[Michael Yessis facilitating the travel writing panel with Alison Stein Wellner, David Farley, Don George, and Jim Benning]

This past weekend, I flew into New York (well, Newark) for the 1st annual Travel Blog Exchange (TBEX) conference. It felt so refreshing to finally meet fellow travel writers/bloggers/photographers I’d spent years (3-4 years!) chatting with and befriending online.

Here are a few of my favorite shots:

Hanging out with bonafide Matador babes – Nancy Harder, Abbie Mood, and JoAnna Haugen, and new friend, fellow photographer Jessica Stuart.

I wonder what Michael Yessis is pondering.

Chowing down on sandwiches, cheese and fruit trays sponsored by the Australian Outback’s Northern Territory Tourism board.

Rocking the Dr. Seuss top hat while listening to the effortlessly funny Mike Barish.

Ann Lombardi, The Trip Chicks

To know Ann Lombardi of The Trip Chicks is to love her. Plain and simple.

Organizers Kim Mance and Maren Hogan talking logistics between panels.

A true testament to how popular an event is (and rightfully so) is if you’ve got people sitting on the floor.

The real reason we were all there – to mingle and finally meet.

You can read a host of blog summaries about TBEX via Maren’s excellent compilation of links and also check out my short summary of Matador’s presence at TBEX.

To all the fantastic, warm, talented, spirited, and downright cool people I met at TBEX (too many to list), keep doing what you do and stay focused on that true path life has crafted just for you, and no one else.

Stay blessed.

  • @Ekua – Absolutely! It’s only a matter of time 🙂

  • I bummed that I missed this! What a great networking opportunity and I would love to meet you in person sometime. But I guess I can’t be too sad that I missed out because this year I’ve gotten the chance to meet a bunch of people from the Matador community this year and I was able to meet Sarah in Oaxaca. So I think that the chance that we will meet eventually is inevitable! It’s cool to see the gravatar faces I’ve grown accustomed to side by side 😉

  • This was the best conference for meeting people. I love all my new TBEX friends. Hope you come back to NYC again soon.

  • Oh cool!

    I saw so many people posting on Twitter about TBEX, but I haven’t had a chance to see any pictures from it. Yours came out really nice!
    I was suprised when I saw everyone sitting on the floor – that’s a lot of travel writers in one room!

  • Hey Guys! Wish I had the chance to be here this sounds like fun. If all of you are free, you might want to party with us at World Wide Travel Blog Party everyone’s invited.. and if you have other friends and travel bloggers who wants to come feel free to invite them too! Kudos to everyone!! See you there! 🙂

  • Man, I totally missed this by one day (at a wedding)! All the matador folks look so happy.

  • Hey Lola!! Thanks for this great photo essay of a great weekend.
    It was great seeing you again!!

  • thanks for sharing these pix, I am sorry i missed it. The panels would have been cool, but the peeps, especially you Lola is what I regret missing!
    I will def be at Tbex 2011 in Vancouver!

  • @Audrey – Thanks! and I feel the same way about finally sitting with you and Dan.

    @Abbie – You’re so adorable!

    @Nancy – Had a blast with the Gnomettes! Hope to see you guys again in Vancouver, and will be looking for some free “Brewery Quest” coasters in my swag bag 😀

    @Dylan – Haha. A girl’s gotta hustle across the globe. I do miss coding every now and then.

    @Carlo – Likewise!

    @Fly Girl (Roz) – I wished I could see Fela on stage! Hope to see you in Vancouver 2011.

    @Ann – You’re the sweetest. Hugs!

  • Great to see my favorite travel photo-journalist, Lola! Thanks very much for the super job of documenting our conference. Excited about a reunion at TBEX 2011 in Vancouver! Happy travels. Ann Lombardi of The Trip Chicks

  • I want to cry! I was on a panel at TBEX last year and now it’s bigger than ever and I missed it! I can’t believe how huge it is now. I remember the magic of meeting all the travel bloggers face to face, I’m glad you had a good time. I won’t be coming to NY until two weeks, when I go to see Fela!

  • Great photos Lola! So glad we finally connected in person. Until next time!

  • On a less travel-pro-insider note, I had a funny feeling that you were upside down recently. Turns out I was right! But looks like a really fun event even if it was antipodean. Keep the photos coming.

  • Great collection of photos, Lola. James loves them too. 🙂 It was so great to meet, room and hang with you over the weekend. Thanks for the delicioso chocolates too. Digestives rock.

  • yay for TBEX! it was so great to meet you 🙂

  • A great collection of photos here – good memories! You did a great job representing Matador on the ethics panel. I’m so glad we had a chance to meet in person and have a few minutes to chat about life, photography, NGOs and upcoming plans.