Kristin Addis is a solo female travel expert who inspires women to travel the world in an authentic and adventurous way. A former investment banker who sold all of her belongings and left California in 2012, Kristin has solo traveled the world for over five years, covering every continent (except for Antarctica, but it’s on her list). She blogs at Be My Travel Muse.
Faith Adiele is a Nigerian-Nordic-American travel memoirist and founder of VONA/Voices Travel, the nation’s first and only writing workshop for travelers of color. Meeting Faith, her account of becoming Thailand’s first Black Buddhist Nun, won the PEN Open Book Award. She is a Senior Editor for Panorama: The Journal of Intelligent Travel and co-editor of Coming of Age Around the World: A Multicultural Anthology. Her essays on travel, food and culture have appeared in O Magazine, Flaunt, Essence, Transition and such travel anthologies as The Best Women’s Travel Writing, for which she penned the 2009 introduction. She lectures and teaches around the world.
Kirsten Alana is full time travel photographer with an audience of more than 270K online who has worked in more than 50 countries and on six continents for some of the most awarded campaigns in digital and social media. Her portfolio of clients has included brands in travel, fashion and lifestyle ranging from Four Seasons and SPG to Ted Baker and Amarula. Her expertise in mobile photography, photography and social media has led her to speak at conferences around the globe. She resides in Los Angeles when she is not traveling on assignment.
Gary Arndt is an awarding winning blogger and travel photographer who has been traveling around the world since 2007. His blog Everything Everywhere is considered one of the best travel blogs in the world. In 2010, Time Magazine named it one of the Top 25 Blogs on the Internet and it earned a Gold Medal in the Travel Blog category in the North American Travel Journalist Association (NATJA) awards, and a Gold Medal for Best Travel Photography Blog in the 2018 TBCAsia Awards. Since 2009 he has been the co-host of This Week in Travel, an award-winning weekly podcast which covers travel industry news. He is also the host of The Global Travel Conspiracy.
Gloria Atanmo is a travel blogger, author, and digital storyteller. Living out of a suitcase for almost 5 years, she’s trotted through over 60 countries across 6 continents and has no desire of slowing down anytime soon. You can rely on TheBlogAbroad.com for witty, reflective, and informative stories about her adventures on the road, as well as her Instagram for all the visual wanderlust your travel doctor would prescribe.
In 1999, Derek left home for a 3 month trip to Southeast Asia that basically has never come to an end. All of his adult life has now been spent working, living and traveling around the world nonstop, and since 2009 he has been running a successful travel blog, WanderingEarl.com. Derek uses the experiences gained from his life of travel to help others achieve their own travel goals. I’m also the founder of a tour company, Wandering Earl Tours, that offers super fun, small group trips to various countries around the world and he provides consulting to those looking to grow their travel-related businesses. And he does it all while living out of a suitcase and visiting an average of 15 – 20 countries per year.
2016 National Geographic Traveller’s Blogger of the Year, Kash Bhattacharya is the founder and editor of the BudgetTraveller and author of the brand new ‘The Grand Hostels: Luxury Hostels of the World.’ Kash has revolutionised travel for the stylish, design-led budget-conscious traveller. So whether it is finding a luxury hostel in Madrid or a budget boutique hotel in Amsterdam, finding the best cicchetti in Venice or what unique cultural experiences you can discover in Berlin on a tight budget– it is all there in one blog.
Kash has been featured by the New York Times, Guardian, Vanity Fair & National Geographic. He’s also presented for camera and was the face of the Spring 2015 advertising campaign for Japan National Tourism Organisation, a project developed in partnership with Lonely Planet. Kash also has a passion for influencer marketing and is the Blogger Outreach Expert for the destination marketing agency, Toposophy. Also as the director of Creative Concepts for the world’s leading travel influencer network, iAmbassador Kash has developed a number of award winning digital storytelling campaigns: Blogville for Emilia Romagna and Blogmanay for Visit Scotland/Unique Events.
Michael Booth is the award-winning author of seven works of non-fiction, among them international best-sellers focussing on travel, food and popular anthropology. His books have been translated into over 20 languages. He is the only author to have won a Book of the Year award from the British Guild of Travel Writers (The Almost Nearly Perfect People) and the British Guild of Food Writers (Sushi and Beyond). Booth also writes regularly for a number of newspapers and magazines around the world, including Monocle, Condé Nast Traveller, and the Guardian.
Carol Cain has always been fascinated with the way people from different backgrounds and experiences interact and take in the world around them and how it influences the way in which they share their stories. Now she gets to share those stories, as well as her own travel adventures and photography on her award-winning travel blog, Girl Gone Travel, and through various brand partnerships and publications from around the world.
Edin Chavez is a commercial photographer based out of Miami Beach Florida. His clients include Corona, National Geographic, and iHeartRadio to name a few. Having traveled the wold in the name of photography Edin holds photography workshops worldwide and his passion and hunger to teach others continues to grow. Edin is the editor in chief at ShutYourAperture.com and writes for other online publications.
Joey Colemanhelps companies keep their customers. An award-winning speaker, he works with organizations around the world ranging from small startups to major brands such as Deloitte, Hyatt Hotels, Zappos, and Whirlpool. His First 100 Days® methodology fuels the remarkable experiences his clients deliver and dramatically improves their profits. His Wall Street Journal #2 best selling book, Never Lose a Customer Again, offers strategies and tactics for turning one-time purchasers into lifelong customers. When not speaking to audiences around the globe, Joey enjoys spending time with his amazing wife and two young sons in the mountains of Colorado.
Jason Cochran is an award-winning travel journalist, pop historian, and consumer reporter. He was the first person in a quarter century to win Guidebook of the Year twice in the Lowell Thomas Awards by the Society of American Travel Writers. Currently the Editor-in-Chief of Frommers.com, he has written extensively for the New York Post, Budget Travel; Entertainment Weekly; The New York Times; New York Daily News; USA Today; Travel + Leisure and T+L Family; BBC Travel, and more. He is an alumnus of Northwestern University’s Medill School of Journalism and NYU’s Graduate Music Theatre Writing Program.
Heather Greenwood Davis is a Contributing Editor for National Geographic Travel and a columnist with The Globe and Mail. Her work appears regularly in a host of national and international publications and she is a popular guest travel expert on media outlets across North America. The married mom of two boys was named a National Geographic Traveler of the Year in 2012 after the family spent a year traveling around the world sharing their insights through articles and social media. She sits on the advisory board of the Family Travel Association and is a member of the Travel Media Association of Canada, the North American Travel Journalists Association and the Society of American Travel Writers.
Jessie Festa is a native New Yorker and owner of the solo female and offbeat travel blog, Jessie on a Journey, as well as the online responsible tourism and culture magazine, Epicure & Culture. After countless requests from readers asking her to show them around NYC, she decided to get licensed as a guide and offer photo tours through her blog. Jessie’s tours have been featured in publications like Lonely Planet, Business Insider, The Huffington Post, and Time Out New York. When not traveling or leading tours, you can find her taking yoga and hip-hop classes, watching horror movies, and sipping her way through the local cocktail scene.
Rachel Friedman is the author of The Good Girl’s Guide to Getting Lost: A Memoir of Three Continents, Two Friends, and One Unexpected Adventure. The book was chosen as a Target Breakout Book and selected by Goodreads’ readers as one of the best travel books of 2011. She’s written for The New York Times, National Geographic Traveler, New York, BUST, Bitch, Creative Nonfiction, The Chronicle of Higher Education, Bon Appetit, McSweeney’s Internet Tendency, Gadling, and more. She will be running one of the writing workshops during the conference.
Connect with Rachel: Blog | Twitter
National Geographic has called Don George “a legendary travel writer and editor.” Don has been Travel Editor at the San Francisco Chronicle, founder and editor of Salon.com’s Wanderlust travel site, and Global Travel Editor for Lonely Planet. He is currently Editor at Large for National Geographic Travel and Special Features Editor for BBC Travel. Don is the author of the bestselling travel writing guide in the world, How to Be a Travel Writer, published by Lonely Planet. His best essays and articles have been collected in the award-winning anthology The Way of Wanderlust. He is co-founder and chairman of the acclaimed Book Passage Travel Writers & Photographers Conference.
Catharine Hamm is the Travel editor for the Los Angeles Times. She was born in Syracuse, N.Y., to a peripatetic family whose stops included Washington, D.C.; Honolulu; and Manila. Her varied media career has taken her from McPherson, Kan., to Kansas City, Mo., San Bernardino, Salinas and L.A. Hamm has twice received individual Lowell Thomas Awards, and the Travel section has been recognized eight times during her tenure as editor. Her favorite place? Always where she’s going next.
Clay Hebert is a keynote speaker, marketing strategist, coach and storyteller. As one of the world’s top crowdfunding experts, Clay has helped over 300 projects raise over $75 million via crowdfunding. Forbes called him “one of the next generation of business and media influencers” and he was recently named one of Entrepreneur Magazine’s 50 Most Daring Entrepreneurs. He speaks on marketing, growth and storytelling to clients ranging from Accenture to Zappos. Through his Perfect Intro and Perfect Brand frameworks, Clay helps leaders, executives, entrepreneurs and nonprofits tell better stories, fund their dreams, grow their companies and do work that matters.
Jordan Harbinger, once referred to as “The Larry King of podcasting,” is a Wall Street lawyer turned talk show host, social dynamics expert, and entrepreneur. Jordan has hosted a top 50 iTunes podcast for over 12 years and receives over four million downloads per month, making The Jordan Harbinger Show one of the most popular podcasts in the world. The show was awarded Apple’s “Best of 2018″ and is one of the most downloaded shows of the year. On The Jordan Harbinger Show, Jordan deconstructs the playbooks of the most successful people on earth and shares their strategies, perspectives, and practical insights with the rest of us.
With over 10 years of experience in digital marketing for global travel brands, Andrew Hickey is an expert in running large online campaigns, increasing brand awareness, driving web traffic, supporting marketing initiatives, and increasing sales. Andrew’s advice has been sourced by Skift, National Geographic, The Wall Street Journal, BBC Travel, and both Facebook’s and Twitter’s Marketing blogs. Andrew currently is on the marketing team at Scott’s Cheap Flights and heads up their social media efforts.
Spud Hilton is the travel editor of The San Francisco Chronicle, where since 2000 he has written about, reported on and been hopelessly lost in destinations on six continents. His attempts to defy the expectations of places — from Havana’s back alleys to Kyoto’s shrines to the floor of a hippie bus in Modesto — have earned 13 Lowell Thomas Awards for travel journalism.
Mike & Anne left on their honeymoon in January 2012…and never came home. They created HoneyTrek.com to chronicle their journey across all seven continents and to help people mobilize their travel dreams. Their story as the “World’s Longest Honeymooners,” savvy tips, and blog have been acclaimed by Lonely Planet, Washington Post, Condé Nast Traveler, AP, Los Angeles Times, CBS This Morning, and more—including a Microsoft TV commercial. They seek to inspire others as Smithsonian speakers and National Geographic photographers and authors of Ultimate Journeys for Two.
Rainer Jenss brings a wealth of experience and expertise as President and Founder of the Family Travel Association. Before putting his professional expertise and personal passion to the ultimate test by traveling around the world for a year with his wife and two young children in 2009, Rainer Jenss was a Vice President and thirteen-year veteran of the National Geographic Society. His writing has appeared in Global Traveler magazine, USA Today, New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Bloomberg Business, The Science Christian Monitor, The Chicago Tribune, The Hook magazine, and Galavante.com.
Connect with Rainer: Website
Johnny Jet has traveled over 100,000 miles a year since starting his newsletter in 1995 and has visited close to 100 countries. On his website, he writes about how to maximize your credit card points, how to find travel deals, cheap flights, and how to benefit from insightful travel tips. He has hosted a television special on The Travel Channel and was named one of Forbes’ Top 10 Travel Influencers. He writes for numerous publications including Forbes, Inc and Alaska Airlines in-flight magazine and appears every Saturday on Leo Laporte’s The Tech Guy Show talking about travel and technology. He travels the world with his wife Natalie DiScala and their son Jack.
Kent Johnson is the co-founder of the digital platform & travel company for Black millennials, Black & Abroad, where he not only sheds light on the journeys of expats and travelers of color, he also partners with travel-centric brands to create authentic & organic campaigns for the millennial consumer and crafts group travel experiences to destinations worldwide. Kent has been published in The Huffington Post & Cassius Magazine, featured in Black Enterprise, Ebony, MIC, Rolling Out, VICE & Creative Loafing, and named one of the 100 most influential African-Americans of 2017 by The Root. In his spare time, Kent hosts a podcast and is a practicing attorney.
Jeremy Jones is both a local blogger and a global travel blogger. He has been publishing travel content for more than 10 years on his blog, Living the Dream, where he has featured articles from over 70 countries on five continents. When he isn’t traveling Jeremy also writes about Pittsburgh and southwest Pennsylvania on his local blog, Discover the Burgh, which features over 700 things to do in the region. Since being founded in 2015 Discover the Burgh has quickly become one of the city’s most read blogs.
Lebawit Lily Girma is an award-winning writer, travel photographer, and blogger. Originally from Ethiopia, she studied and lived on three continents before ditching her legal career for the road, eventually settling in the Caribbean region. Lily’s writing and photography, focusing on culture, adventure and sustainable travel have appeared in numerous publications, including CNN, Lonely Planet, and AFAR. She also authors major US print travel guidebooks – on Belize, the Dominican Republic, and Jamaica – and works with various tourism bodies on destination content and strategy. Lily is currently based in Santo Domingo, and returns to the US often to visit family.
Matthew Karsten is a professional adventure photographer and travel blogger at ExpertVagabond.com. He’s been exploring unusual and beautiful locations around the planet for the past 7 years, visiting over 50 countries including places like Greenland and Afghanistan. His images have been featured by publications like National Geographic and The Travel Channel, and he works for national tourism boards, airlines, and large international brands on a regular basis.
Stefan Krasowski blogs on frequent flyer programs at Rapid Travel Chai. He is an expert in rewards credit cards, airline and hotel programs, specializing in using points for exotic and remote destinations. Stefan is a Delta SkyMiles Million Miler and has top tier status with multiple programs. Stefan has traveled to 191 of the world’s 193 countries. He founded Every Passport Stamp, the leading Facebook group for travelers that think no destination too remote or difficult. His travels have earned him membership in the Circumnavigators Club and Travelers’ Century Club.
Silvia Lawrence has been blogging since 2013 at Heart My Backpack about her travels through over 80 countries. She has a soft spot for mountains, anywhere she can practice her Russian, and venturing off the tourist trail. In 2015 she moved to a log cabin in the mountains of Norway and her blog, social media, and videos now focus largely on life and travel in Norway – along with the occasional international trip somewhere super cool and exciting.
Gary Leff is one of the foremost experts in the field of miles, points, and frequent business travel – a topic he has covered since 2002. Co-founder of frequent flyer community InsideFlyer.com, emcee of the Freddie Awards, and named one of the “World’s Top Travel Experts” by Conde’ Nast Traveler (2010-Present) Gary has been a guest on most major news media, profiled in several top print publications, and published broadly on the topic of consumer loyalty.
Kristin Luna has worked in the magazine industry for more than 15 years, contributing travel, food and celebrity features to 50+ titles including Conde Nast Traveler, Travel + Leisure, Real Simple, USA Today, Forbes, Southern Living, Entertainment Weekly and AFAR, as well as authoring more than 15 guidebooks. She launched her travel and lifestyles blog Camels & Chocolate in 2007 and through it has partnered with countless DMOs and travel brands, from Fairmont Hotels to Airbnb.
Named by The Root Magazine as one of the 100 Most Influential African Americans of 2017, Eric Martin is an award-winning entrepreneur based in Atlanta, GA. In 2015 he co-created Black & Abroad, a culture & information hub geared toward enhancing the travel experiences for travelers of color. His efforts have landed him features in American Express, Black Enterprise, Ebony Magazine, Rolling Out, MIC.com, and more. Eric shares his insight at speaking engagements worldwide, from the stages of the United Nations, to universities and conferences.
Brian Massey is the original Conversion ScientistTM and he has the lab coat to prove it. His company, founded in 2007, Conversion Sciences, was one of the first agencies focused exclusively on website optimization.
Brian has learned what works on the web through thousands of website tests. He has seen it all.His rare combination of interests, experience and neuroses was developed over 20 years as a, computer programmer, corporate marketer and entrepreneur.Brian is the author of the Amazon Marketing best-seller Your Customer Creation Equation.
Brian trains marketing teams at companies like IBM. He has spoken at UT Austin, Texas A&M and Baylor. He performs at conferences including Internet Retailer, Direct Marketing Association, Content Marketing Institute and InfusionCon.
He created the highly regarded blog The Conversion Scientist blog, and has columns at online magazines ClickZ.com, Search Engine Land, Marketing Land and the Content Marketing Institute.
Laurence is a full time professional travel photographer & blogger, who has been traveling the world since 2009. His photos have appeared on the National Geographic homepage, the BBC, USA Today, Buzzfeed and CNN, amongst many others. He runs two travel blogs with his wife Jessica: the photography and adventure focused Finding the Universe, and the couples travel focused Independent Travel Cats, and has over a million followers on Facebook. He’s also the teacher of the Superstar Blogging Photography Course.
Daniel Noll and Audrey Scott are the husband-and-wife storytelling team behind the award-winning travel blog Uncornered Market, recognized as Best Responsible Tourism Blog at WTM. They are writers, speakers and consultants whose work helps partners better understand their core strengths, tell their story to new audiences, and deliver innovative experiences focused on local culture, cuisine, and environment. Their work focuses on using travel as a force for good with the belief that mindful travel can benefit both travelers and local communities. They will be speaking on sustainability in travel.
Sean Ogle is an expert at helping people turn their passions and skill-sets into sustainable businesses that can be run from anywhere on Earth. As the founder of Location Rebel, he has built the premier online community for lifestyle entrepreneurs looking to break out of their routine and build a business that matters. When he’s not working on those projects he’s trying to play both the top 100 golf courses in the world, and visit the top 50 bars in the world.
Sherry Ott is a long-term traveler, blogger, and photographer with one goal in mind – to make you wish you were somewhere else. In her 11 years of living nomadically and traveling solo, she’s circled the globe multiple times visiting all 7 continents. She shares her epic adventures to intriguing places on Ottsworld.com in order to inspire people to overcome their fears and get off the beaten path.
Photographer, Philanthropist, and World Traveler, Erick Prince is blazing a new trail in travel and business. Combining his love for photography and travel, he created MinorityNomad.com. One of the premier travel blogs for African-American and Latino travelers. Inspiring low-income communities to explore the world and document their travels. Currently on a quest to become the first African-American to visit every country in the world, Erick has turned a hobby into a thriving business. Visiting 93 countries along the way. Through his blog and digital marketing company, Erick has worked with brands such as Facebook, Singha Corp, LAN Airlines, InterContinental Hotels, and Sony.
Kiersten Rich is the “blonde” behind The Blonde Abroad, a popular female travel blog featuring travel tips, videos and photography from around the world. The Blonde Abroad was listed on Forbes’ Top 10 Travel Influencers of 2017, has been featured in The New York Times, VOGUE, AFAR and Travel + Leisure, and has amassed a loyal following of over 1 million people. The California native now resides in Cape Town and runs all-female travel tours and educational retreats in Indonesia and South Africa.
Chris Richardson is the founder of RTW Labs. After spending hours performing free technical support for his fellow travel bloggers, he discovered a passion for this line of work and decided to build it into a new career. Chris established himself as the “Tech Guy” for many in the travel blogging community. Since then, RTW Labs has expanded to provide support to independent bloggers and other businesses. Chris makes sure NomadicMatt.com is working properly at all times and is the tech guru behind Superstar Blogging.
Kristen Sarah is the owner and creator of Hopscotch the Globe, an award winning website, YouTube channel and travel/lifestyle brand. Kristen became part of the YouTube community when she started a travel channel for those with passion for exploring and learning about the world. Today, Hopscotch the Globe on YouTube has become one of the leading travel video channels with nearly 80,000 subscribers and 13 million views.
Patricia Serrano is a travel blogger (FreshTraveler.com), travel host and film/video producer with a passion for one-of-kind life experiences and off-the-beaten path sustainable travel adventures. She has also teamed up with luxury travel agency Protravel International to curate unique, off the beaten path sustainable travel itineraries for clients interested in traveling the globe as sustainably as possible. Growing up in Bangkok, Thailand, her father was a hotelier and spent a lot of time in and around hotels. She has a passion for good hospitality, cultural immersion, and sustainable travel.
Author of more than 25 books, Tahir Shah has made a name for himself by deciphering the underbelly of the lands he describes – a realm many other writers hardly realize exists. Shah has studied magic with Indian ‘Godmen’, has hunted for lost cities in the Amazon, scoured Ethiopia for King Solomon’s Mines, and has searched for fabulous treasure in war-torn Afghanistan. He’s written novels as well as travel literature, has made documentaries for National Geographic and The History Channel, and has spent much of the last decade and a half living in a haunted mansion in a Casablanca shantytown.
Connect with Tahir: Website
Thomas Swick is the author of Unquiet Days: At Home in Poland; A Way to See the World: From Texas to Transylvania with a Maverick Traveler; and, most recently, The Joys of Travel: And Stories That Illuminate Them. His work has appeared in The American Scholar, Oxford American, North American Review, Missouri Review, Southwest Review, Wilson Quarterly, Ploughshares, Smithsonian, National Geographic Traveler, Roads & Kingdoms, Los Angeles Review of Books and The Best American Travel Writing 2001, 2002, 2004, 2008, 2012, and 2014. Swick teaches an online travel writing course as part of the MFA program of Lesley University in Cambridge, MA.
Nadine Sykora is one of the top travel videographers and travel video content creators in the world. Since 2008 she has made over 900 videos gaining over 40 million+ views, and has accumulated over 258,000 subscribers to her Youtube channel. She has been named one of US Today’s Top Travel Experts, TripAdvisor Tripkey’s Top 10 Travel Vloggers, and is listed as one of Hufﬁngton Post’s Top Travel Bloggers.
Brent Underwood is a partner at Brass Check, a creative advisory firm that has marketed, written, and advised on dozens of bestselling books including projects with Robert Greene, Tim Ferriss, John Grisham, Tony Robbins, and many others. His work has been featured by The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, The Guardian, The Washington Post, The LA Times, Publisher’s Weekly, VICE, ESPN, Wired, Newsday, Slate, Inc., among others. Brent is also the founder of “HK Austin,” a hostel in the heart of Austin. He currently lives in Austin, Texas.
Ricky Zhang is the founder of Prince of Travel, a website dedicated to helping travellers unlock the power of loyalty programs to see the world in greater style at a lower cost. Ricky travels over 200,000 miles a year, primarily using rewards points to fly in business and first class. Learn more about how you can do the same over at princeoftravel.com.