Wanderful is an international community of women who travel. They’re on a mission to connect and empower women travelers by providing them with the tools they need to go abroad and facilitate a trusted network for their journeys. The Women in Travel Summit was started to meet a need for professional women and self-starters in travel to share their experiences with one another both in the working world and as members of our global community.
And so, every year, the Wanderful team puts on the epic 3 day event in a select, hosted city. In our freshman sponsor year, the summit took us to Irvine, California at the iconic Hotel Irvine. The jam-packed weekend brings together top notch travel bloggers, influencers, and companies from around the country and globe, specifically to empower women in travel.
Days two and three featured a medley of presentations by travel bloggers, influencers, and entrepreneurs through out each day, sharing stories of how to be a rock star in the travel industry. Three separate tracks sliced the content into travel, blogging, and entrepreneurial proportions. Whether it is differentiating blogs, becoming a six-figure travel blogger (yes you read that correctly – six figures to travel the world), legality issues of blogging, or technical tips on video creation – there was a little something for everybody on the speaker menu. The second day was wrapped up with a Strayboots scavenger hunt, while the third day was punctuated with the announcement of next year’s host city.
Four destination cities – Milwaukee Wisconsin, Shreveport Louisiana, Huntsville Alabama, and Cabarrus County in North Carolina – campaigned all weekend to be the host city for #WITS17. Every destination made for a travel worthy spot, but Milwaukee, home of Harley Davidson, PBR, and Miller Lite, took the crown and will host #WITS17.
Here is a quick roundup of just a few attendees at #WITS16:
Away She Goes covers culturally-rich, off-the-beaten-path adventures through the (literal and figurative) lens of a feminist writer, photographer, and marketer who works in international development.
A Friend Afar – Meagan Martz & Stephanie Yeargan
Meagan and Stephanie at A Friend Afar share their stories, tips, and tricks to inspire the exploration and adventures for fellow part-time travelers.
Brianne Miers is a Boston-based travel blogger who is working to see the world by balancing the a consultant’s career with a life of travel.
Adjust Your Focus – Alyssa Setia
Adjust Your Focus is a platform to be creative and share love for photography, design, and travel. This is a place to connect and a source for inspiration.
Adventures of Empty Nesters bring together a community of Empty Nesters, Almost Empty Nesters and anything in between, to share ideas and enjoy the triumphs and stories with the community.
The Aloha Olanas is a traveling duo, sharing their experiences with the world via blog. They provide helpful and honest reviews and recommendations to create positive travel experiences for their readers.
Maria Annala is a journalist/blogger from Finland. She is running Amerikkaa Ymmärtämässä, which is Finish for “Understanding America.” The blog captures her outside perspective of understaning the US all in the middle of the journey.
The Authentic Food Quest is a culinary based blog, focused on experiencing culture through authentic food around the world.
On this blog, Agnes posts photos, stories, and the occasional video about locations both near and far. Enjoy her photos, budget travel suggestions, and lessons learned from traveling from the comfort of your backyard.
Kristin is a writer, photographer, teacher, and also a traveler. She started Bon Touriste to inspire and be inspired, to find beauty in our complex world, and to never give up the childlike wonder of traveling.
Jualiana runs the blog at Clever Dever Wherever, which details her globetrotting experiences – everything from crashing weddings in Newfoundland, to opening champagne with sabers, or hanging out in Mongolia. When she’s not traveling, you might know her as Jenny Ryan from ABC’s Castle.
From quick breaks to epic journeys, Contiki’s trips cover the world from all angles for 18‑35 year old travelers.
Susie aims to inspire and help people turn their travel dreams into reality. She encourages people to “dabble” a little more in exploring the world, whether that’s a short road trip, a round the world trip, or somewhere in the vast spectrum in between.
Angela is currently building Destination Drifter, a blog dedicated to travel and fashion. Stay tuned for launch.
Gabi is a travel journalist and blogger. By translating cultures, she shines a light on places and the people to make the experience more accessible to travelers.
Finding True North is about Iqaluit and was started by Anubha Momin and Sara Statham in August 2013. Since then, the blog has grown to become “the ultimate guide for people who do not live in Nunavut.
Girl on the Move – Julie DenOuden
Julie runs Girl on the Move, which is focused around creating a community of people inspired to live healthy lives, chase big dreams and step out of their comfort zone to try new things and visit new places.
Throughout her career, Gariné Tcholakian has written, hosted, produced, and interviewed some of the hottest names in travel, bringing us original travel productions on a breadth of platforms reaching worldwide audiences across web, tablet, TV, print and social media.
GoneVaca aims to create a community where all travelers and bloggers can come together to share their travel experiences.
Jema blogs about life on the road. She is a full time RV traveler, with four kids, and five years experience.
Nadine is a travel vlogger, blogger and comedy youtuber who travels the world and shares her experiences and expertise via social media and videos.
Nicolle Merrill is part travel writer, part global career coach, and all parts loud. She likes hammocks, untranslatable words in foreign languages, and rowdy card games over foreign beers, and is currently a content marketing consultant for select travel brands.
Jeannine, a true Georgia peach from Atlanta, GA, often writes about what to see and do in her native town. She urges travelers to go with the flow, make lose plans, and enjoy the unplanned adventures that unfold when one remains open to seizing the moment. She believes that the best experiences are those that were not planned or are improvised.
La Mia Bella Vita started in September 2014 as a fun way to share daily adventures, whether at home or far away, with family and friends.
Lindsay works all over the world creating video content for select destinations and travel companies.
Andi is a former corporate gal with over 20+ years experience in digital and content marketing. But in November 2015, she quit corporate America and bought an RV, all in the name of adventure and travel.
Since her first taste of Europe at the age of twenty-one, Evita Robinson (Evie), has been to over twenty countries and lived on three different continents, including France, Japan, and Thailand. She now continues her love of travel photography and seeing the world with Nomadness.
Ellen Bell is passionate about blogging, especially for her hometown. She created her blog to encourage and inspire her neighbors to get out and explore Orange County.
Once We’re Young Travel shares experiences through engaging photographs, video, and narratives. From Everest treks, to salsa lessons, to electronic music festivals, to Hindi holidays, OWYT catalogs the details so all you have to do is get there!
Operation Groundswell started in 2006 to answer the question: does voluntourism help or harm local communities? Since then, the operation has swelled to 10+ countries and has connected 1100+ backpackers.
Sherry is corporate cube dweller turned nomadic traveler. She travels to off-the-beaten-path destinations to share life and travel experiences of a solo female wanderer.
Sarah loves to travel alone with her two kids and blogs to share her adventures and mishaps.
The Culture Bazaar is platform for the avid traveler, the culture enthusiast, or simply a lover of people, places and things to connect with their global community.
With a passion for travel and love of storytelling, Bayyina established Planet Blaster Productions, a full service travel branding consulting agency.
The City Sidewalks – Ana Dominguez
The City Sidewalks is a travel blog written by Chicago-based entrepreneur, Ana Dominguez. Part travel guide, part adventure manual, part photo journal, it’s your ultimate online destination for what to find and do in cities around the world.
The Holiday Girl team empowers travelers to take their personal dream trips. The team offers services to all types of travelers – everybody from beginners to experienced.
The Traveling Waitress is a blog centered around pursuing the passion of travel, as well as a few others – yoga, helping people, learning new languages. Check it out and get served some tips on the enjoyment of the unconventional life.
Alexandra started Travel Fashion Girl after a 3 month career break turned into 8+ years of constant travels. Travel Fashion girl focuses on women’s packing lists for travels.
The Bender family blog provides first-hand guides and expert travel tips. From packing to accommodation to sightseeing, Travel With Bender is considered the world’s #1 family travel blog.
TravelBreak started as a gap year and has expanded to much more. The blog serves to inspire travelers to step out of comfort zons and to convert dreams into goals.
Tremendous Times – Theresa Christine
Theresa runs Tremendous Times out of Los Angeles, California. Her obsession is travel, and is passionate about inspiring others to explore.
Ugogurl Productions provides a medium to showcase African American travel writing in addition to a network for sharing advice on travel, travel writing and journalistic opportunities.
Briana May runs the Wander Factory, a blog chronicalling her wanderings and limit-pushing, in order to push and inspire her readers.
Fed up with her unfulfilling job that didn’t fulfill, Deidre decided to quit her job and embark on a travel gap year where she lived on her 12.12.12 model – 12 countries in 12 months on a budget of $12,000.
Carol brings brings her authentic self to travels and promises to give you a dose of honesty, humor, and her own contrarian point of view regarding travel on her blog, Wayfaring Views.
What’s New Adventure is a blog by Donna Long, describing the empty nester’s journey of rediscovering life and husband after the kids have flown the coop.
Women For Wildlife – Jennifer Palmer
Jennifer Palmer is the founder of Women For Wildlife, an international movement to support, empower and unite women and girls around the world who are passionately devoted to wildlife and conservation.
Yoga Travel Tree was inspired by the simple idea of creating rich, meaningful yoga adventures around the world.