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travel blogging Archives - Away She Goes
Finding My Voice – and My Tribe

Finding My Voice – and My Tribe

Food + Feminism. Photo by the brilliant Alex Chapman. I started travel blogging the way most people do: to keep in touch with friends and family, and to let my mom know I was safe. But I have always been a political person, someone with a strong sense of justice, tons of opinions, and an allergy to keeping my mind shut. I like when disparate things connect, whether it means seeing Gilbert & Sullivan references alongside homages to Busta Rhymes and Ja Rule in Hamilton, or seeing the lessons of Amnesty International and Comparative Politics play out in tourism. So it should come as no surprise that I have brought my academic and activist background to my blog, just like I bring it everywhere else. For the first few years, though, that made travel blogging a very lonely place. To most travelers and travel bloggers, I’m a downer who won’t just let them enjoy their cultural appropriation and unchecked globalism in peace. On the other hand, travel blogging has always felt like the most frivolous thing I do, and at times I have held back from the more serious, academic writing many of my friends engaged in, because I was afraid of submitting pieces that wouldn’t be good enough. Since I graduated Northeastern in 2012, I’ve watched the general public bend closer to awareness and justice. I rarely have to explain what street harassment is anymore, and I’m continually surprised to see sexual violence, racial justice, reproductive rights, and other important social issues discussed by non-activists at parties and in my news feed. It seems while I had my head down...

Giveaway: the Women in Travel Summit 2016

As you may know, I’m on the planning team for the Women in Travel Summit (WITS), the only travel blogging conference for and by women. It’s held March 18-20, 2016 in Southern California at the Hotel Irvine, where 500 women travelers, blogger and entrepreneurs will come together to network, meet brands, and get excited about our adventures around the world! Aside from having a schedule packed with amazing speakers, I’m proud of the strong, supportive, diverse community we’ve built around WITS. One of the perks of being on the planning team is that I have a discount for you all and I’m giving one ticket to WITS away for free! So, here’s the deal: Tweet about why you’re excited to go to WITS, tagging me (@DeliaMary) and #WITS16 on twitter Get an additional entry (up to 10 total per person) for every time you share any of the following on twitter (always tagging me and #WITS16, of course!): A reason you’re excited to go to WITS My 10% discount code (DELIAWITS) with the registration link: http://bit.ly/WITStix This tweet about the contest Get 10 additional entries by registering for WITS with my 10% discount code (DELIAWITS) before the contest deadline The deadline to enter is midnight ET on 2/15/16 If the winner has already bought their ticket, we’ll refund it.  Need to be sold on the awesomeness of WITS? Watch this great video of last year’s event, made by one of our amazing volunteers, Jemma Byrne. Good luck, happy tweeting and see you in March! Share this:Click to email this to a friend (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens...
Kerala Blog Express, pt 3

Kerala Blog Express, pt 3

If you haven’t yet, read part 1 and part 2 of this series in order to get caught up on how my journey to Kerala, India came about.   This trip will be different for me in several ways. First and foremost, I will not know the language at all. The closest I’ve come to his was in the Gaeltacht in Ireland (where English could still be heard, and I had a guide) or in Turkey (where I couldn’t eavesdrop on local conversations, but my English, French and Arabic were more than enough to understand others and make myself understood.)  I will be accompanied by representatives of Kerala Tourism who speak English so I am sure all official events will be translated for me, but the window for spontaneous local interactions outside if the mold has gotten that much smaller. This means I will have to devote more energy than usual towards putting myself in a position to see beyond the veneer and meet regular people. Speaking of the veneer, this trip will be quite unlike what most people experience in India. For one thing, I will be in the richest state in all of India, a place where even major cities feel small and familiar. There will be less crime, fewer people, and a generally different vibe than most people associate with the subcontinent.  Beyond that, I am going to be on a government-sponsored tour with the intent of promoting tourism. Their goal is for me to have a wonderful time and tell everyone in the world about it, which means that they have a vested interest in...
Kerala Blog Express, pt 2

Kerala Blog Express, pt 2

Where we last left off, I had finished the contest in 30th place (only 25 would be selected) out of over 600 registered participants from over 80 countries. But somehow I had been selected to be a finalist, so I started lining up my logistics, like applying for an Indian visa and going to the travel clinic. I opted to apply for the 10 year, multiple-entry tourist visa. I figured even if the trip didn’t work out, I now have a good excuse to go to India for up to six months at one sometime over the next decade. There have been worse downsides. The Kerala Tourism folks were urging me to buy a plane ticket (one of the only financial commitments I had to make, for which they will reimburse me half the cost) but I wasn’t completely sold yet. For one thing, they haven’t been the most forthcoming or clear with logistical information, owing in part to English not being the first language of my liaison. Beyond that, things got a bit more complicated on the way to making the financial commitment to join the trip. I had two different job offers at different stages of the planning process. The first was during the voting. When it became clear I was going to receive an offer, I felt deceptive for continuing to solicit (or even passively receive) votes. But I was reading Sheryl Sandberg’s Lean In at the time and remembered an axiom of hers: don’t leave before you leave. She was referring to ramping down work in anticipation of one day becoming pregnant, but in its...
Kerala Blog Express, pt 1

Kerala Blog Express, pt 1

If you’re reading his blog, you have probably heard of (and voted for me for) the Kerala Blog Express, a first of its kind travel blogging trip through the Indian state of Kerala, sponsored by Kerala Tourism. In case you haven’t, or if you’re curious about what’s happened since voting ended, here’s the whole story. Or at least, the whole story up until I go to India. This post got long quick, so it is part 1 of 3.  You can read part 2 and part 3 by clicking the links. On Christmas morning I woke up to an email inviting me to enter a contest for one of 25 spots on The Kerala Blog Express. I get emails about travel contests often enough, but to be honest some seem scammy and others just seem unrealistic for me to win. I’m a hobbyist travel blogger with a small (but wonderful and extremely attractive) following, as well as unorthodox content areas and article types. I rarely post listicles or reviews of hotels and attractions, instead writing longer essays (with relatively few photos) on less-fun topics like the harmful effects of travel, inequality, and political turmoil within the countries I visit. I also have one of the few blogs written by someone who is explicitly a feminist and an activist, someone who chooses to attend rallies and pretests, someone who loves to talk about the three cardinal sins of polite conversation: religion, politics and sex. But this contest would have twenty-five winners, not just one. There also were only a few people signed up already, and I thought I could keep pace...

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