Wednesday, November 14, 2012


Family Travel Conference ~ Dallas 2012

I always love to refer to my "former life" - you know, the corporate-America, long hours, yet high reward life that I loved so very much?  I was in pharmaceutical sales for 13 years (all with the same company, thankyouverymuch) and found myself at the bottom of a totem pole based on location during a 30,000 person cut. 

Yikes.  Now what?

I stayed home with my newborn and 2 older kiddos.  And loved my "new life".

Over the past few years, I starting writing and though it has taken time to find my niche', I can finally say that I think I have found my new career.  

I am a Family Travel writer.  And this past weekend validated that for me.

This past summer, I was thrilled to learn that the Family Travel Conference was being held this year in Dallas.  It would be the perfect opportunity to go to one of these national blogging conferences AND meet some amazing writers I have admired for so long.

I would LOVE to tell you all about the amazing Omni Dallas Hotel in downtown Dallas, opened for just one full year (they celebrated their anniversary while we were there), but I will have to get to that in another post.  Just a quick shout out to the amazing tv in the bathroom mirror - it made getting ready in the am twice as long.
And I would love to tell you all about some of the amazing things our sponsors did - such as a Nighttime dinner at the Dallas Zoo, or an amazing Disney Parks lunch complete with a visit from Mickey & Minnie, or how SnowMamas brought snow to Dallas! 
We met some amazing people, made excellent contacts, and visited some cool places.  One of my favorites was making chocolate truffles with the Executive Sous Chef at the Omni Dallas.  We looked like we were stuck in the I Love Lucy assembly-line sketch, eating more truffles than we created.

But then it would look like all the weekend was about fun for me!

And it wasn't - it was so much more.

The speakers at Family Travel Conference taught us invaluable skills - video composing & editing, utilizing social media channels to best promote our blogs and make connections, and writing to tell the full story are just a few of the topics we discussed.  We had accessibility to some amazing people who are experts in their fields.

And I met such cool people.  I have admired so many travel writers from a far for the past few years - awesome parents who travel to some pretty cool places and tell us all about it in very unique ways. And I had the privilege of meeting many of them....and seeing they they are just in cool in person as they are online.

But what I really took away from this conference was an amazing sense of camaraderie.  It's not a "who's going to go on the best trip" or "who can make the most contacts" competitive world with these bloggers.  Every person I spoke with was sincere and genuinely cared about helping your success.  Krista Parry of Snowmamas put it so very well - "We are all here to bolster one another up and tell each other great job!"

The underlying theme of the weekend was doing what we do best "for the greater good".  And that struck a chord with me - yes, I am blogging because I love to travel to fun places and and tell you all about them. If I can motivate you to get out, try something new, and create lasting memories with your family, then I know I've done my job for the greater good.

So friends, I want to be YOUR resource for finding fun adventures here in Texas...and beyond!  You will find that I will give you the tips, the hints, the "what I wished I had known before I had gone" advice that we as moms like to share.  And it took a room full of engaging, unique, traveling parents that made me realize...this is my new career.

Oh how I love my "new life".

The Family Travel Conference was organized by 4 amazing ladies: Kim Orlando of Traveling Moms, Kyle McCarthy of Family Travel Forum, Eileen Ogintz of Taking the Kids, and Joanne Vero of Travel Media Showcase.  It was a fantastic conference that gave us just the right amount of information to challenge us to write better blogs for the "greater good."


Tonya @ The Traveling Praters said...

What a great summation of an amazing weekend! I really appreciated the non-competitive atmosphere and enjoyed meeting so many wonderful bloggers & writers- including you!

Now to get back to work on my new skills...

Diana, Down Home Traveler said...

FTC couldn't be summed up in a better way! The entire weekend was absolutely amazing from the information to the experience to the connections. It felt wonderful to be surrounded by such a group of supporting individuals and yes - I completely agree we're in the right place as travel bloggers!

Diana Rowe said...

Great overview~ and well said. FTC was all that and more. Super awesome meeting you!

Diana Rowe
Deals Editor & TravelingGrandmom at

Grace {formerly gracie} said...

Loved meeting you this weekend, Rebecca!!

Sandra Foyt said...

Loved getting to chat with you in Dallas. I'm sure you will inspire many travelers with your joy and enthusiasm!