Imagine a place where you can directly connect with international representatives and travel professionals from all over the world under one roof. For a travel nerd like me, I call this place heaven, but the powers to be gave it a different name – The New York Times Travel Show.
Last weekend I had the opportunity on behalf of Allianz Travel Insurance to spend a weekend in New York City to attend the show and mingle with a few of my favorite travel influencers.
Lee Abbamonte (the youngest American to visit every country in the world), quarterbacked a gang of digital diehards, which included myself, Clint from Triphackr.com, Lee, Drew from DrewBinsky.com, Dave from GoBackpacking.com, and Johnny Jet himself (in order left to right).
The trip kicked off in true travel fashion with a walking tour around lower Manhattan with Pauline Frommer herself (yes, Frommer’s guidebooks Frommer)!
Despite coming to the city many times throughout my life, I have never experienced lower Manhattan like this. The history of how New York has developed and evolved, from the beaver trade and native treaties, to Wall Street and Alexander Hamilton’s grave site – it was so interesting to learn.
I even had the chance to visit the 9/11 Memorial, One World Observatory, and the architectural marvel that is The Oculus.
That afternoon we checked into the New York Times Travel Show for the first time, and I was in love with the scene. I’ve been to the World Travel Market in London once before, but for some reason, this seemed different – a bit more approachable maybe.
There were a ton of seminars going on, and everywhere you turned people were talking travel.
We met the friendly Allianz team at their booth and had a great time chatting with them about upcoming plans, and how they’d cover our backs in the most adventurous of situations!
The conversations continued that evening with more of the Allianz team at an incredible dinner down in Little Italy.
Scotch and red wine chased the endless supply of pizza, pasta, meatballs, and lasagna, as casual convos intertwined with business goals and industry trends.
For me, this was the highlight of the weekend – to sit and interact with people that I’ve looked up to for many years, and talk freely about ideas and ambitions. These moments make me so thankful for the path that I’ve chosen.
Inspired by Friday’s events, I spent most of the day on Saturday on the New York Times Travel Show floor, interacting with destination reps and visiting with old friends (with Courtney Scott, Mickela Mallozzi, and Travelista Teri).
When you surround yourself with people and organizations that push you to grow, improve and move forward, it’s up to you to put in the work to do it.
Dreams don’t work unless you do, and thanks to a great weekend in New York with Allianz at the New York Times Travel Show, this year kicks off with a great reminder of that – Here’s to a big 2017!
Disclaimer: This trip was hosted by Allianz Global Assistance (AGA Service Company).