Don George to Keynote at TBEX North America 2015


We’re very excited to announce that Don George will be keynoting at TBEX North America 2015 in Ft. Lauderdale. Don is one of today’s preeminent travel writers and storytellers, and as a bonus, an all around great guy. He has been a part of TBEX’s community for a few years, and has spoken in breakout sessions and led some of our writing workshops. We know he’ll have us spellbound for his keynote at TBEX North America 2015.

National Geographic has called Don George “a legendary travel writer and editor,” and he has been lauded as the most influential travel writer and editor of his generation. Don has been exploring new frontiers as an author, editor, and adventurer for almost four decades, and is also an acclaimed teacher, speaker, and tour leader. He has visited more than ninety countries on six continents, has published hundreds of articles in dozens of magazines and newspapers around the world, and regularly speaks and teaches at conferences, campuses, and companies from San Francisco to Singapore to London.

Don’s first job was as Travel Writer and then Travel Editor for the San Francisco Examiner. After fifteen years at the paper, he founded and edited’s groundbreaking Wanderlust travel site, then became Global Travel Editor for Lonely Planet. Don is currently Editor at Large and Columnist for National Geographic Traveler, Special Features Editor for BBC Travel, and editor of GeoEx’s travel blog, Wanderlust: Literary Journeys for the Discerning Traveler.

Don’s most recent book is “The Way of Wanderlust,” a collection of his best essays and stories from nearly 40 years of wandering and writing. Don also wrote the book on travel writing, “Lonely Planet’s Guide to Travel Writing,” the bestselling travel writing guide in the world. He has also edited ten award-winning literary travel anthologies, including “An Innocent Abroad,” “Better Than Fiction,” and “The Kindness of Strangers.” Don has received dozens of awards for his writing and editing, including ten Lowell Thomas Awards from the Society of American Travel Writers. He is a highly sought-after keynote speaker and workshop leader, and is interviewed frequently as a travel expert. He also consults nationally and internationally on travel and social media, and hosts a popular national series of onstage conversations with prominent travel writers.

Don is co-founder and host of the award-winning San Francisco-based reading series Weekday Wanderlust, and is co-founder and chairman of the celebrated Book Passage Travel Writers & Photographers Conference.

Don grew up in Connecticut, and lived in Paris, Athens, and Tokyo before settling in the San Francisco Bay Area with his wife; they have two children. He is a graduate of Princeton University and the Hollins College graduate program in creative writing. His website is

Register for TBEX North America today – you won’t want to miss Don’s keynote.

Speaker Lineup for TBEX Asia 2015

TBEX Asia2015 speakers We’ve got our first speaker announcements for our inaugural TBEX Asia, to be held at the Queen Sirikit Convention Center in Bangkok, Thailand. It’s a great mix of new and returning speakers, and we think you’ll like this first peek at our TBEX Asia 2015 programming. The following speakers have been confirmed:

Diana Edelman

Diana Edelman is a travel writer. the voice behind d travels ’round and a responsible animal tourism expert. For more than two years she studied with renowned elephant conservationist Sangduen “Lek” Chailert at Elephant Nature Park/Save Elephant Foundation in Thailand. While there, she traveled SE Asia learning and observing elephants in captivity. She has been an outspoken advocate for elephants and has served as an expert on the topic for numerous print, radio, television and documentaries. Diana is also co-founder of the Responsible Travel & Tourism Collective (which includes a twice-weekly Twitter chat, #RTTC focusing on responsible tourism), a group of responsible tourism experts working with the travel industry to help raise awareness and shape the future of responsible tourism and responsible tourism initiatives.

Diana will be speaking on Responsible Tourism

Ethan Gelber

Ethan Gelber is a freelance writer, editor, communications strategist, content marketer and translator of more than 20 years and scores of projects focused on travel, culture and education. He specializes in responsible and sustainable travel practices, keeping things local, and quality and relevance in publishing and destination marketing. His written work, including as a Lonely Planet author, AFAR Ambassador, Huffington Post blogger and Open Places eco-columnist, has appeared (credited and uncredited) in dozens of magazines and websites. “Adventures Less Ordinary: How to Travel and Do Good“, an anthology he edited about volunteer and philanthropic travel, was recently released by Horizon Travel Press.

Ethan will be speaking on Responsible Tourism

Ian Ord

Having spent more than half his life on the road, Ian has developed an insatiable thirst for travel. His love for the road less travelled is complimented by his passion the planet, its people, and the place tourism will responsibly fit within that realm. Travel blogger for Where Sidewalks End, board member for the Responsible Travel & Tourism Collective (#RTTC) and the Professional Travel Bloggers Association (PTBA), chapter leader of the Bangkok Travel Massive, and founder of the boutique travel company: WSE Travel Inc. and the TRIP Foundation; Ian plays a very active role in helping bring global awareness, education and experience to those looking to travel responsibly.

Ian will be speaking on Responsible Tourism

Jeff Dobbins

Jeff Dobbins is a freelance writer, tour guide and publisher of Adventures in Culture. Before entering the blogosphere, Jeff had a career in the New York theater industry, working as a performer, lyricist, scriptwriter, press rep and manager of theaters on Broadway and in Lincoln Center. Jeff’s first blog, NYCxplorer, led to collaboration with Walks of New York in which he wrote and edited their blog, served as Social Media Manager, created tours and managed tour operations. Currently, in addition to freelance writing, Jeff is exploring and writing about global cultures, crafting private walking tours of New York City and developing video projects.

Jeff will be speaking on Finding a Revenue Model that Works for You

Mariellen Ward

Mariellen Ward is a professional travel writer and blogger based in Toronto and Delhi. Her award-winning blog Breathe Dream Go is one of the world’s leading travel blogs about India. She has been featured in India Today, BBC Travel, Conde Nast Traveller India and on many lists of top bloggers, and she writes for many online and offline publications. A significant travel influencer, Mariellen co-founded the Toronto and Delhi Travel Massives and founded the WeGoSolo online community for female solo travellers. Mariellen is a Kensington Tours Explorer-in-Residence. Canadian by birth, Mariellen considers India to be her “soul culture.”

Mariellen will be speaking about the state of Travel Blogging in Asia.

Natalie DiScala

Natalie DiScala is an editor and writer who has 15 years of experience as the Digital Editor of leading design magazine, Style at Home. An avid traveler who has been to 50+ countries, she is also the Editor of Oh! Travelissima, a website dedicated to luxury travel and style. Natalie is a frequent speaker at digital conferences, focusing largely on travel and social media strategy and she freelances for a number of publications, covering fashion, beauty, health, wellness, travel and design. Natalie also has a public relations background, having worked in the consumer marketing practice of a global PR firm.

Natalie will speaking on how to maximize your use of Pinterest.

Scott Eddy

Scott Eddy has a background in investment banking in Miami and New York, resigning after 10 years, and since then has been traveling overseas. He now consults with travel companies about strategies and developing relationships, including such clients as Marriott, Starwood, etc.

Scott will be speaking in our TBEX Business, our travel industry track.

Tammilee Tillison

Tammilee Tillison is a professional US blogger that resides in the state of Washington. Using her Masters of Business Administration degree, Tammilee has moved from the corporate world to the blogging world with smooth and accurate precision. Over the past 6 years her blog has grown and thrived in the competitive blogging world. Tammilee Tips receives over 500K page views a month and has readers in over 170 countries. Her social media outreach encompasses over 250K fans. Tammilee has a passion for food, travel and helping others.

Tammilee will be speaking on productivity tips.

Tim Leffel

Tim Leffel is an award-winning travel writer and editor who publishes multiple websites and blogs. He has spoken to large crowds at several previous TBEX events and is the author of five books including Travel Writing 2.0. He is frequently quoted in the media as a travel expert and has contributed to a wide variety of magazines and online publications.

Tim will be speaking on creating multiple revenue streams.

We’ll have another speaker announcement in a couple of days, and will have announcements about TBEX North America in Ft. Lauderdale coming up soon as well.

Announcing Anton Diaz as Opening Keynote Speaker for TBEX Asia 2015


antondiazheadshotWe are very excited to announce that Anton Diaz will be the Opening Keynote Speaker TBEX Asia 2015 in Bangkok, Thailand. 

Anton worked for the biggest multinational company in the Philippines for 12+ years, straight out of college, before becoming a full time Online Entrepreneur. He was the Chief Information Officer of Procter & Gamble Philippines when he finally quit his day job and decided to take his blog, Our Awesome Planet, to the next level in 2008.

OurAwesomePlanet, which he started in 2005, is the number #1 food and travel blog in the Philippines with close to 1,000,000 visits each month, 120,000+ followers and 10,200+ readers, and is still growing. His advocacy is to promote the “Food and Travel Secrets in the Philippines” and to inspire Filipinos that living in the Philippines is truly awesome! Our Awesome Planet is recognized as one of the Top Travel Blogs in the world.

Anton was recognized as Go Negosyo’s Inspiring Young Filipino Entrepreneur Award in 2010. He was featured in Go Negosyo’s 7th book: “Go Negosyo’s 50 Inspiring Stories of Young Entrepreneurs” in 2011. Recently, he is the co-founder of the successful weekend markets called Mercato Centrale at Bonifacio Global City,  Mezza Norte at Trinoma, Cucina Andare – the first Food Truck Market, and Levante at Eastwood City.

Anton is the Chief Chowzter of Manila at, which is given to the top food blogger in the city who curates the tastiest feast in Manila since 2013. In 2014 he was elected as a Board Member of theProfessional Travel Bloggers Association, representing Asia and the rest of the world.

In 2015, Anton received the first Tourism Star Award for media awarded by the Department of Tourism for his valuable contribution in promoting Philippine cuisine and destinations through his blog, thereby encouraging tourists to visit and taste the best in what the Philippines has to offer.

We met Anton in Athens, and knew that he would be the perfect person to be the very first speaker and our very first event in Asia. We think you will too, so be sure to register and join us at the very first TBEX Asia.

Announcing the TBEX Facebook Page Cover Photo Project

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You know, I try my hardest, but I’m just not a photographer. My hand isn’t steady, I know nothing about lighting or composition, and the things I try to capture on film turn out to look lame in the finished product.  Don’t believe me? Take a look at the TBEX Facebook page and see what I mean.

That’s why we’re inviting the TBEX community to share their photos taken at TBEX events for the Facebook cover page.

What we’re looking for in a Facebook Cover Photo

Who better to highlight TBEX events than the people were there?

We’re looking for photos that capture the essence of TBEX – whether it’s the people who attend, the parties, or  sites and scenes from our wonderful destinations. Currently, we’re looking for photos taken at TBEX Europe 2015 in Costa Brava, or one of our upcoming detonations – Bangkok, Ft. Lauderdale, or Stockholm, Sweden to use as cover shots.

What’s in it for you?

If we select your photo to use as the TBEX cover shot it will be the backdrop for our Facebook page for one week. In addition to giving you full credit for the cover shot, we will also add a link of your choosing, for example, your blog, podcast, website, or social page.

To contribute a photo consideration for the TBEX cover photo project, send it to me at and include the name you want us to use as your photo credit, and where to link. You may submit as many as you’d like.

Can’t wait to see your photos!