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Monday Travel Update – Playa del Carmen Edition

I arrived in Playa del Carmen, Mexico today after a 4-day weekend in Corte Madera, California attending the Book Passage Travel Writing and Photography conference. I’ve attended many blogging and travel conferences, but this was the first time I had attended a conference devoted solely to the craft of travel writing and photography.

There is a lot I have to say about the craft of travel writing and how it applies to blogging, but I’m going to leave that for a later day. Suffice it to say, I enjoyed myself, met a lot of great people and even learned a thing or two.

I’ve come at this business from a very different place. Almost every person I met at the conference was either a traditional print writer/photographer or was aspiring to be one. I’m a guy with no background as a writer or photographer who liked to travel and was “good with the internet”. I do believe that someday soon we are all going to meet up in the middle, but I know not when that will be or what the future will look like when it does.

Traditional media people need to dive into the online ecosystem and those of us online (myself included) need to focus more on our craft.

This morning I checked out of the worst hotel I’ve stayed at in several years (The Days Inn in Richmond, CA) and headed to the Mayan Riviera. Tomorrow I’m off to see the Mayan ruins of Tulum and my 182nd UNESCO World Heritage Site: Sian Ka’an. I’ve only been here a few hours, so I have little to report so far other than Playa del Carmen reminds me of a cross between Phuket and Lahaina…which of course I realize means nothing if you haven’t been to either of those places.

Sponsor Updates

Traveling around the world isn’t easy. These are the great companies which help make it happen:

TripIt
Last week I announced that all my readers can get a 3-month free trial of TripIt Pro, which you will find invaluable on your next major adventure. Veteran travel blogger Dave Lee (who I originally met in Bali back in 2008) is going to be giving it a try this week:

G Adventures is giving away a trip to Jordan with air fare provided by Visit Jordan. If Petra and Wadi Rum are on your list of places to visit (and they should be) make sure to enter for a chance to win.

Today I wore my Scottevest transformer jacket (as I always do) when going through SFO on the way to my flight to Cancun. Being able to put my wallet, watch, iphone, change, boarding pass and passport inside my jacket saves me a lot of time and headache when going through security. I find it so useful, I don’t even like the idea of going to the airport without my Scottevest.

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About Gary Arndt

My name is Gary Arndt. In March 2007 I set out to travel around the world...
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