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. She will be speaking on solo female travel blogging.
Gary Arndt is an awarding winning blogger and travel photographer who has been traveling around the world since 2007.
His travels have taken him to 200 countries and territories in the Traveler’s Century Club and 128 United Nations countries. He has also visited over 375 UNESCO World Heritage sites and all 50 US states.
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.
He is one of the most awarded travel photographers of this decade. He was named the 2014 SATW Travel Photographer of the Year as well as the 2013 & 2015 NATJA Travel Photographer of the Year. He is the only travel photographer to have been named photographer of the year by both organizations. He is also a 3-time Lowell Thomas Award winner in Photo Illustration of Travel and a 2x Northern Lights Award winner in photography.
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.
He is also an associate producer and senior travel correspondent for On Travel, on the American Forces Radio Network.
Gary is also an accomplished public speaker and has spoken on topics related to travel and new media on six continents.
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. She will be speaking on solo female travel blogging.
Connect with Gloria: Blog | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram
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 and twice selected as ‘BBC Radio 4 Book of the Week’; one, ‘Sushi and Beyond’, was adapted as an anime series for Japanese national television. 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.
“The new Bill Bryson” – The New York Times.
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. She will be speaking on family travel.
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. He will be running one of the writing workshops during the conference.
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 — not to mention Jessie was the featured tour guide on BBC Travel’s New York City episode. 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.
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. He has visited more than ninety countries on six continents, has published hundreds of articles, and regularly speaks and teaches at conferences, campuses, and companies from San Francisco to Singapore to London. 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. Don has also edited ten acclaimed literary travel anthologies, including An Innocent Abroad, Better Than Fiction, and The Kindness of Strangers. He is co-founder and chairman of the acclaimed Book Passage Travel Writers & Photographers Conference, and co-founder and co-host of the San Francisco travel literature reading series, Weekday Wanderlust.
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…along with Jeff Bezos and Elon Musk.
He speaks on marketing, growth and storytelling to clients ranging from Accenture to Zappos. He’s trained entrepreneurs, corporate executives and even senior leaders at The Pentagon. Clay has written for The Washington Post, Forbes and The Next Web and his work has been featured in Fast Company, The Financial Post and The New York Times.
Today, 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.
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.
Mike & Anne left on their honeymoon in January 2012…and never came home. Using Anne’s background as a national magazine editor and Mike’s as a digital marketing exec and photographer, 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. Firm believers that love and travel make the world a better place, they seek to inspire others as Smithsonian speakers and National Geographic photographers and authors of Ultimate Journeys for Two. Their next book releases fall 2019.
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.
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.
Stefan got his traveling start in China where he lived and worked for a decade, becoming fluent in Mandarin Chinese. He is currently based in Seattle.
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.
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.
Sam McRoberts, founder & CEO of VUDU Marketing, has been doing web design and online marketing for 18 years, and has extensive experience with search engine optimization (SEO), content marketing, paid search marketing, conversion optimization and social media marketing. He has done work for hundreds of companies such as HTC, Microsoft, Nokia, Getty Images, HostGator, Goodreads, Scholastic, and Shane Co.Sam is the author of Screw the Zoo (#1 Amazon best seller in self-help), a book about escaping from the mental and societal cages that keep us trapped, and writes for Inc. and Entrepreneur.
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. He is leading a photo walk.
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, with new destinations announced this year!
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. He will be running multiple sessions on setting up and optimizing your website.
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. She will be speaking on how to achieve success on YouTube.
Connect with Kristen: Blog | YouTube | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram
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.
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. He will be running one of the writing workshops.
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, TripAdvisors Tripkey’s Top 10 Travel Vloggers, and is listed as one of Hufﬁngton Post’s Top Travel Bloggers. She will be speaking on how to achieve success on YouTube.
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.