There is a reason we primarily offer in-person retreat events rather than online programs.
The results are simply so, so different.
Think about learning a language–you can go to Spanish classes for an hour one night a week for years. Or you can go to Spain and be surrounded by signs in Spanish, people speaking Spanish, and constant opportunities to put your skills to use.
We’re planning the schedule for our upcoming live events, and we want to know what you think is most important for yourself and other travel writers like you. (And we’ve also got a special gift for helping us out!)
What People Are Saying About Our Retreats
“This was great for not only getting practice gathering article ideas in the field (in awesome locations!) but getting personalised and instant advice in the moment.
From an impromptu food photography workshop over breakfast to on-the-spot guidance right after a tricky interview with a source, being able to discuss specific questions the second they came up was invaluable.”
“This changed my entire outlook on travel writing and how it works. I came away with the realization that I am running an actual business, and I got the know-how to get things done.
I also came away with a greater sense of what I’m capable of and how to bring my dream of travel writing to life. I would recommend it to anyone who’s serious about getting their career off the ground.
Gabi is no nonsense and won’t let you skate by on excuses, which is just what I needed — a wake up call.
You will move past doubt, insecurity, and lack of a firm plan.
Because of this summer, I quit my teaching job to focus full time on writing and now earn more than $40k per year. Pretty good for a newbie!”
Travel Writing Retreats to Choose From
Last year’s TravelContentCon attendees killed it pumping out pitches after this event last August. If you’ve been telling yourself it’s time to:
- double down on your recurring income
- transition from one-off or non-contract blogging work to more stable relationships
- figure out what travel content marketing looks like for you and how to get a piece of the pie
…this event—built entirely on action and start-to-finish travel content marketing planning for what will work best for you personally—is for you.
Whether you’re brand new to freelance writing, have a blogging background, or are coming to travel writing from another type of freelance writing, this weekend workshop is designed to make sure that you never run out of the travel writers’ most important currency: article ideas that are laser focused and a perfect fit for the magazine you’re pitching.
As you learn how to become an idea machine and walk away with 100 ideas matched to magazines, we’ll discuss how to find and formulate ideas whether you’re on the road or cooped up at home with nothing to inspire you but the internet, and you’ll see how to take any one kernel of an idea and reshape and slant it for dozens of magazines. Learn more here.
Pitching is the single best way to up your portfolio and income; get all of your questions answer and 25 ideas workshopped into polished pitches. If you know you can write and get good feedback from the editors you’re already working with but are having trouble moving up to bigger and better markets and stories, this event is for you.
Build a Better Blog Business
There has been a lot of talk in recent years in various online programs and industry conferences about exactly how to make money with a travel blog.
By and large, people are fed up with advice that doesn’t work and blogs that don’t provide them any return.
If you are serious about turning your blog into an actual business—a.k.a. something that creates money for you every day, without your needing to keep the wheels running with income from freelance writing and other paid-on-receipt services, this event will show you how.
I’ve been writing about how to create a business only for going on four years now, and in my own time as a freelancer have worked for so many blog businesses over the year run by people who bought blogs, started and built up blogs on their own and then tried to turn it into a money-making venture, or started a blog in advance of launching their product to build momentum.
I also know so many small business owners with blog based businesses from my own small-business-owner circles that I constantly compare notes with at the top conferences for blog-based businesses every year (which uniformly cost upwards of $1,000 to attend—and that’s not including accommodation!)
I have seen a lot of successes, but also a lot of failures.
So, like our exercise-heavy TravelContentCon, we’re launching a new event that will distill all of the steps that you need to follow to get your blog acting like a business and making you money while you sleep.
Freelance Travel Writing Bootcamp
An offering unlike any other travel conference or workshop aimed at those new to publishing their travel writing in print publications.
Running from Sunday evening through the following Saturday afternoon, each morning we’ll cover idea generation, research techniques, and pitching fundamentals in group lessons, one-on-one coaching, and exercises, and in the afternoon, we’ll head out to visit wineries, ground-breaking museums, and historic sites from the dawn of the nation to put your new skills to use in the field, followed by a debrief over dinner.
In addition to walking away with the tool kit you need to pitch, research, and write travel articles, you’ll also leave with a personal plan to grow your travel writing income and portfolio and transition into full-time freelance travel writing if you’re currently in another career. We’ve scheduled this event in February so we can have some of the Hudson Valley’s top attractions to ourselves during the tourist low season.
Advanced Travel Writing Mastermind
This very special event takes a deep dive on how you run the business portion of your freelance travel life in a higher-level approach to our programs like IdeaFest and Pitchapalooza, which focus singularly on an individual part of the marketing process, or TravelContentCon, which firmly divides the freelance pie between editorial and content marketing writing.
Expanding on the work that we go through in our afternoon Freelance Travel Writing Master Class events (you can check out the schedule and content of one of those here), we dedicate this weekend to a deep planning and reflection process for your business, similar to our year-end review followed by a pen-to-paper planning process to sketch out exactly which steps you will take when to get your business where you want it to be, from:
- negotiating raises or additional work from on-going clients
- systematically pitching both editorial and content marketing work to create long-term relationships with the most minimal marketing involvement
- leveling up from “plateau” markets you’ve gotten stuck writing for in which your skills are increasing but there’s no way for the pay and opportunities to follow suit
This event is specifically for freelance travel writers who:
- are currently freelancing full-time (even if it’s not 100% travel)
- are actively freelancing part-time and planning to transition to full-time this year
Don’t worry how much you are or aren’t making—the important thing to apply the work from this event is that freelance is or will soon be your primary income source.
My First “Press Trip”
This is a very special opportunity to get a spot in a new event that we’ve been asked to launch and are very excited to bring to you for the first time this spring.
We’re modeling this event after our awesome but intense week-long bootcamp and our summer camp for coaching students, which focused entirely on tours and other pitch-idea-gathering outings laced with impromptu lessons on whatever most piqued the interest of the group, covering a wide range of topics like:
- the theory and practice of food photography, including trends over time and how to develop your own style
- how to get the most information out of reticent interview subjects
- what to do when a source basically invites you to meet their family, gives your a parting gift, spells out their name and important dates in great detail, and then tells you that you can’t write about any of it
- how to turn chance encounters with interesting people well-known in their fields into articles in subject areas you don’t know well
- how to get the information you need for your piece when there are customers vying for your sources attention
- what to take from your mountain of notes and information into an actual pitch or piece
- and much more!
The focus of this event is for you to experience tours like a full-time, travel writer would, but rather than learning just by watching your peers and trial and error, you will have a personal guide to the professional side of being on a press trip and using the material that you can ask all of your questions to on any topic along the way.
I’ll create an itinerary specially tailored to the weather, season, and the stops that are able to offer us a personalize experience on the days of our event. Just a small selection of the places we’ve visited during similar events in the past include:
- Wood-fired pizza that Food and Wine calls some of the best in New York, even though it’s surprising outside of New York City
- Top award-winning wines (of course!)
- A visit to the home of American fly fishing, also known as a “Distilling town with a fishing problem” due to the presence of a lauded local distillery
- Craft cider in the traditional European style
- A visit to the historic Delaware and Hudson canal (also a great spot for morning runs for the active folks!) with the walking encyclopedia for the area
Other options for this retreat include:
- Zero kilometer beers made with wild yeast and site-grown hops
- A visit to the first whiskey distillery in New York since Prohibition
- Adorable, soft, and highly photogenic alpacas (great story ideas came from here during our winter bootcamp!)
- brand new stops we uncover between now and when we finalize the schedule!
Ready to help us select the upcoming retreats? Head here!