Now that TBEX is over what am I suppose to do? Less then 45 days ago I had no desire to attend TBEX. My introduction to the Travel Blogger Exchange started in April during a trip to Aruba when I met my dancing sister Mickela and furiously sold me on the benefits of attending throughout our trip.
After Aruba I had an inclination to attend but I wasn’t totally sold. They say strength is in numbers because on my recent trip to Jordan seven of my colleagues shared their enthusiasm for TBEX and I was 3/4 sold on attending.
The nail in the coffin finally came when I found out a few companies I’ve worked with in the past were also attending. I’m excited yay yay, I going to TBEX but now I need a flight, hotel and most importantly a ticket. Doing things last minute has its penalties unless you have the determination to overcome adversity. Long story short everything came through and I was on my way to TBEX. I’m glad I went with no expectation because TBEX exceeded my colleague’s sales pitches.
During my weekend in Toronto, Canada, (BTW is not one of my favorite countries to visit due to immigration giving me a hard time upon every visit) I experienced a travel blogger homecoming! I graduated from Tennessee State University, a historically black college and we have a huge homecoming culture of visiting Nashville to reconnect with friends and family and TBEX felt the same. Seeing people I’ve met around the world on different trips and reconnecting with hugs, kisses, smiles and laughs were pretty awesome.
We’re never far away with social media a phone grab away so the conversation is never taken up by what have you been up to; you already know. It was exciting to introduce my friends to each other, connect companies with bloggers and network with new faces. But most importantly we partied like its “1999” and in those moments bonds are forged!!! The chain of events that started on Friday evening with the opening night party at Roy Thompson Hall and this party won me over from the start with free food, wine, beer and deserts. In a couple of hours I reconnected with everyone and was introduced to new faces that would soon form the Poutine train.
The Poutine Train crew (if you want to know what Poutine is click here)
Mickela Mallozzi Bare Feet with Mickela Mallozzi
Ryan van Duzer Duzer TV
Kelly Ferro Trip Films
Patricia Serrano Fresh Traveler
Courtney Scott Let’s Roam with Courtney Scott
Ashley Castle Travel with Castle
Lisa Cohen Make Me Hungry
Gareth Leonard Tourist 2 Townie
Kate Thomas Travel with Kate
Kristen Sarah Hopscotch the Globe
Juliana Broste Traveling Jules
Jessie Festa Jessie on a Journey
*If I left you off the Poutine Train roll call please forgive me*
After a long day of networking the Expedia Viewing party on Centre Island turned it up a notch (Play the video) and we danced like Jaggar lol! The after party hosted by Matador Network at Easy & the Fifth was #EPIC, we dance from the time we stepped into the building but the vivid memories that continuously loop in my head are dancing to “Jump on it” and entire Poutine Train singing Bohemian Rhapsody with the same conviction as Freddie Mercury.
The poutine train choo choo’d into Sunday sharing beers on a beautiful breezy afternoon greeting new comers to the table with a chant of “Ole Ole Ole” followed up with “Andele andele moma E.I. E.I., uh ohhhhhhhh what’s happening now” a verse from Nelly’s “E.I.” and concluded with “Hoops there it is” and ode to Tag Team and the actually name of the sports bar.
Somehow? Thank you Sweet Baby Jesus, after everyone dispersed I found myself amongst three beautiful women having a sexy Italian dinner at La Bettola di Terroni with my angels: Lisa, Kate and Ashley!
If TBEX were a film it couldn’t have been written any better and now I’m living vicariously through tagged photos and videos feeling warm and fuzzy inside looking forward to the next TBEX homecoming. I don’t think I would want time machine but I’d rather have a re-live button so I can hit the repeat button on demand. Until a genius figures out how to make that happen TBEX is over, now what?