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.
Bani Amor is a queer travel writer who explores the relationships between race, place, and power. Their work on issues of migration, climate, gender, food, and travel has appeared in CNN Travel, F0d0r’s, Teen Vogue, YES! Magazine, and Bitch Magazine, and they have been published in the anthologies Outside the XY: Queer Black and Brown Masculinity, and the upcoming Where We Stand: Brown and Black Voices Speak the Earth.
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.
Brian is travel photographer and a GoPro ambassador from Brazil. He fell in love with photography during a backpack trip in Southeast Asia when he was in college. When Brian finished his degree in Psychology, he decided to focus in photography and his passion for traveling. Since then, he grew his Instagram followers to more than 170k and has visited 61 countries. Brian is 29 years old.
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.
After a 30-year career in publishing, Tom Bartel and Kristin Henning shed their last publication, their house, and most of their possessions and set out to see the world. Kris and Tom combine a love of culture with enthusiasm for the outdoors. Their travels vary between long stays in such cities as London, Madrid, and Rome, and spurts of hiking or biking in Europe, Australia, and Asia.
Kris and Tom bring their considerable experience as professional writers and photographers, publishers and marketers to Travel Past 50. It’s only natural that they enjoy sharing their personal travel stories and tips and work hard to support their clients’ content and marketing needs.
Paul is the EVP of Sales and Strategy at AdThrive, working with our largest ad partners, as well as leading the development of new products. He’s heavily focused on all things video, new ad formats, and working with our data science team to keep AdThrive ahead of market trends.
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. He has been featured by the New York Times, Guardian, Vanity Fair & National Geographic. He has also presented for camera and was the face of the Spring 2015 advertising campaign for Japan National Tourism Organisation. Kash is the Blogger Outreach Expert for the destination marketing agency, Toposophy, and the director of Creative Concepts for the world’s leading travel influencer network, iAmbassador.
Roberto Blake is the Founder of Awesome Creator Academy, an online education platform for entrepreneurs and social media influencers, and the Owner and CEO of Create Awesome Media, a Digital Agency specializing in creating intellectual property and consulting B2B brands on content strategy. He is well known for his popular education YouTube channel which has an audience of over 380,000 subscribers and counting. Roberto is currently the host of the Create Something Awesome Today Podcast, a popular podcast among creative professionals and entrepreneurs with thousands of downloads on each episode.
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.
Barrett Brooks is the COO of ConvertKit, a company that makes email marketing software for creators. As COO, Barrett is responsible for the daily operations of the business across a wide range of responsibilities from engineering to customer success. In the past, Barrett grew as a leader and entrepreneur through a variety of for-profit and not-for-profit roles, including leading customer success, growth and marketing at Fizzle; founding Living for Monday, a company helping young professionals find meaningful work; serving as Chairman of Camp Horizon, a non-profit restoring dignity and hope to children in foster care; and interning for best-selling author Seth Godin.
Travis Burke’s diverse and creative approach to outdoor adventure photography stems from his own perspective on life. His dedication to conquering anything thrown at him and living life with no regrets shines through in his photographs. Whether it’s walking a slackline over canyons, freediving through caves in the ocean or capturing the Milky Way Galaxy in remote locations, Travis is constantly pushing himself and the boundaries of his craft.
Jaimee Callaway is Marketing Director at Avalon Travel working on Moon Travel Guides and Rick Steves guidebooks. She is passionate about experimenting with new approaches to spread the word about these brands. Prior to joining Avalon in 2016, she oversaw testing and implementation of digital marketing initiatives at Perseus Books. In 11 years in book publishing, she has played an integral role in many innovative projects including planning the first-ever Publishing Hackathon and creating award-winning apps and enhanced ebooks, and she also worked in the sales department.
Connect with Jaimee: Website
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.
Katy Clair joined the Global Marketing team at Travel Oregon in 2012 and leads the Marketing Services team. During her tenure, she has managed the implementation of Travel Oregon’s successful marketing campaigns, The 7 Wonders of Oregon and Only Slightly Exaggerated. She has also made the most of her extensive customer service experience by helping industry partners throughout the state tap into the vast resources available from Travel Oregon. When she isn’t working with the Travel Oregon team she loves trail running with her husband and dog and playing with her daughter in Oregon’s many mountain lakes.
Brian Clark is a writer, traveler, and entrepreneur. He’s the founder of the pioneering content marketing website Copyblogger, the personal growth newsletter Further, and Unemployable, a resource that provides smart strategies for freelancers and entrepreneurs.
Jason Cochran has twice been awarded the top honors in the Lowell Thomas Awards for travel writing and is the author of Here Lies America: Buried Agendas and Family Secrets at the Tourist Sights Where Bad History Went Down (Scribe). He has written for Entertainment Weekly, Travel + Leisure, USA Today and many others, he devised questions for the first prime-time season of Who Wants to Be a Millionaire? (ABC), and he is co-host of the weekly Frommer Travel Show on WABC in New York City.
Mike Corey is a Marine Biology graduate turned filmmaker with strong roots in travel. After working for several years creating short films for tourism brands around the world, he turned his sights to YouTube and begun an adventure travel channel focusing on the unique attractions of the world. While creating these videos, he caught the eye of the BBC and now balances his creating YouTube videos on his channel Fearless & Far with hosting the BBC Travel Show, which goes out to 350 Million households Globally. He is now based in Mexico City but is often away searching out new (and sometimes a little bit crazy) experiences.
Jess Dales is the “wanderer” behind the travel based Instagram and blog Jess Wandering. When she’s not traveling you can find her in the mountains around Seattle where she grew up and developed her passion for the outdoors. As a photographer, blogger, and storyteller, Jess aims to inspire others to get outside their comfort zones and collect the type of experiences that last a lifetime. She hopes that sharing these experiences will engender a sense of connection and stewardship for the earth’s wild places.
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 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.
Grace Fujimoto is the VP of Acquisitions at Avalon Travel, an imprint of Perseus Books, a Hachette Book Group company, where she oversees the process of finding and contracting new authors for Moon Travel guidebooks. She has been with Avalon since 2000 and has helped develop a number of new titles and new series, including Moon California Road Trip and Moon USA National Parks. Grace has also done stints in textbook publishing and as a volunteer at the San Francisco Visitor Information Center.
Connect with Grace: Website
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.
Tiffany Funk manages One Mile at a Time, which has grown to be the largest independently-owned travel and loyalty blog, focusing on making luxury travel accessible for cheap without taking freebies. Tiffany’s critical role at OMAAT encompasses operations, brand development, and partnerships including managing and negotiates affiliate relationships with the world’s largest financial institutions. She is also a passionate traveler, having lived abroad on multiple occasions and visited over 70 countries. Tiffany is one of the world’s top experts on airline award travel, and speaks at conferences worldwide to educate business and leisure travelers on frequent flyer programs and maximizing their points.
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.
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.
Courtney Guest is a Senior Affiliate Manager at Endurance International Group. She works on multiple brands—such as Bluehost and Constant Contact—where she manages a number of affiliate partnerships. Courtney is passionate about helping those affiliates engage within the program(s) and ultimately identify personalized strategies to be a successful affiliate.
Renee Hahnel is an Australian travel photographer, blogger, and author based in Seattle, Washington. You’ll usually find her hiking up a mountain or exploring some faraway place, forever in search of new adventures. Her brand, Renee Roaming, inspires millions of travelers to live intentionally, place value on experiences over possessions, and to find joy exploring this beautiful world we call home. Renee’s work has been featured by Lonely Planet, Today Show, Travel + Leisure, Cosmopolitan, New York Post, Condé Nast, among others. She will be speaking about maintaining a strong and vibrant online community.
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.
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.
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.
Dalene and Pete Heck spent eight years traveling the world and chronicling their journey on HeckticTravels.com, earning recognition as National Geographic Travelers of the Year and one of NATJA’s Best Independent Travel Blogs. Their side hustle is as co-founders of Hecktic Media Inc, a company dedicated to connecting influencers with travel brands and delivering real results with social media marketing. They will be speaking on the subject of working with brands.
Dani Heinrich is the vagabonding writer and photographer behind GlobetrotterGirls.com. Originally from Germany, she has been nomadic since 2010, when she quit her corporate job and embarked on a round-the-world-trip. She has traveled through over 60 countries on four continents and has no plans to stop any time soon!
Joseph Hernandez is Senior Travel Editor at Thrillist. Previously, he’s held positions as Deputy Editor, Food & Dining, for the Chicago Tribune and digital editor at Wine Enthusiast magazine, but his long-winded career includes stints as cookbook assistant to celeb chef Marcus Samuelsson, and a retail manager and bartender for a boutique Brooklyn wine shop and bar. His byline has appeared in Afar.com, Conde Nast Traveler, Tribune Sunday Magazine, and Modern Luxury publications. He holds various certifications in wine, and he’s the happy father to a bashful hedgehog named Hedgewig.
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 a travel consultant and featured speaker who spent almost 20 years as a staff travel writer and editor for The San Francisco Chronicle, during which time he reported on (and became hopelessly lost in) destinations on six continents. He is an outspoken advocate of great travel storytelling and his attempts to divine, describe and 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. His videos and campaigns have been featured by Peter Greenberg, Rudy Maxa, “GMA,” the “Today Show” and “Quest Means Business” on CNN International.
In 2008, Donna Hull clicked the publish button on My Itchy Travel Feet, The Baby Boomer’s Guide to Travel, becoming one of the first boomer travel bloggers on the Internet. She quickly learned that online businesses require flexibility and a willingness to change, which is why her award-winning travel blog became an award-winning online magazine for boomer travelers.
Rather than hiding her age, Donna embraces it, inspiring boomers to explore the world one adventure at a time. She’s faced a fear of heights while paragliding in Maui and indulged her travel princess side on a South African safari. Donna doesn’t count countries, states, national parks, or UNESCO World Heritage sites. However she does tally up her nights at sea—400 and counting on small ship luxury cruises.
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.
Raimee Iacofano is the Creative Director for Nomadic Matt. From editing videos, designing graphics, writing copy, and planning content to dissecting analytics and creating viable marketing strategies, Raimee knows how to creatively engage audiences and drive traffic through a multitude of social media and digital platforms. Before her time at Nomadic Matt she worked for MDC Partner’s Media Assembly digital marketing agency in Detroit, Michigan after receiving her Bachelor of Arts in Advertising & Media from Michigan State University. She also runs her own website at doitallabroad.com where she teaches others how to work remotely and travel the world.
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.
Sher is a New York City based photographer with a thirst for travel and a perpetually overflowing suitcase. An avid trip planner, she originally founded her travel and fashion blog Sher She Goes, to satisfy friends and family seeking itinerary advice. Today, the website is one of the Top 25 most read travel blogs the world. Follow along at SherSheGoes.com for adventures in the Big Apple….and around the world!
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.
Matt Kepnes, otherwise known as Nomadic Matt, is the authority on cost-conscious travel. An intrepid globetrotter, blogger, and author of How to Travel the World on $50 a Day: Travel Cheaper, Longer, Smarter, Matt and his money-saving travel secrets have been featured in The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, Time, The Huffington Post, The Guardian, National Geographic, and countless other publications, and on CNN and the BBC. First launched in 2008 as a means of cataloging his personal travel experiences, Matt’s website, NomadicMatt.com, has evolved into a valuable trip-planning tool for budding and savvy travelers, alike.
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.
Benny Lewis is a National Geographic Traveler of the year, founder of Fluent in 3 Months, the world’s largest language learning blog with 1.5 million monthly visitors, and an international best selling author. He has been on the road since 2003, with the theme of his travels being centered around learning the local language of the country that he visits. He has studied dozens of languages over the years and can speak six of them at advanced fluency. With his background being originally in electronic engineering, he has combined tech with his passion to encourage adult language learners, while experimenting with the latest in livestreaming technology.
Michael Lisovetsky is currently the co-founder of JUICE, a digital marketing agency based in New York City. He has been an active entrepreneur since starting his first company, a web hosting company, at the age of 14. He’s the former Director of Growth at Common and former founder of Skylight, a tinder for apartments. He has a finance degree from NYU Stern. Michael raised $500k for his previous company, Skylight, from Tim Draper (Investor in SpaceX, Tesla, Hotmail), Marc Benioff (Founder & CEO, Salesforce), and Great Oaks VC. Skylight was acquired by Common, the leading coliving company.
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.
Mark Manson is a blogger, entrepreneur, and the best-selling author of The Subtle Art of Not Giving a Fuck, which has sold over 7 million copies worldwide. He specializes in writing personal development advice that doesn’t suck. His website MarkManson.net is read by over 2 million people each month. His new book, Everything is Fucked: A Book About Hope will be published in May. He lives in New York City.
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. His company, Conversion Sciences, was one of the first agencies focused exclusively on website optimization. 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 and has spoken at UT Austin, Texas A&M and Baylor. He created the highly regarded blog The Conversion Scientist, and has columns at ClickZ.com, Search Engine Land, Marketing Land and the Content Marketing Institute.
Kaitlin McMichael is the Lead SEO Manager at Getty Images in Seattle, WA. Before joining Getty Images, Kaitlin specialized in SEO at Portent, an SEO agency. Previous to that position, Kaitlin was the Marketing Manager for SouthAmerica.travel, a tour operator and travel agency specializing in South America. Kaitlin has lived and worked in Lima, Peru, and Buenos Aires, Argentina, and traveled around much of Latin America. Kaitlin has a graduate certificate in Advanced Interactive Marketing from the University of Washington, and has taught at the University of Washington as a guest lecturer on SEO. She has written on marketing, SEO, travel, music and the arts for dozens of websites, including Seattle Met.
Kamila has travelled to 70 countries on 6 continents, most of them she visited solo. A traveler and blogger from Poland, writing at Kami and the Rest of the World, who enjoys visiting less known regions, such as former USSR, the Balkans or Middle East. She loves digging into the culture and history and always try to find cool / alternative spots wherever she goes. On her blog she encourages readers to discover not so popular destinations and shows that world isn’t such a scary place. Despite traveling for over 100 days per year she still has a full time job back at home in Warsaw.
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 with destinations, travel companies and sustainable tourism organizations to develop, position and market community-based and adventure tourism products, social enterprises and culturally responsible destinations. They advocate for travel as a force for good that can benefit local communities, travelers and businesses. They will be leading a panel 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.
Chris is the Community Manager for Nomadic Matt and the author of The Dogs of Nam, a collection of outrageous and insightful tales from over a decade of backpacking the world. Responsible for the interconnected communities under the Nomadic Matt flag (Superstar Blogging, the Community Forums, and The Nomadic Network), Chris knows what it takes to manage and engage communities of all sizes. With an ever-expanding To-Do list, he has learned what it takes to conquer checklists and overcome procrastination. He will be speaking on time management and productivity.
Troy Osinoff is currently the co-founder of JUICE, a digital marketing agency based in NYC. He took a shoe company out of bankruptcy and helped it become profitable, helped grow a Grammy-winning recording studio, created a viral media site called Make A Dare, co-founded a media company with 1.7M visitors daily ($0 paid promotion), and created a viral Tumblr that was turned into a nationally sold book (sold to FOX last year to become a TV show). He created Fuze cases, lead digital marketing for the largest HVAC company in the world ($4.2B annual sales), created a group of ecommerce stores grossing 7 figures of revenue, and most recently was head of customer acquisition for BuzzFeed.
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.
Rolf Potts has reported from more than sixty countries for the likes of National Geographic Traveler, The New Yorker, Slate.com, Outside, the New York Times Magazine, The Believer, The Guardian (U.K.), Sports Illustrated, National Public Radio, and the Travel Channel. Potts is perhaps best known for promoting the ethic of independent travel, and his book on the subject, Vagabonding: An Uncommon Guide to the Art of Long-Term World Travel, has been through twenty-eight printings and translated into several foreign languages. He will be leading a writing workshop.
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.
Stephie Predmore loves bringing brands and influencers together in her role as Director of Influencer Marketing at Mediavine. With a background as both a blogger and brand representative, she understands both sides of the brand-blogger equation and is passionate about getting brands the custom content they need in a way that values the work of the influencers. Outside of work, she loves to rescue all the animals and bake all the things.
Ramsey Qubein is a freelance travel journalist covering the hotel, cruise, and airline industry from every corner of the globe. His primary areas of focus include the world of business travel, loyalty programs, and the travel trade market. His work has appeared in numerous consumer and industry publications including Travel+Leisure, Readers Digest, BBC Worldwide, USA Today, Frommers.com, Fodors.com, Conde Nast Traveler, Airways, Travel Age West, MSN.com, Bustle.com, and AAA magazines. Ramsey writes a regular travel column for AFAR magazine and serves as the International Travel Editor of Business Traveler magazine.
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.
Annette Richmond is a blogger, writer, and the creator of
Fat Girls Traveling. She’s currently a contributor at Ravishly and On She Goes. This self-proclaimed Fat Girl is a staunch supporter of the Body Positive Movement. Her Fat Girls Traveling Instagram and Facebook Groups have recently been featured in Teen Vogue, Allure, Self and Shape Magazines. From dressing top models and celebrities to traveling to over 18 countries, her goal is to continue to be a voice for Fat Travelers and Fashionistas. She will be speaking on the subject of diversity in travel.
Kristen Sarah is the creator of Hopscotch the Globe, a popular YouTube channel, blog and lifestyle brand that features advice, hacks and inspiration for traveling the world. Kristen along with her husband Siya also show you that the trip doesn’t stop when you come home and that culture can be part of your everyday life. Hopscotch the Globe on YouTube has become one of the leading travel video channels with over 226,000 subscribers and 37 million views. Today, the married duo, along with their baby girl and adorable pup live and run their business in a 1976 vintage airstream and are teaching their audience how to travel the world and have a family. She will be speaking on how to build a YouTube audience.
Jadah Sellner is the host of the Lead with Love™ podcast, international keynote and TEDx speaker redefining the way we work, lead and love. As the co-founder of Simple Green Smoothies (featured in Oprah’s O Magazine, the Wall Street Journal and CBS’s The Doctors TV Show.), serial entrepreneur and online community growth strategist, Jadah built a community of 355,000 email subscribers and 415,000 Instagram followers. With a simple and inspiring model, Jadah dedicates her time consulting companies and personal brands to build communities with love, service, and impact.
Patricia Serrano is a travel advisor who started off as a travel blogger as well as a travel host and film/video producer. She still blogs but she also now has a travel business booking honeymoons, family trips, safaris, destination weddings, babymoons, minimoons, buddymoons, and all kinds of moons for clients. Starting her travel agent career at luxury travel agency Protravel International in 2014, her goal to change the world through travel led her to be an early adopter and Impact Travel Ambassador for Myght, the first network of social entrepreneurs and travel advisors focused on sustainable and community-based tourism. She is also the co-lead of Impact Travel Alliance’s NYC Hub.
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
Cheryl Strayed is the author of the #1 New York Times bestselling memoir WILD, the New York Times bestsellers TINY BEAUTIFUL THINGS and BRAVE ENOUGH, and the novel TORCH. Her books have been translated into forty languages around the world. WILD was chosen by Oprah Winfrey as her first selection for Oprah’s Book Club 2.0. Strayed’s essays have been published in The Best American Essays, the New York Times, the Washington Post Magazine, Vogue, Salon, The Sun, Tin House, and elsewhere.
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.
A Senior Travel Contributor at Forbes, Alexandra Talty is based in Lebanon. Committed to a life of adventure, she’s lived in four countries before turning 30. Her work also appears regularly in Playboy Magazine, The National and AFAR Magazine, among others. Before becoming a full-time writer, she was the founding Editor-in-Chief of StepFeed in the Middle East. Follow her @taltywrites on Twitter and Instagram.
Mary Ann Thomas is the brown queer daughter of Indian immigrant parents, a travel nurse, bike tourist, and writer. She bicycled over 10,000 miles in the last five years. In 2017, she rode across India from the Himalayas to Kerala, the state where her family is from. Her work has been published in The Rumpus, Autostraddle, She Explores, and Panorama: The Journal of Intelligent Travel, among other journals. She is currently working on a travel memoir about her ride across India.
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.
Chris Vasquez is the director of product at AWeber, where he works with a team of product managers and UX/UI designers to create tools and experiences that enable entrepreneurs, bloggers, podcasters and businesses to connect with their audiences in remarkable ways. He’s most passionate about identifying and helping to unlock super powers in product people, from becoming data-whisperers to prototyping mad scientists. He’s almost equally passionate about building things that enable people to do incredible things and feel amazing doing them. He will be speaking on how to set up an email list.
Erica Virvo is a purposeful traveler and connector, who loves the thrill of living in countries people have rarely heard of. She’s spent 5 years studying and working in obscure countries in the Middle East, Asia, the Caribbean, and Africa. Erica has been an integral part of the Nomadic Matt team since she moved back to the U.S. in 2013, assisting on most projects and heading the creation of the series of self-published city, country, and continent Nomadic Matt Guidebooks. Her tips have been featured publications including Levo League, the Positive Psychology Podcast, and Forbes. Erica will be presenting about self-publishing.
It is possible to build a career, raise a family, and achieve your travel and blogging goals. Nicole Wears, along with her husband Cameron, write about their family adventures on their award winning Canadian travel blog, TravelingCanucks.com. Over the past decade, Nicole has built long term partnerships with several travel destinations and industry brands, and is a contributing writer for many digital publications in the family travel niche. As a mother of two young boys, she’s committed to showing families that traveling with young kids is very rewarding, for parents and kids.
Tony Wheeler is an English publishing entrepreneur, businessman and travel writer, and co-founder of the Lonely Planet guidebook company with his wife Maureen Wheeler. By the time Tony co-founded Lonely Planet Publications in 1973, he already had the travel bug. And ever since, travel and discovery have been at the heart of his life and career.
Connect with Tony: Website
Crissa Youngblood is the Director of Marketing at Fat Tire Tours and began working with Fat Tire Tours in 2010 in their Austin, TX headquarters. She single-handedly developed Fat Tire Tours’ social media presence and has grown its community from day one. Today, as the Director of Marketing, Crissa works in Paris, France. She oversees all of the company’s digital and print marketing, the Fat Tire Tours Social Media Ambassador Program, affiliate marketing, and so much more! She has a strong belief that user-generated content and strong partnerships are the foundation for any successful marketing campaign.
Siya Zarrabi has been documenting his life highlights since the age of 17. Now, Siya and his wife Kristen Sarah run Hopscotch the Globe, a travel website/YouTube channel that has turned into a thriving business. Siya’s cinematography and articles have brought in business from Fortune 500 companies and tourism boards world-wide. He will be speaking on Visual Storytelling – How to Create Your Story.
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.