We’ve had meet-ups and workshops at our retreat house in the Catskills and all over the world for the two and a half years that Dream of Travel Writing has officially been in operation, but this week, we’re having a big first–the main freelancers who work for us have flown in for our first team meet-up!

For the folks who joined us, they told me that some of their biggest takeaways were that:

  • We do a lot of stuff! It became a recurring joke that there was one thing that we offer that two of the three ladies here didn’t even know we had, or did know about but didn’t realize just exactly how much great stuff was in it.
  • We do everything for very deeply thought out reasons, and that is how all of the products and services we offer have grown into being–as a result of listening to what you need.
  • While there are other people out there who may offer some things similar to some of the things we do, there is a big gap in a lot of those offerings in terms of the level of how-to, researched information based on the whole market, and clarity between them and what we all work on everyday here.
  • Everyone on our team (not just me!) wears many, many hats. I’ll share more with you about who is on our team, what they do for us, and what other awesome things they get up to in the upcoming weeks, but there was an strong sense of respect and pride among the group to be working with such a savvy group of ladies with such interesting experiences and backgrounds. Members of our team live in four countries, and two of the U.S.-based ones are originally from other countries, so it’s a very international team–just as a company focusing on serving travel writers should be.
  • How tough it is to be clear about all of this to the very diverse audience we have, from those who don’t know anything about travel writing and are trying to figure out if this can even work for them, to those that are preparing to make a leap from a full-time job doing something else into freelance travel writing as a main gig, to those who have been travel writing in some capacity or another for years and want to take things to the next level.

Some of the big things that we did this week were:

  • Overhauled the thousands of physical magazines that we use to research the Travel Magazine Database and teach with during our retreats into a new system so that visiting writers can easily find anything from the latest copy of Travel + Leisure or Food + Wine to a Southeast Asian airline magazine or a hard-to-find indie magazine focusing just on craft beer producers.
  • Walk through every single thing that we offer or have offered in a timeline (it was amazing how many hours it took me to recap the last two and a half years!) so everyone could understand the roots and shape of what we do.
  • Worked collaborating on an outline for a new email welcome series to introduce readers young and old to what we do, why, and how it can help them take their travel writing to the next level.
  • Sampled and tested new and old places to incorporate into our new My First “Press Trip” event.

The ladies have generously allowed me to share this photo they snapped while sorting magazines with you (I was off cutting wood for more bookcases to hold all these magazines while they took it!).

In it, you’ll see Vanessa Gibbs, who runs the Travel Magazine Database among other things and is my co-author on the new book, and Ania Archer, who handles our questions email address and is the first point of contact for all of my coaching call scheduling and anything else that touches customers. Janet Boccone, who coordinates logistics on all of our webinars, emails, and the blog posts that I don’t write, took the shot.

On the floor, you’ll see all of the piles the ladies were working on to sort our thousands of magazines by type, category, and geographic area of interest. (Want to see the final library? Join us for a residency–it’s the last chance to book them at $150/week–or one of our upcoming retreats!)

We all left energized to head into this busy season to launch the new books, be the official coffee break sponsor for the Women in Travel Summit, open applications for our coaching program, and do all of the other things we do every day to support travel writers.


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