I am so excited that my podcast is about to hit it’s ONE YEAR anniversary. I have learned so much about the podcasting world this year. I’ve also learned so much more about the world of travel blogging, writing and photography from my awesome guests. I am so grateful you took time to be a part of my show! 

For my last show of the year, I wanted to know what my podcast guests are most grateful for this year and the biggest travel lesson or tip you they learned this year!
These are the questions I asked:

1. What you are most grateful for.
2. Your biggest lesson from 2015 when it comes to travel or travel blogging/writing/photography.
3. Whatever you’d like me to give a shout out to on the podcast (blog, social media platform, podcast, etc)
Below are the answers from my awesome guests from 2015!

rebekah-with-monkeyRebekah Voss was my guest on Episode #1, “Solo Travel & Creating a Travel Writing Career using Elance responded and said: Congrats on your anniversary!!!
Grateful: My Vietnamese husband successfully navigating the U.S. immigration system and finally getting his green card; my son being born healthy and happy in June of this year.
Lesson: Rewrite, revise, rewrite again. It can be better. In an effort to ward off perfectionism I found myself submitting my travel memoir when it wasn’t yet finished. I am now on my fifth draft and have discovered so many more wonderful changes that can be made to make it better. Not everything needs to be written quick ‘n dirty.
Shoutout: TheHappyPassport.com is expanding from a strictly solo female travel site to a creative, cultural exploration of humanity; instead of where to go and what to see, we’re focusing more and more on the local people, cultures, traditions, and social challenges we encounter through international travel.

dave-thompsonDave Thompson from Dave’s Travel Corner was my guest on  Episode #2, “How to Pitch an Editor & Grow Your Personal Brand
Grateful: Continued good health and the passion and interest to
explore this planet.
Lesson: Take action and reach out to potential clients and
introduce yourself rather than waiting for clients to come to you. Find clients (whether it is destinations, tour operators or other businesses in the travel field) that are already actively advertising or promoting their brand.
Shoutout: Dave’s Travel Corner Photography, including the 7,000+ photos from International travels on our photography page here: http://www.davestravelcorner.com/photography and Instagram: http://www.instagram.com/davedtc


Adam Sawyer was my guest on Episode 3, Jumpstart Your Travel Career by Starting Local

Grateful: There’s been an awful lot to be thankful for this year. But on a professional note, I would say having the opportunity to write two new guidebooks. They’re so much work, but they will exist in one shape or form after I’m gone.
Lesson: Biggest travel related lesson is understanding the importance of social media. I was slow to come around, and I’m still not really good at it, but I’m working on it 🙂
Shoutout: Best places to connect with Adam are Instagram @adam_sawyer, on facebook at Adam Sawyer Professional Gentleman of Leisure, and my guidebooks; “Best Outdoor Adventures Near Portland” and “Best Dog Hikes Oregon“.

Michele-Peterson-Zoetry-700Michele Peterson was my guest on Episode #5 that focused on Why the Odds are in Your Favor if you Want to Become a Travel Writer

Grateful: I’m most grateful for the many interesting opportunities that have come my way this year and for the many people who have supported me with tech help, writing assignments, travel experiences and shout-outs. I’m also grateful for unexpected opportunities such as multigenerational travel. I’m now travelling with my 10 year old grandson and we’ve already completed assignments in Costa Rica and Turks & Caicos and have a fast-growing schedule of stories planned for 2016. I’m grateful his parents let him travel with me and that he is a curious adventurous travel companion.
Lesson: I invested in building a new website, in new camera equipment and in specialized photography training in 2015 and it’s already paying dividends in terms of new work opportunities. Specializing in food, drink and sun destinations has helped focus my energies and resources. If you’re just starting out in travel writing, congratulations! I believe 2016 will offer more opportunities for new writers than there ever have been in the past.
Shoutout: Best way to follow me is my newsletter at www.atastefortravel.ca and for a limited time period, you’ll receive free gifts such as travel app downloads, tour discounts and more along with travel tips and inspiration. There are lots of resources for travel writers too.
Robert ArendsRobert Arends from the from the San Diego Tourism Authority was my guest on Episode #8, How to Pitch a PR Director

Grateful: I’m so thankful to get to be able to promote a postcard-perfect destination like San Diego. Living and working in this little slice of paradise makes me happy to go to work each day.
Lesson: Whenever possible, if a travel writer shares a link to their story online, be sure to share it far and wide via your DMO’s (destination marketing organization) social media channels. It’s a win-win for both the destination and the writer.
Shoutout: Robert would love for me to give a Call to all Canadians and snowbirds to discover the affordable deals and offerings in sun-kissed San Diego – a warm weather getaway where winter temps average a pleasant 19°C, December through March.


Miwa Ogletree was my guest on Episode #9,  How to Connect and Work with Oahu Travel Marketing Reps responded and said;First of all, “Congratulations” on your anniversary!! It was my honor to be the guest on your PodCast! Thank you again!

Grateful: The fact I live in Hawaii and working!!
Lesson: Again, ask for proof before it goes to print! I have writers/bloggers came to do “FAM” (familiarization tour) and still got the wrong information, and wrong picture – the picture had a competitor’s image!! One writer got upset for my asking to proof, but I had to explain why.
Shoutout: To a few of her clients.Waikiki Beach Services; one of the oldest Surfing company in the world, if not the oldest! They are on facebook/waikikibeachservices and Instagram/twitter is @WBSHawai and the Fourever Fab Show, which performs the best of the Beatles live in concert for over 2 decades and have been performing in Waikiki for over 2 years! If you are in Waikiki make sure to catch the show. Connect on Facebook/Instagram/Twitter

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rana-kayRana Kay from the Hard Rock Hotel San Diego was my guest on Episode #10, How to Book a Hotel Media Visit

Grateful: I am very grateful to have a job that I truly love in a city I adore. Managing PR for San Diego’s most exciting hotel never gets old and provides new and exciting challenges each year.
Lesson:  I have a serious, chronic problem with over-packing for vacations, regularly exceeding weight limits and leaving no room to pack souvenirs. While I usually travel to warm weather destinations, I figured packing for a colder area would be even more challenging so I went to my favorite advisor – Google – for an answer. The best tip I came across was to pack clothing in just one neutral color palette so all items could be mixed and matched, resulting in fewer things to pack. You can always add pops of color with the addition of a scarf or cross body bag.
Shoutout: Hard Rock Hotel San Diego has been recognized numerous times for our social media content. Follow the hotel @hardrockSD on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter for cool photos, music info, and information on America’s Finest City!

shaeShae Geary from Wrighton Communications was my guest on EPS 11 and she shared How to Pitch a PR Rep

Grateful: I’m most grateful for the health and wellness of my friends and family
2016 has reaffirmed to me the value of personal relationships.
Lesson: We may be changing how we communicate, but the principals are still the same. Also, that journalists appreciate you more when you are willing to help them with story ideas- even if they aren’t your clients.
Shoutout: To the team at (W)right On Communications and all our wonderful hospitality clients: Cape Rey Carlsbad, Visit Oceanside, Tenaya Lodge at Yosemite, Sequoia and Kings Canyon, Hilton Garden Inn Carlsbad, Visit Solana Beach and La Casa del Zorro!

Gina Samarotto Headshot 2014Gina Samarotto was my guest on eps 12 and she shared How to Break into Luxury Travel Writing

Grateful: As always, I am most grateful for my family and friends. But this year, I am also grateful for the amazing opportunities that have been afforded me. From the Middle East to the Midwest, I’ve been given a year of magnificent travel and the ability to write about my experiences…. something I just adore doing.
Lesson: My biggest professional lesson in 2015 has to be the realization of how much I don’t know when it comes to photography! Every time I see the work of a truly great photographer I kind of shake my head and head back to the proverbial darkroom in an effort to hone my own skills!
Shoutout: My goals for 2016 include building my Twitter and Instagram presence. I can be found on those platforms at @samarottodesign

Elaine-PyramidElaine Masters was my guest on Episode 13 and we discussed How to Master the CVB Relationship

Grateful: I’m grateful for a family and community to share this sweet holiday season with. This has been my biggest year of travel in decades and with all the coming and going, which I’m incredibly grateful for, it’s wonderful to stay put for awhile, to catch up with friends and to have a schedule where I can finally get all my stories written up and out into the world.
Lesson: This is the year that I really dove into social media seriously and consistently. The online community has been wonderful, kind, supportive and helped me grow in ways I couldn’t have imagined. I’m especially grateful for discovering Instagram and sharing that powerful medium has been so much fun.
Shoutout: Please stop by and visit http://www.Tripwellgal.com. It’s a consortium of quirky adventures, travel tips and reviews for the curious traveler.

JLaulainenBudget Travel Expert Jackie Laulainen was my guest on Episode 14 where she shared How to Become a Yahoo Contributor

Grateful: I am most grateful for bravery to pursue the life I want to live, even when it means sacrifice, because no one else is going to prioritize my dreams but me.
Lesson:  Writing from the heart and being vulnerable produces the most relatable stories, the most engagement, and the most loyal readers. Traveling solo gives me the space to do this.
Shoutout: I started a new blog this June – TravelingJackie.com, would love a mention there, and still blogging and podcasting at TheBudgetMindedTraveler.com as well. Happy Holidays, Alexa!

perry-smallRenowned Travel Writer, Perry Garfinkel was my guest on two shows this year, EPS 16 which was a Master Class in Travel Writing and Episode 27 focusing on How to Find Your Point Of View

Grateful: I am most grateful for the opportunity to do the thing I do for a living. I’ve pinched myself so many times in truly beautiful places with absolutely fascinating people that I am black and blue all over – in the very best way!
Lesson: That even at my stage in my career, there are always more publications to write for, and always always always an endless amount to write about. Plus that, again even at my stage, I can write better and better.
Shoutout:. As I’ve resumed teaching travel writing, after a hiatus of about 5 years (due to too much travel actually), I hope to share the wisdom I’ve collected over the last 30 years with more aspiring travel writers at workshops I’ll be leading this spring, summer, fall…and henceforth…til I drop!

headshow7Chris Christensen from one of my favorite podcasts, This Week in Travel, was my guest on Episode 17; How to Become a Successful Travel Content Publisher

Grateful:  This year I am grateful for 11 new countries visited, enabled by travel blogging and podcasting. I am also grateful for meeting friends like you.
Lesson:  The same one I have learned each of the last 10 years in this space, no matter how much I know there is always more to learn.
Shoutout: http://AmateurTraveler.com

Shannon O'Donnell at Isle of Skye, Scotland

2013 National Geographic Traveler of the Year Shannon O’Donnell was my guest on Episode #20 where we dove into some great tips for Photography

Grateful:  My strong passport. I met many people when I traveled through Turkey and Georgia who wanted to travel more, but their passports prevented travel in the current global climate. It made me deeply understand the value in a strong passport.
Lesson:The way we tell stories is shifting. Many readers and consumers are looking for a raw, unedited take on a destination. The rise of SnapChat, Periscope and live apps bear out this trend for uncurated, fresh content told in an interesting way.
Shoutout: My Instagram: @ShannonRTW

Lindsey Carnett of Marketing Maven.CEO and President of Marketing Maven Public Relations Lindsey Carnett was my guest on Episode 21: What a PR Firm is Really Looking for From Travel Writers

Grateful: I am most thankful for my family, my health and a thriving business.
Lesson: My biggest lesson from 2015 when it comes to travel is to always keep the mindset of being flexible because it’s just a new adventure. This can help you cope with any frustrating situation and really keep the stress levels down when flights are delayed or plans change.
Shoutout: Lindsey asked for shout out to Marketing Maven and the exciting adventures they’ll be sure to have in 2016. We encourage travel writers to reach out to get on our media list. info@marketingmavenpr.com

dan-bailey-backpack-cropAdventure Photographer Dan Bailey was my only other two time guest this year. We talked about & His Secrets to a Successful Photography Career on Episode 23 & How to Turn Your Blog into an Income Source on Episode 30 and said:

Congratulations on reaching the one year mark, that certainly is a big milestone. I’m glad I could be a part of your first year and I enjoyed talking with you during our podcasts. Thanks for featuring me!

Grateful: Aside from the obvious answers, health and family, I’m grateful for the creativity and courage that I’ve had over the years. Those things combined have allowed me to pursue my own dreams, and also to connect with other people around the world, through traveling and teaching/sharing my love of photography.
Lesson: My biggest lesson for 2015 is to make sure I streamline my process. With everything that I like to do, and all the photos I shoot, it’s so easy for me to get bogged down in the back end with editing, writing and processing, not to mention the regular tasks like email, marketing and web stuff. Constantly refining my workflow can keep me on track with efficiency for 2016!
Shoutout: My blog, Twitter, my books and my new online video photography course.


One of my mentors and former travel writing teacher, Amanda Castleman Shares Her Top Tips to Take Your Writing to a New Level on Episode #24

Grateful: I’m passionate about wildlife and conservation – and delighted I’ve been able to tell more of those stories in 2015. I love inspiring readers to experience (and protect) nature.
Lesson: Some real curve-ball assignments rolled in this year, like reporting on an Alaskan fishing lodge (I’m vegetarian), interviewing NFL legend Warren Moon (I don’t follow football much) and cruising the Mexican Riviera with The Love Boat cast (I grew up without a TV, after – age 5 – I poured soda down one and blew it up). I actually had a blast stretching beyond my comfort zone… but it also reminded me that travel writers don’t need to love everything we cover. We just have to describe adventures so accurately that the right people connect with them!
Shoutout: I’ll be teaching a travel-writing workshop in Rome from May 1–7 (details on www.amandacastleman.com).

katherine-belarmino-travel-writerKatherine Belarmino was my guest on Episode 25 where she spoke about How To Launch a Travel Writing Career While Working Full Time

Grateful: I am grateful that I have the abillity to travel as often as I do. While I think travel is a necessity, I know that it is a privilege that not many people have.
Lesson: My biggest lesson from 2015 is that if photography is important for you, take photos in RAW! I can’t believe we waited until this year to do so. It makes such a difference.
Shoutout:  www.katherinebelarmino.com

todd-brick-wallMy husband Todd Meisler was my guest on EPS 26 where we talked about Why Every Travel Writer Needs a Website
Grateful: I’m grateful for family, music and people who like me and continue to work with me.
Lesson: You have to have content that stands above the rest, best content wins.
Shoutout: Coaching with business owners and SEO work with ZDDesignAgency.com


beth-santos-Mt-St-HelensBeth Santos was my guest on Episode 31 where we talked about the Women in Travel Summit

Grateful: The three “Fs” — friends, family, and a freaking awesome husband who’s willing to support me in the ups and downs of an exciting entrepreneurial career!
Lesson: In terms of the blogging industry — it’s always changing. I can’t believe how quickly the blogging industry is moving. I recently read that among millennials, blogging is the #1 resource people use when making a purchasing decision. #1!! I’ve also really learned a lot about the sales side of running a business and that’s been exciting and fun.
Shoutout: We just launched our first-ever #BlogSchool at sheswanderful.com — a way for travel bloggers to get their start using experts in the industry, Skype mentoring, and more. Everyone should sign up!

JeffBartlett_headshotJeff Bartlett from Episode 33: How to Leverage Your Social Media Accounts and Blog Audience For Paid Assignments with Travel Photographer Jeff Bartlett

Grateful:  I am most grateful to have worked successfully again this year. Photography and writing are such volatile industries that simply sticking to my vision and finding a way to succeed is very rewarding. I’m so grateful to have not only have survived, but to have thrived. I found so many new clients who truly support my adventure-first mindset, that this past year is the closest I’ve had to my dream job since I first picked up a camera.
Lesson: I keep returning to it, but I learned the value of the best advice I’ve ever received: “Begin where you mean to end”
Hard work,vision, and a no-compromise attitude will not only lead to the best creative work but also, in time, to the most rewarding opportunities.
Shoutout:  I’m honored to have joined The Giving Lens’ workshop series as an instructor. They are doing wonderful things and work hard to give back through travel photography. I’ll be back in Peru in May, teaching for them! I’d love to see new people join us there, but check out thegivinglens.com to see all the destinations and NGO projects they support.

timothy-moserNomadic Entrepreneur Timothy Moser was on Eps 35 where he shared his system for Learn Spanish in Six Weeks

Grateful: I’m most grateful for my personal ability to be in control of my own experiences. Living wherever I want, surrounded by the people that I want around me, is priceless. As Augustine said, “The world is a book, and whoever does not travel reads only one page.” I’m so glad to have been able to read so many pages this year, in depth.
Lesson: Following the same analogy, my lesson is that it makes all the difference in the world when you can read a page in depth instead of just skimming over it. I spent at least 6 weeks in any city I lived in this year, and I made sure to settle in, learn the culture, speak the language, and develop friendships that will last a lifetime. This has deeply changed my view of the world, and it’s how I intend to travel throughout the rest of my life.
Shoutout: You can give the shout out to SpanishInOneMonth.com

Francis at Dune 7 in Walvis Bay, Namibia.

Francis Tapon was my guest on Episode 37 and shared How to Find An Original Point of View as a Travel Writer

Grateful: To be alive, healthy, and able to travel nonstop for 10 years and counting.
Lesson: Take a unique angle. Most travel bloggers travel randomly all over the place. They lack a theme or glue that unites their random travel experiences (aside from them always being there). Such travel bloggers struggle to stand out. Instead, focus on a region (like Africa) or a theme (like food or surfing) and just blog about that exclusively. Stay laser focused!
Shoutout: http://francistapon.com

nicole diaz the funthusiast travel bloggerNicole Diaz shared The Power of Pinterest & How To Snag Your First Influencer Campaign on Episode 39

Grateful: I am so grateful for my patient husband who never complains that I’m constantly glued to my laptop or about the fact that he can never enjoy a meal without me photographing it first.
Lesson: Help out your fellow writers with referrals, advice and encouragement. Your community will only grow stronger when you take the time to lift others up.
Shoutout: www.funthusiast.com


MarocMama.comAmanda Mouttaki shared How to Prepare for Tbex and Pinterest Pointers Episode 42

Grateful: What you are most grateful for. — I am most grateful for my wonderful husband who has been understanding and patient as I have followed my dreams. Without his support and help it would have never been possible.
Lesson: Your biggest lesson from 2015 when it comes to travel or travel blogging/writing/photography. The biggest lesson i’ve learned is to listen to my body to know when enough is enough. I have always thought I could do everything and be everything but have learned that I need to pay attention and slow down and say no sometimes too.
Shoutout: Whatever you’d like me to give a shout out to on the podcast (blog, social media platform, podcast, etc). Our food tours please! www.marrakechfoodtours.com

Gary Griffiths Facebook ExpertGary Griffiths gave a great lesson! Facebook 101 For Travel Bloggers on Episode 43

Grateful: i’m most grateful for my family. i lost a sister in law this year, and gained a daughter.
Lesson:pack light. pack carry on only. i can go away indefinitely with carry on only. I have not worked it out for my kids yet. travelling with kids I still need to check luggage.
Shoutout: My new startup helping realtors attract leads @ www.ThreeSidesLocal.com


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Gratitude Podcast

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