It was a soft evening on the spacious terrace of the Gran Melia here in Marbella, Spain. The waitresses were delivering white wine and as I looked out at the crowd, I immediately knew I was back in the fold of my favorite group of people I know….my travel tribe. These were the speakers who had come here with me to meet with 300 or so travel bloggers and share the wisdom we gleaned over our long careers in travel content creation.
There is something magical and special about having a tribe and knowing who they are. And as I have learned again and again, in this business, age really helps, and the decades of doing what you do bring you a great reward. Sticking with a blog like this makes it golden, and the path before me is littered with the corpses of dead blogs. But mine never died, just like the website, GoNOMAD Travel, it’s going strong and every day we add a story to the mix.
Last night, I saw Mickella Mallozzi the dancer and TV host, who I have known for twenty years, who is always so charming, and interesting, and lets you in to know her, and old friends Tim Leffel, with whom I work on travel content marketing, and Avgeek and blogger Kerwin MacKenzie, who I always see at events around the world, and Rick Calvert, who runs TBEX and other tradeshows, who I first met at Keystone Resort in 2012. Then there was Shane Dallas the Travel Camel, with his wife and toddler from Kenya…and old friends Deb Corbeil and Dave Bouskill, from Toronto, who I always so enjoy seeing. And so many others who I have known for years and continue to run into with a big smile.
This is what makes the whole of my life so enjoyable, these bridges I’ve never burned, the flames I’ve always fanned, the energy we all put into our creative outlets, and the stories we all share. These people to a person, are accomplished, and giving, and interesting, and have good hearts and fine personalities.
I am so proud that I count so many of them on my real friends’ list, not any inflated Facebook list, but a real list, and seeing them in person makes all of the travel to get here 100 percent worth it. The following morning we all set out on excursions around the city. I joined Tim Leffel on a hiking trip to the impressive Camanito del Rey, a cliff walk with walkways that dangle 1000s of feet above a river gorge, with a one-way hike to a fine restaurant at the end.