TBEX – Costa Brava
About a year ago I attended my first TBEX, a conference for travel bloggers and travel professionals from around the world. TBEX was held over three days in Lloret De Mar, a small city where you are never too far from long, sandy beaches, and the shining turquoise of the Mediterranean. Lloret De Mar is found just up the coast from Barcelona, in Costa Brava. This part of Spain is known for its Catalonian architecture, where tiny white and yellow houses can be found next to jagged rock cliffs. In the wind you can smell the sweetness of the sea, and if you’re lucky the seafood, for which Costa Brava is well known.
I went to TBEX wanting to learn about travel blogging from industry professionals. But I also wanted to learn about myself. This was going to be my first TBEX, and also my first solo trip in almost five years. I’m not going to lie – I was a bit nervous. It took a leap of faith to go on this trip, but I couldn’t be happier that I did it!
How I got there: I flew into Barcelona airport, where I had hired a luxury car service _____VIPCARSLUX_____ to drive me to Lloret De Mar. My driver, Guiseppe, was such a good sport. He drove all around the city and took pictures of me. It was a windy day, and at one point the wind caught my hat it flew behind me! I turned to grab it, but before I could Guiseppe began to run after it. He slipped and fell in the ocean – I felt soooo bad! The water must not have bothered him too much though because he sent me an email the next day asking me to look him up next time I visit.
Where I stayed: I stayed at Alva Park Hotel and Spa. Alva Park is located in a secluded spot by the beach, a short walk from downtown Lloret De Mar.
After checking in and getting my badge for the conference, I called my mom (like I was 12) and told her how nervous I was to be in another country without knowing anyone. She told me to relax and to hang up and say hello to the next person I see. I looked to my right and saw a guy about my age eating pizza. We shook hands and starting talking. It was his first TBEX as well, so as newbies we clicked right away.
Over the next few days I met many more travel bloggers, some newbies and some experts. I loved listening to their stories from around the world.
What I learned: I had two favorite seminars at TBEX. One was about leveraging my brand beyond my blog, and the other talked about how to make engaging travel videos… something to look out for in the future! 🙂
What I loved: Like high school, TBEX isn’t all about the classes. It’s about the parties too! The first night we were taken on a boat ride to the nearby Santa Christina Beach. There I met some other bloggers, and we all enjoyed the good selection of local beers and wines. There were lots of Spanish tapas to try – and I even learned how to make Spanish tomato toast!
aFriday night, I went for a walk and ended up at Da Hoff Square, in downtown Lloret. There I found an old retro arcade with bumper cars. The whole place had neon lights, and it felt like a night club with loud house music bumping. I decided to try them out…. and it was so much fun that I had to go back again!
TBEX was a great learning experience. It gave me the inspiration I needed to focus on my blog. It showed me that there are friends to be made when traveling solo. And it gave me the skills I need to become a better travel blogger.
I am incredibly grateful that I am able to travel the world. My hope with this blog is to share some of the world’s most stunning destinations, and to inspire others to travel.
Thanks to everyone who is following my blog. There will be many more posts coming soon!