Our first speaker announcement for TBEX North America 2019 includes a diverse group of speakers from their background and experience who will provide bloggers, influencers and travel media with advanced, specific and practical information to turn their passion for travel into a business.

Charles McCool shows travelers how to increase travel happiness and reduce stress on every trip. For over twenty years, he has analyzed trip planning methods and strategies, and, in turn, helps create Happy Travelers through articles, book, classes, and talks. McCool’s travels have been to all 50 states in the USA, several dozen countries, and five continents. In fact, Charles McCool once traveled to four continents without paying a dime. He appeared in the World’s Smartest Traveler series and has been called one of the most innovative minds in the travel industry.

Tomiko Harvey describes herself as “a wannabe nomadic traveler but otherwise a Tennessee based Digital Marketer”, and the creator of the award-winning blog Passports & Grub and resource for the independent and curious traveler who seeks out culture and adventure in every destination.

Tomiko is a source of inspiration that covers everything from travel, cuisine, and fashion to home and beauty. She is on a journey to unravel the secrets of the world’s most unique, under-the-radar and beautiful places. Whether you are a lover of boutique hotels, street food, luxury travel or just prefer to relax on the beach away from the crowds.



Rachel Jones
left a career in nursing and lived on the beaches of Goa, India for the past five years. Currently residing in Mexico, her website has garnered over one million monthly page views where she gives advice on the 35+ countries she’s visited. Her blog, Hippie in Heels, is the go-to site on India travel and she’s the author of two India travel e-books: Guide to India and Insider’s Guide to Goa. Her blog, Hippie in Heels, like its name, is a contradiction combining off-beat adventurous places with glamorous and girly travel. Hippie in Heels has been featured in ELLE, Marie Claire, Grazia, and Cosmopolitan magazines. She’s a writer for Bravo TV’s travel Vertical, and has worked on dozens of successful travel campaigns with tourism boards, hotels, and travel agencies around the world. She is a returning TBEX speaker alum.



Nora Dunn
is one of the original Lifestyle Travel Bloggers, having started her full-time travel lifestyle in 2006 and been on the road for 12 years and counting. Specializing in slow travel, she has lived in and traveled through over 55 countries. She combines her expertise as a former Certified Financial Planner with her lifestyle travel experience, to teach people how to travel full-time in a financially sustainable way.
Nora’s travel experiences range from the outlandish to the absurd to downright terrifying. She survived three natural disasters, three tropical diseases (apparently these things come in three’s), a near-fatal accident, passport theft, and more breakups than she’d care to admit to. She saved over $100,000 getting free accommodation around the world. She even apprenticed with a shaman for two years in Peru, and worked as a shaman’s assistant in Ecuador.
Through her immersive travel experiences, Nora has gained a unique insight into various locations and people, thus living out her lifelong dream of “hacking” into local cultures around the world. Her writing and speaking provides equal doses of entertainment, inspiration, and instruction.

Keith & Tina Paul are early retirees that left their professional careers in Los Angeles to move abroad to start their new careers as early retirement and travel bloggers. They started their blog Retire Early and Travel in 2016 and built their traffic and followers fast allowing them to increase their travels. They visited 20 countries in 2018 with most of it sponsored. Today they live in Cuenca Ecuador. They were featured on a U.S. television showed called International House Hunters and have been guests on many video and podcast shows. Keith And Tina attended TBEX early in their blogging career and are returning now as speakers to share their success!

May Larios is one half the team at Spanish and Go. She is also an English and Spanish teacher graduated from the School of Foreign Languages in the state of Colima, Mexico. She teaches Spanish through videos on YouTube and hopes to inspire people to travel and experience Spanish-speaking places like the locals do.

James Fricker II is a the other half of the Spanish and Go blog as well as a Videographer, music producer, and editor, Jim has spent most of his professional life recording, creating, and manipulating digital content.

After owning and operating a recording studio for eight years, he decided to hit the road with his wife May to pursue a life of travel. They now travel the world inspiring others to learn Spanish through videos and their blog and Youtube channel.

Dan Austin first ignited his passion for adventure travel in the 1970’s as partner of a rafting company in the Pacific Northwest. His lust for travel soon took him to Alaska, where he saw opportunity as the owner of a construction company developing projects from remote Alaskan villages to military bases in Hawaii and The Azores. In 1994, seeking a new challenge, Dan and a partnership group bought Backcountry Tours of Bozeman, Montana. The purchase turned out to be the catalyst for things to come. Along the way Dan has purchased several companies and re-branded at least a few times. Today Dan and Austin Adventures, with its 35-year legacy is one of the most respected brands in Adventure Travel.

Angie Orth is a recovering agency publicist with more than 15 years in the marketing industry and 13 years as an award-winning content creator. She created AngieAway.com to chronicle a yearlong round-the-world trip that accidentally became a career. Angie’s adventures have landed her on the Today Show, the New York Post, Cosmopolitan, Buzzfeed, AFAR and Glamour. AngieAway.com was named as one of Southern Living’s “30 Best Blogs to Follow.” She currently produces and co-hosts The Jet Sisters, a video series focusing on Millennial travel.

In addition to working on content campaigns with dozens of brands and DMOs including Ford, Dramamine, Virgin Atlantic, Windstar Cruises, Hotwire and Visit Britain, Angie has served as a long-term ambassador for Travelocity, the Rocky Mountaineer, Yahoo Travel and AFAR. She continues to work as a consultant, helping brands to create ambassador programs. She founded the Blog Squad program at Universal Orlando Resort.

Prior to leaving her PR job in New York in 2010, Angie was chosen out of 30,000 to be a top 50

Jessica Elliot is on a mission to visit every country in the world, and bring everyone along with through photos, video and stories. 6 continents and 104 countries in. Dolly [the Drone] has now joined for 40+ countries and 4 continents. She has a BA in journalism and Master’s in innovation and change, but her real skill is plugging in a USB in 2 or less tries (most of the time). She chose her blog name How Dare She because she believes daring isn’t about being fearless, but choosing to opt in, in spite of fear.

Register for TBEX North America 2019 in Billings, Montana and join your friends and peers for two full days invaluable breakout sessions led by dozens of highly skilled speakers, prime speed networking opportunities with dozens of travel brands and DMO’s, BE SURE TO COME EARLY FOR THE INCREDIBLE #Prebex day trips and post tours organized by our hosts Visit Billings after the conference.

We look forward to seeing you in September! #VisitBillings #TBEX