My 2011 in travel review: Great friends and wonderful destinations

It became clear to me in 2011 that travel and tourism will be the major theme of my blog in 2012. The more media trips I have undertaken, it’s become much more evident how a media (or academia-related or familiarization) trip can generate content of a broad variety that highlights not only the destination resort but also the associated restaurants, artistic community, local cuisine, etc. Thus, the more I have reflected on this, the more I have realized that the major focus for in 2012 will be travel and tourism. Luckily, it’s been already a couple of years I’ve been doing travel writing and I am sure I will continue to combine it with my heavy academic workload.

This year took me to a variety of wonderful destination. The ones below are just a few highlights of the trips I took. The most important thing I learned in 2011 about travel writing is – travel with those journalists with whom you have chemistry and where you can create interpersonal synergies. Doing this ensures that the coverage for the destination is coordinated and has a general theme, and makes the trip a lot more fun.

The year started with a multi-city book-writing trip that saw me go from Victoria to Courtenay going through Nanaimo and Parksville. This was a fantastic, multiple-destination trip that enabled me to showcase a large part of Vancouver Island.

Nanaimo, BC (A walk around Old City Quarter and Waterfront)

In February of 2011, of course, I came back to Parksville to visit two of my most beloved destinations: Tigh-Na-Mara and The Beach Club Resort, for the always amazing Parksville Uncorked Wine and Food Festival 2011. This year, I travelled to Parksville with my good friend Cassandra Anderton and visited with my other good friends, Cheryl Mackinnon and Luba Plotnikoff.

Parksville's amazing weather

March of 2011 enabled me to travel to the amazing Hastings House and visit Salt Spring Island, where I covered the Salt Spring Island Short Documentary Film Festival. One of my best experiences this year without a doubt. I managed to stay “on island time” most of my visit.

Ganges Shore at Salt Spring Island

In May of 2011, I finally visited Whistler in a trip to showcase what you can do if you are not a snow sports person, and I think I was successful in showcasing this. Highlight of my trip? For sure, the Rocky Mountaineer trip up North. And also, hanging out with Emme Rogers and Brie Mason!

Rocky Mountaineer Whistler-Vancouver

June of 2011 was a highlight of my year. I participated in TBEX 2011, and met numerous amazing travel bloggers and journalists. But even more so? I met the most inspiring travel woman: Evelyn Hannon also known as Journeywoman. It was an absolute honor.

TBEX '11 Day 1 June 10th, 2011

I also got to play tourist guide for all the travel bloggers who visited us for TBEX. I hope my good friend Julie Ovenell-Carter feels proud of me for taking on that role!

TBEX '2011

June and July marked my visit to Montreal, obviously as an academic trip, but I absolutely love this city and can’t wait to visit again.

Montreal by day

Beyond the wonderful local destinations (which I visited quite often), I got one of my dreams made true: I did one of the Circle Farm Tours around Abbottsford, Langley, Fort Langley and Maple Ridge/Pitt Meadows. This was in August of 2011, and it demonstrated to me the importance of chemistry. Travelling with Jayne Lloyd-Smith and Cassandra Anderton (and seeing Nora Weber and Summer Dhillon) was a highlight of my trip.

Fort Langley Historic Site (Circle Farm Tours)

I absolutely loved coming back to Salt Spring Island for what is a must-do event: Chefs Across The Water. Finally, this year, I got to attend! My busy academic schedule almost never allowed me to do this, but this year, I finally came back to Chefs Across The Water. One of my best meals of 2011.

Salt Spring Island and Chefs Across The Water

Absolutely out-of-this-world was the experience to travel to Campbell River and Quadra Island for Tastes of April Point 2011. One of the most amazing travel/food experiences I had in 2011, with a staff that really went above and beyond to make my stay amazing. This was in October of 2011.

Sunset at April Point Resort (Quadra Island) Tastes of April Point 2011

Sunset at April Point Resort (Quadra Island) Tastes of April Point 2011

November 2011 began the nightcap of my travel year with a fantastic trip to the Sunshine Coast Art Crawl with Robyn Hanson, Andrea Wickham-Foxall, Andrea Visscher. So. Much. Fun.

Lund, BC in the morning

December 2011 demonstrated to me that it wasn’t enough for me to travel to all the wonderful places I went to. Not only did I spend Christmas with my good friend Chris and his girlfriend, I ended up having lunch with my good friend Janni and I also travelled to Harrison Mills (thanks, Summer Dhillon). Getting to know Catherine Roscoe Barr, Melissa Lawson, Ursula Maxwell-Lewis, and hanging out with Nora Weber, Cheryl Mackinnon, Sheri Radford and Christie Lohr re-emphasized to me the importance of chemistry. We had SO MUCH fun I can’t wait to travel with all these lovely folks.

Rowena's Inn on the River (Harrison Mills, BC)

If 2011 has been any indication of how amazing my 2012 year in travel will be, I can’t wait to start the year! :)

Related posts:

  1. My impressions from Travel Blog Exchange #TBEX conference #TBEX11 Day 1
  2. Travel Smart 2011 with Translink
  3. Raul’s 2010 Year In Review: Travel
  4. The Minimum Travel Work Unit (MTWU)
  5. Stage 1 of pre-travel clean-up

Comments (2)

Angel CollinsJanuary 9th, 2012 at 6:15 pm

I love the city of Montreal. The look of the streets there are almost the same as the one of New York. I’m looking forward to read your blogs about your travels set for this year. Thanks for sharing. Nice travel review!. XD

SCMarch 31st, 2012 at 12:27 am

From the photos above there definitely seems to be trend towards visiting places with some sweet water views – not sure if that was intentional or not…

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