Happy 2015! I have spent the last two weeks since I’ve been home thinking about the past year and all of the amazing people and new friends I’ve met. I have a lot to be grateful for and many people to thank in this and upcoming blog posts. Today, I want to give a special thank you to all my friends at Travel Massive. Travel Massive was co founded by one of my mentors Ian Cumming (and Alicia Smith) to connect people working in the travel industry. ( I was connected to Ian through our amazing Toronto chapter leader Christina C) Travel Massive is growing fast and have monthly meet ups in 66 different cities around the world. On my journey community has been such an important factor. When my mom Marla & I first joined Travel Massive late 2013, it was shortly after I came up with the idea to make a documentary film that would require me to travel for half a year going into communities to find stories of hope and resilience. Travel Massive really know the meaning of community and have helped me on my travels throughout the past six months as I worked on my project around the world.
We have a chapter in our city (Toronto) and we enjoyed meeting people each month through the meet up who shared the same passion and dreams about travel as us. They are people who are doing a range of amazing travel-related work that we were so inspired by. We’d been going to the Travel Massive events for almost a year before we finally left on our global journey, and when we did, we knew the community was supporting us by the way they regularly checked in with us. Many contributed generously to my crowdsource funding campaigns either with donations, social media exposure or both and I can’t thank everyone enough! You all helped make this dream happen and my mom and I are VERY grateful to you.
On our travels, we went to a couple of meet ups along the way in Cape Town, South Africa and Bangkok, Thailand. We missed a few in other cities due to timing but each meet up we attended was a bit different and gave us a little more insight into the tourism industry in the cities we visited. In Cape Town, we saw a large theme of nature and adventure related travel, whereas in Bangkok, a lot of people attending the event were involved in responsible, culture oriented travel. When we were in San Francisco I was happy to meet up with Erika Helstrom again and learn more about the San Francisco chapter too. In all cases, what I really like about this organization is the way they give back and support local community projects as well.
I think it’s so cool to be connected to a group like Travel Massive knowing there are potential friends wherever we go. Talk about global citizenship, right? We are back in Toronto now and so excited to see everyone at the next Toronto Travel Massive in January and to be regularly attending their events once again. I’ll be posting pics of that reunion so keep an eye out. I know that wherever my journey takes me next that there’s likely going to be a meet-up with Travel Massive that I can attend and I am also really looking forward to that too!