Talk about inspiration.
As many of you know last weekend, in Austin Texas I attended a business conference. Not just any business conference, but more like 600 travel influencers gathering to share stories, ideas, and inspiring content.
I have never seen so many adventurous souls in one location. Not only this, but as a travel influencer, the outside world has a tendency to be highly judgmental, with a lack of understanding our lifestyle.
Since I was young, I had the desire to travel, an influential mindset came with maturity.
Through the power of writing I am able to create experiences and tell a story- inspiring others to lead their life with passion and a sense of adventure. Encouraging others to take a step outside their cubicle and explore the unknown.
This world is filled with opportunities and you have the power to create those opportunities for yourself.
If you are looking for some inspiration on taking the leap for your next adventure here are some people that you MUST follow.
1. Steve Kamb: If you are going to model your business motto, structure, mission, really ANYTHING business related off of someone, Steve with Nerd Fitness is your dude. Combining two passions that you wouldn’t think mesh, he really hit the nail on the head with this one. He takes it so much deeper than “followers” Steve has created a tribe and changes people’s lives every day.
People plan their pregnancies around attending his conference. I’m not even pulling your leg!
Not only this, but he is genuine, humble and approachable. I had the pleasure of chatting with him after his information session and you can feel the joy radiate when he speaks, he has found his calling. Every single person who approached him was given a heartfelt response to all of their questions. His insight to me was sincere and so valuable. Thank you, for doing what you do Steve, you are making a difference in the world.
2. Edin Chavez: Is a photographer, but not just any photographer, I’m talking the kind that will walk through swamps every day for months on end to get the perfect shot. The one who has a vision and no amount of money, or obstacles will stand in the way of achieving. Edin’s personality is expressed through his photos, he has his own style, and embraces it. Some photographers compromise their talent and styles by popular demand. NOT EDIN. He embraces his art, as he should. It is truly magnificent. He is the photographer that will wait on a dicey street in Cuba for three hours, take not one, but two trips to Greece for the shipwreck beach because his photo was missing something.
The most influential words Edin said to me were, In response to me saying, “well if this doesn’t work out, nursing is my fallback plan.” Edin says, you cannot think of this as a fallback plan, If you think of it as a fallback, you will fail. You can and do have the willpower to be successful, nursing is a supplement to this lifestyle you’ve created for yourself. You will be successful so own it.”
4. Laurence and Jess: Photographers who journeyed all the way from Scotland for this conference were on the photo walk tour I joined. I didn’t bring a camera, as I wanted to utilize this experience to decide which camera I wanted to purchase. Laurence loaned me his camera for the duration of the photo walk, I know what you’re thinking…WOW that was so nice of him, Y’ALL it gets better. Laurence and Jess loaned me their camera after the tour to practice and shoot around. THEN sent me all the photos I took! Bless their beautiful souls. They are two of the nicest human beings and I cannot wait until our paths cross again.
4. Raimee Locofano: Social media marketer for Nomadic Matt, from a city near my hometown, us Michiganders immediately click. Thank you Olivia for connecting us, you are the bomb. This conference wouldn’t have happened without this girl, she puts in the work! Managing her own social media accounts, and promotes for one of the largest travel influencers in the world, she made this event happen! Y’all this girl is so humble If you don’t know her, you need to know her, thank you Raimee for all of your insight!
5. Kamelia Britton: This girl has the entrepreneurial mindset if I’ve ever seen one. You just know that success is the only option for this queen of travel hacks. Kamelia was an open book, giving advice for do’s and don’ts of a travel influencer. Something that really stood out to me was when she said, just keep going, it’s going to be tough, people will be cruel, but believe in what you’re doing and don’t allow others to tear you down. A very important message, as this could deter many people from pursuing such a public path.
6. Oneika Raymond: I was in a circle talking with the photographers mentioned above and Oneika was the keynote speaker for this evening. I introduced myself asking her what her name was… only me, right? She didn’t bat an eye and was unbelievably friendly. I didn’t know who she was before she took the stage, but I’ll tell something, I will never forget her. Life is a marathon, not a sprint, and we are in this for the long haul. Her experiences, humor, realness, and passion for traveling is sensational. If you are looking for a role model for your travel career it should be her. I know she has become mine.
7. Matt Kepnes: The budget travel guru and host of Travelcon. Folks, he pulled it off, an event for 600 travel influencers with sponsors, food and the place didn’t even blow up! Hats off to you for creating this event. This was hands down one of the best experiences I’ve ever had. I am leaving this conference overwhelmed with knowledge and a filled love tank from all of the amazing people I connected with along the way.
8. The Blonde Abroad: This girl is AWESOME! Unfortunately, I didn’t get to meet Kiersten in person, BUT GIRLLL, we would be great friends. Her transparency was phenomenal. She may work 80 hours a week, but you know she loves it! What stood out to me the most about her was genuine, humble and she embraces her quirks. She OWNS it, it’s nice to know the people with as much influence as they have in the world that she maintains her integrity and doesn’t question her identity. I appreciate that. I am also not cool enough for Free People.
9. Julia Kuhn like myself is a traveling health care professional. Julia is 100% REAL. She is making a huge difference in the traveling health care profession role. She IMMEDIATELY was so generous and thoughtful giving solid advice targeted to a fellow health care professional in the travel writing industry. I am so grateful our paths have crossed.
10. Ryan Holiday: Opening Keynote speaker Ryan taught valuable lessons; It’s okay to cause controversy. You cannot BE the noun, you have to BE the verb and simply that you could leave life right now, let that determine what you do, say, and think. THIS is SO SO powerful, we need to stop living for the future, saving for the future, worrying about the future. Live in the present moment and lead your life purposefully, experience greatness now, don’t let this precious time pass you by.
11. Meghan, you are my soul sister, this beautiful flower is so amazing! Looking forward to our next adventure together! Thank you for being you!
12. Amaetv: Alicia is a vlogger and was the first person I met at this conference. The vibes were awesome immediately. She hosts a travel vlog with a youtube channel with almost 30,000 subscribers. She is currently working on a van series for those of you thinking about a van conversion. She also is a great wealth of knowledge on camera gear. But really, is just a joy to be around.
Can’t wait for next year, see you then!
For more travel and inspiration please head to www.dreambigtravelwide.com