
Since studying in Singapore (note that I use the term ‘studying’ loosely, as it mainly refers to partying and traveling), I have become hooked to anything that remotely refers to traveling. Most of the people I follow on Twitter, for example, are globe-trotters and cultural enthusiasts (like myself), whom I read about almost on a daily basis about new places I am interested in discovering. Along the way, I’ve also met quite a few interesting and friendly characters that have been more than willing and eager to share their two cents about the world.
While subscribing to a plethora of travel blogs through Twitter and Facebook, I came across a website called “Travel Blog Exchange.” TBEX prides itself on being the “perfect place to share your blog, pictures, experiences and to ask questions.” It invites travel bloggers from all over the world to attend a conference in a particular country every year. First of all, I need to start getting my travel blog up and running. But more remarkably, TBEX has put in perspective for me the incredible power of social network technology to link people together, even if they reside in opposite ends of the Earth.
Every year, this year’s conference will attract people from every corner of the globe to Copenhagen, Denmark from November 4th to 6th. TBEX will be hosting a workshop where speakers are invited to share their insights about new media and information about the travel blogging industry. And for those who are more passionate about the social network aspect of TBEX, in-depth discussions about monetization, SEO and building a brand will be added for your benefit.
It is a no-brainer that social networks like TBEX have not only enhanced communication, but have set new standards for what it means to connect with others (whether virtually or face-to-face). What once took a note scribbled in wet ink to travel on a boat across oceans for weeks, now takes mere seconds for the average digital native to send off a typed up message online. People are transcending both time and space by connecting today faster than ever before through the help of social networks. Without them, who knows if something like TBEX would ever be able to conceive of organizing a worldwide conference by one quick key stroke or mouse click!
For those individuals looking to travel and connect face-to-face with their Twitter travel pen pal, shake hands with their Facebook social media guru friend, or even just meet new people, make sure to sign up fast. This year’s pre-registration for the 2011 conference in British Columbia, Canada, sold out in 18 hours, with only 200 spots to fill. Six hundred travel bloggers are expected to attend the Vancouver event, with registration beginning September 5th, 2010. Just as they always say, the early bird catches the worm!