Destination: Vancouver

TBEX 2011: Travel Bloggers Take Vancouver

TBEX 2011: Travel Bloggers Take Vancouver Photo of the Vancouver Convention Center by kennymatic via Flickr (Creative Commons)
Photo of the Vancouver Convention Center by kennymatic via Flickr (Creative Commons)

This past weekend saw the third installment of the annual Travel Blog Exchange, or TBEX, a travel-focused blogging conference. The 2011 edition took place in Vancouver, B.C., and Jim, Michael and I were all there.

It was my first time at TBEX and I was impressed, first off, by the sheer scale of the event: More than 500 travel bloggers descended on the Vancouver Convention Center for the weekend. Panels and workshops covered everything from SEO and blog monetization to (our favorite) improving your narrative story-telling skills, and each day ended with an after-party or two. It was a busy three days.

Reactions are already pouring in from the bloggers who attended. Michael from Go, See, Write noted the irony of TBEX panelists encouraging bloggers to be more professional—because, he felt, the conference itself was disorganized and unprofessional. Akila of The Road Forks felt that TBEX “lacked purpose and focus,” and she offered some constructive suggestions to tighten things up in future, while Katie at BootsnAll offered a similarly constructive roundup of highlights and lowlights.

Meanwhile, Corbin from I Backpack Canada had a more positive take-away: “There is a future for independent travel writers, there is a future for online blogs, there is a future for a small niche website dedicated to the budget travel & outdoor adventure in Canada.”

For my part, in future conferences I might like to see workshops become a little more tightly focused—maybe with beginner and advanced streams in each discipline to help the panelists zero in on the needs of attendees—but overall, TBEX left me feeling satisfied. Blogging can be an isolating pursuit, and spending three days putting faces and voices to familiar Twitter handles and online personas was a powerful thing.

TBEX 2012 will take place in Keystone, Colorado.

So Long, Vancouver 2010

The medals have all been handed out and the flame’s been extinguished. Monday saw Vancouver International Airport have its busiest day on record as 39,000 visitors left the host city for home. As for me, I won’t forget joining in the massive red-and-white street party that consumed downtown Vancouver anytime soon—I think my favorite moment had to be seeing a crowd of turbaned Indo-Canadian kids dancing to a bhangra beat to celebrate our victory in men’s hockey, creating their very own wonder of the shrinking planet.

The Big Picture has a top-notch pair of photo essays for your final Olympic Games fix. See you in London?

Beer Across Vancouver

Beer Across Vancouver iStockPhoto

Jeff Kaczmarczyk got a little lost in the British Columbia city. But maybe that wasn't such a bad thing.

Read More »

From Beijing to Vancouver: A Very Different Olympics

From Beijing to Vancouver: A Very Different Olympics REUTERS/Shaun Best
Fans cheer on the Canadian hockey team at the Vancouver Olympics. (REUTERS/Shaun Best)

It’s been nearly two years since I blogged from the 2008 Summer Games in Beijing, and—as I thought I might—I now find myself on the Olympic travel trail again, in Vancouver for the 2010 Winter Games. I’ll be honest: The two host cities couldn’t feel more different.

I stepped off the train from the airport and surfaced in downtown Vancouver this weekend, expecting, perhaps, to feel some uniquely Olympic vibe in the air, familiar to me from my brief time in Beijing. But the scene on Vancouver’s streets has almost nothing in common with the one I encountered two years ago. My memories of Beijing are all broad boulevards, empty except for uniformed Chinese volunteers offering directions to clusters of wandering foreigners, and subdued subway cars full of commuters. Vancouver, in contrast, is a non-stop maple-leaf-painted street party—flag-draped young people careen through the streets, impromptu break dancing circles pop up on corners, and buskers work the crowds. The brightly-dressed foreigners that I remember from Beijing are here, too, but they’re wildly outnumbered by the revelers in red and white.

I suppose there are plenty of economic reasons for the contrast. The 2008 Games probably weren’t as accessible to the average Chinese citizen as these Games are to most Vancouverites, while the expense and difficulty of visiting China could explain why the many young Olympics visitors here were absent in Beijing. (The local high school students I rode the bus home with last night, for instance, weren’t likely to make a transcontinental Olympic trek.) But economics aside, I still feel like there’s a fundamental difference at work: Beijing’s Games, to me, were clearly aimed outward, at the world, while Vancouver’s, so far, feel more like an essentially Canadian party to which everyone else has also been invited.

Photo You Must See: Shaun White Flying Over Vancouver

Photo You Must See: Shaun White Flying Over Vancouver REUTERS/Mark Blinch

Before winning the gold, Shaun White competes in the men's halfpipe qualifying on Cypress Mountain at the Vancouver 2010 Winter Olympics

See the full photo »

Video You Must See: Vancouver City Lights

Video You Must See: Vancouver City Lights Photo by Brandon Godfrey via Flickr (Creative Commons)

Time-lapse scenes of the Olympic host city

Watch the Video »

World Travel Watch: Violence in Cartagena, Evacuations in Peru and More

Larry Habegger rounds up global travel news

Read More »

Slate Goes to Vancouver

With the Vancouver Olympics just three weeks away, the latest “Well-Traveled” series sees World Hum contributor Elisabeth Eaves returning to the city of her youth. It’s a good read.

The Olympic Torch Relay, in Pictures

The Big Picture follows the flame’s progress from Olympia and Athens across Canada en route to Vancouver—with stops in Tofino, Old Crow, Kugluktuk and beyond.

Kimchi Taco, Meet the JapaDog

Kimchi Taco, Meet the JapaDog Photo by macrohead via Flickr (Creative Commons)
Photo by macrohead via Flickr (Creative Commons)

Anyone who was intrigued by L.A.’s kimchi tacos will want to read the latest Frugal Traveler dispatch from Vancouver, wherein Matt Gross explores daikon- and soy-sauce-topped hot dogs and other low-budget fusion delights.

YVR: A Traveler’s Plea for Noodles

YVR: A Traveler’s Plea for Noodles Photo by stu_spivack via Flickr (Creative Commons)
Photo by stu_spivack via Flickr (Creative Commons)

I flew into Vancouver International Airport last week with a craving: I wanted pad Thai, or some vaguely similar, spicy, wok-fried noodle dish, and I wanted it bad. On the five-hour flight from Toronto, as images of tofu bits and crushed peanuts danced in my head, I didn’t fret—I was confident I’d be able to satisfy the urge during my one-hour layover. After all, I thought, where better to find some airport noodles than in a foodie city that’s home to one of the most vital Asian immigrant communities in North America?

Read More »

Seaweed, Hotels and the Vancouver Olympics

Seaweed, Hotels and the Vancouver Olympics Photo by sashafatcat via Flickr (Creative Commons)
Shangri-La, Vancouver. Photo by sashafatcat via Flickr (Creative Commons)

Today I’m on the west coast of Vancouver Island breaking open the pod from some seaweed and squeezing the gel inside of it over my hands. Ew. Wait. I mean: so natural and healing! Diane Bernard, the self-styled “seaweed lady,” harvests the stuff here, advising spa directors and chefs what might work in their treatments or food, respectively. (We already sampled some seaweed that was begging to be stuffed with blue cheese and plopped into a martini). The gel from this particular strain of seaweed works like aloe, soothing the skin.

Read More »

‘The Bachelorette’ Meets the Rocky Mountaineer

‘The Bachelorette’ Meets the Rocky Mountaineer Photo by uli harder via Flickr (Creative Commons)
Photo by uli harder via Flickr (Creative Commons)

British Columbia and reality TV: together at last.

For any BC-philes out there who want to catch an eyeful of Canada’s westernmost province (and don’t mind swallowing a televised dating show to do so), here’s a heads-up that “The Bachelorette” kicks off a three-episode tour tonight at 8 p.m. on ABC.

Bachelorette Jillian will bring her remaining suitors north of the border to her hometown, Vancouver, for sea kayaking, curling and—I hope for their sake—a taste of the city’s abundant Asian food offerings. Next week brings adrenaline thrills in Whistler and, on June 22, the trip concludes with a ride on the Rocky Mountaineer—from everything I’ve heard, a trip that is jaw-hits-tray-table stunning.

Read More »

Morning Links: A ‘Tropical Havisham Enigma,’ iPhone Travel Apps and More

Got a suggestion? .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) your link.

Seven Great Time-Lapse Travel Videos

Jim Benning sifts through YouTube's accelerated videos to find the seven best

Read More »

  • « Prev Page
  • Next Page »