The Big Apple: The Center of the Travel Universe

After so many years of visiting the New York Times Travel show this time of year, you’d think it would become old hat. But it’s still invigorating to don the badge and make my way onto the show floor to meet up with so many of the colleagues and friends I’ve made after doing this for ten years.

I was nervous, with an impending presentation I was doing at 3 pm. So as I walked around and said hello to booth keepers, I glanced at my watch, thinking about it.  I ran into Johnny DiScala, known as Johnny Jet, and immediately two pretty women travel agents were agiggle about wanting to have their photos taken with him. It’s all in a days work for him I guess.

I was happy to catch up with Janis Turk, whose writing I very much admire, and who I am hoping will be a bigger presence on GoNOMAD in 2013.  Our hard working and talented former intern Kathleen Broadhurst also made the trip down, and walked around the show handing out GoNOMAD tote bags and talking to people in booths.

The presentation was about the business of running a website–and I feared a small crowd but it turned out to be a packed room. I kept wondering if all of these people actually run their own blogs or travel sites, and then realized that maybe they’re just interested in my topic.  I shared my knowledge of the business and made sure my Powerpoints were not lists I would read–instead I just put up photos and titles and elaborated from my own notes. I for one hate reading the slides while the guy on the podium reads them again.

The day was capped off by dinner in Chinatown with Sonja Stark, another GoNOMAD stalwart, and then drinks at Lolita Bar, where so many of the usual suspects gathered. Great people like Susan Van Allen, and Karen Loftus, writers who have made a real mark and whom I respect. There is nothing like a trade show to bring people together, and there’s no better place to meet than in the Big Apple!