Category Archives: Blog & Branding

Press Trip Conundrum: What do we owe in return?

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I love a good press trip. Some hold up their noses to it. Others see them as their sole means for travel. I am neither extreme. I appreciate a good press trip for the same reasons I appreciate any opportunity to obtain content for work. Over the years I have gotten better in the press trip, or “fam” trip, practices. I am more selective, more inquisitive, and more conservative with the asks in the contracts I am often required to sign ahead of time.

I’ve learned to “calm down” when it comes to press trip invitations, meaning, I’ve gotten to the point where I don’t immediately say yes, no questions asked, and actually take a day or two to respond to an invite.

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What I learned from the We All Grow Summit

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This post is sponsored by New Dove Dry Spray Antiperspirant

Part of one’s journey through life is in trying to figure out their place in it. We are always searching for a place to belong, a community, and space where we can let our hair down and be ourselves, and be accepted for it.

In blogging, this is no different. Not every blogger is the same, though our paths may often cross and we may be connected here or there. For many of us, our community is where we find our support, or wisdom, our courage, and our spirit.

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Staying in touch with updates and latest news

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I’ve been pretty busy as of late, more than I can cover in just one little blog post. Speaking of blog posts, I’ve been sort of slow in getting them on my site, but I assure you, I’ve been plenty busy writing!

2015 has turned out to be a big year. And it’s only March.

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Winter road tripping packing tips

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We aren’t done with winter just yet, but my family and I haven’t let the cold weather and snow stop us from taking day-long or weekend road trips to some of our favorite nearby destinations.

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Heading to Los Angeles for the #WeAllGrowSummit

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This post is sponsored by New Dove Dry Spray Antiperspirant

This February 26-28, 2015, I will be in Los Angeles attending the first ever We All Grow Summit by Latina Bloggers Connect.

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Blogging Practices that Pay Off

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Every once in awhile it’s good to dust yourself off from lessons learned and start anew. Before I move on with what promises to be an exciting year, I wanted to share some of the insight over the years that have made managing my brand and blogging career easier over time.

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Hiring Public Relations Representation as a Blogger

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Not too long ago, I got an invite to an event being held in New York City from the public relation agency for a brand that a blogger friend of mine was working with. They were promoting a product where her creative content was front and center.

I hated the email. Not because I wasn’t happy for my friend and her success. Not because I wouldn’t have loved to have seen her and support her (though I was out of the country at the time of her event), but because what I received wasn’t an email from my friend letting me know that she would be in town and asking me to come support her event. No. It was an email, from a PR rep, telling me about this new celebrity blogger who was doing this amazing thing in partnership with their brand client. It was impersonal, cold, and arrogant (whether my friend intended to be presented in this way or not). I know several bloggers who also considered themselves this person’s friend and who were her mentors when she was a newbie blogger who did felt hurt and insulted.

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Off on an Iberian Adventure!

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Over the next week I will be joining the nice people of Insight Vacations for another fabulous tour. This time, I will be going on an Iberian adventure which will kick off at Lisbon, Portugal and end in Madrid, Spain.

The itinerary promises to delight my senses with the food, sights, and sounds of these two countries. Other stops are: Evora, also in Portugal, and Sevilla and Madrid in Spain.

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Photographing The Planet D

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One of the things my parents always told me when I was growing up was that nothing in life is free. As immigrants to this country, they knew first-hand that to achieve anything worthy of pride and merit, you had to work hard for it.

My parents raised me to see that the rewards that come from having committed yourself to a goal are greater than the instant (and quickly fading) gratification of having been given anything you didn’t really have to make much effort for.

As a professional travel blogger, I am often reminded of these lessons because though it may seem at times that this “lifestyle” is full of freebies and perks, the truth is that the most solid, most valuable, most significant opportunities and experiences – and yes, even the most lucrative ones – are often a result of the hard work, time, and effort that has been put into your brand beforehand. Though at times it may seem as if these things are just falling from the sky for some, there is a lot behind the scenes that has happened long before anyone ever gets there.

During my years in this profession, there are few bloggers that I have met that are representative of this example and two of those bloggers are Debra and Dave from The Planet D.

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Talking about Diversity in the Adirondacks

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This past weekend, my family and I headed to the town of Newcomb in the beautiful Adirondacks. We’ve been to the area before and have enjoyed it, but the purpose of my visit this time was as an invited guest speaker at the symposium “Toward A More Diverse Adirondacks“, where educators, scientists, sociologists, business leaders, and community members addressed the lack of diversity in the community, its effect on the sustainability of the park and the overall well-being and growth of the area.

I came in as a professional in the travel industry and as a frequent speaker on issues of diversity and tourism, to talk about how to best improve perceptions, raise positive awareness of the area among minority travelers, and how to best cater to and attract that community.

It was an interesting role to be in, as I am neither a native nor a resident of the area, whereas a lot of people, if not everyone there, was one or both.

There were many voices represented throughout this all-day discussion, and, as is often the case in conversations on diversity, it was at times very personal and very passionate. It was also exhausting. These discussions took place as my emotions are still reeling from all that is happening in Ferguson – an issue that has been emotionally draining to watch unfold.

But what I wanted to share here was my overall excitement about the fact that this continues to be a conversation happening in not just the urban areas of our country, but also in the rural ones. That community members are becoming aware of their surroundings and are starting to come together for change. A lot of the concerns addressed during the symposium are concerns shared with those I have connected and worked with in the past, like the National Parks Foundation, who in partnership with the American Latino Heritage Fund, worked to try to change perceptions of minorities and the outdoors. 

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