My 5-day trip to the TBEX (Travel Bloggers Exchange) Conference in Minneapolis left me motivated and inspired to resume travel blogging. If you’ve never been to one, it’s a conference full of travel bloggers and representatives from the travel industry who are there to connect and partner with bloggers and vice versa.
This was my second TBEX Conference. My first was in Dublin in 2013. I was pleasantly surprised this time to find that roughly half of the bloggers were more my age as opposed to the twentysomethings that seemed to dominate the Ireland trip. It doesn’t really matter how old participants are; we each have our own niche and approach and our own interests, but it reassured me that other middle-aged adults were doing this, too. It renewed my faith in the fact that I will still be traveling and writing and exploring well into my old age.
I went to a couple of very useful workshops and a few that weren’t as relevant to me. There were two surprising topics that seemed to come up more than a few times in these workshops. One was that some travel industry people don’t consider Ohio part of the American Midwest. That stunned me. We Ohioans consider ourselves solidly Midwestern, but a few people categorized us as more southern (NO! Absolutely not!) or on the edge of being Midwestern. I wasn’t sure what to do to convince them that we’re as corn-fed as the rest of the Midwest. Maybe I should have worn overalls and come in on a tractor?
The other topic that came up a few times was how often “Canada in November” and other search words along those lines were trending. Many of us wondered what the relevance of these search terms was. Why Canada in November? Was something special going on?
Yes, as a matter of fact. One of the other key search topics was “thinking about moving.” Tie it all together and you have “thinking about moving to Canada in November.” Right after the U.S. Presidential election. It all became crystal clear.
One workshop facilitator joked that everyone needed to befriend a Canadian and get a sponsor in case we don’t like the way the election turns out. It’s pretty typical that Americans say they’re leaving the country if so-or-so is elected. Happens every four years. But this year, people seem to be more serious about it. They’re researching how to defect. It’s topping some of the search engine trends.
I’m no fool. I made my connection. I talked to a couple of friendly travel reps from Manitoba — just in case I need to make my escape.
How pervasive is American politics in your part of the world?