i want to travel, sd trav festYou have a dream about traveling and start researching online. Before long you run into social travel sites full of stories, reviews and tips inviting you to join and share. It can be as simple as joining a group on Facebook that is about urban sketching (Moleskin), rating your experiences (Trip Advisor and Trippy), reviews of places you’ve been (Yelp and Gogobot.) For the most part these services trade your time for rewards in status on the sites, bragging rights, even free products. It’s the way of the world, a lot of fun and a way to find more kindred spirits and travel buddies. It’s a digital variation of the SD Trav Fest.

Group talk at the NY Trav Fest 2014

Group talk at the NY Trav Fest 2014

Any armchair traveler knows the pleasure of reading adventures and experiences they may never recreate but there’s nothing like standing next to someone who’s scaled Kilimanjaro, spent months in an Indian Ashram, been to China more than 70 times or live an expat life on the other side of the planet.

I’m such a nomad at heart that if I can’t be traveling, I love hanging out with other travelers.

Spending face time with those who share your love of travel takes a different kind of energy but can be so much more rewarding. I’ve been hosting Meetups in San Diego for more than four years (Travel Well, Travel Massive, Long Term Travel). Loose-knit groups of locals have been gathering at restaurants and libraries, bars and storefronts to exchange stories about travel, to listen to experts and authors, to learn and share. It’s always been interesting and fun. My web of fellow travelers, people I may have never met any other way, has branched out and deepened.

meetup, sd trav festBringing beloved travel buddies together, watching as authors are inspired by the audience, as friendships are born and business alliances forged, makes for a pretty vibrant gathering. That’s why the SD Trav Fest was born.

What began as a simple day of sessions and meetings has blossomed into four. There are two tracks happening simultaneously – Travelers and Travel Industry. Both have multiple panels and discussions to choose from. See the whole schedule here.

Horton Grand Hotel, sd trav fest

Thursday night, Sept. 11th is the VIP Reception for the Travel Industry and Media at the Horton Grand Hotel on the SW edge of the Gaslamp district in downtown San Diego. Inside the historic Palace Bar travel professionals, media and our speakers will have a chance to meet and mingle. The event is being sponsored in part by Gogobot and the boutique communications agency, Delicious Buzz. Members of local chapters of Travel Massive and Millennials in Travel, bloggers, podcasters and more will be there as well. Registration is required and the event is limited to those attending the SDTF Industry Track or by prior arrangement.

San Diego Trav Fest 2014Friday night, Sept. 12th everyone is welcome to the Opening Night Party on the patio at the stellar 57 Degrees Wine Bar on Hancock Street. Less than two blocks from the Washington Trolley stop it’s an easy location to reach. A cash bar and appetizers will be available for purchase. Come meet your fellow travelers, find out what they plan to attend over the next couple of days and where they plan to travel to next.

Saturday, Sept. 13th is the spine of the SDTF with sessions from 9 to 4 at the East Village wing of the New School of Architecture and Design. The entrance to the auditorium and meeting space is mid-block on F Street near Park. The City College and Market Street trolley stops are less than two blocks away on the Green Line. We have four spaces filled all day with interesting and informative panel discussions on everything from Accessible travel issues to Travel Hacking and conclude with a big panel on the phenomenon of Culinary Tourism. Pick and choose, make new friends and taste a few new things.

Saturday night is our Travel Movie night where you can chill and watch several special films. The main show is The Boy Who Flies, about an encounter between a Canadian paraglider and a Malawian office worker that has taken off into a global movement. There’ll be the premier of an underwater short by local legend, Chuck Nicklin about a recent trip he made to Lembeh Straits in Indonesia and a trailer about a new travel series by local film maker, Sharon Lee. We’ll be in the Segway training center of the Another Side of San Diego headquarters just south of Horton Plaza.

Sunday is a day to explore San Diego with a variety of tours you can sign up for independently from a wine tour in Ramona, a walk in Rancho Santa Fe with local historian Diane Welch and even a Baja Wine and Art tour to enjoy. These can be experienced on Sunday or another day depending on the tour vendor. Just ask. Get out of your bubble and never again wait for company to come to town to see more of our fair region.

Sunday night concludes the SD Trav Fest with a Street Party at local fish purveyor, Catalina Offshore Products on Lovelock Street in Linda Vista. It can be accessed by car or with a healthy walk from the Linda Vista trolley station. On street parking is plentiful. The Street Party is a benefit for the San Diego Oceans Foundation which has been supporting education and clean oceans in the region for more than a dozen years.

san diego oceans foundation

There’ll be raffle prizes and food trucks, music and our special guest, Sam the Cooking Guy, will be handing out the prizes. It’s going to be a fun evening and a chance to cement new friendships.

Go green. In an effort to keep the event as green as possible 99% of the events are accessible via SD Metro Trolley.

Whatever you may decide to do over the weekend of Sept. 12th – 14th, if you’re in San Diego, grab your travel buddies and go local, see the world at the SD Trav Fest 2014.

Get tickets here.

Travel buddies ordering two or more can save 15% by entering the code: SDTFPALS when registering.

Have a question about the SD Trav Fest? Contact the team at: