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  • Writer's pictureKatrina Julia

Virtual Global Travels with Women in Travel Summit 2020

Are you dreaming of the next time you may cross off items on your bucket list with global travels? Do you imagine freely running around on a beach, scuba diving, and trying your favorite foods in a new place? Yeah, me too. Yet, like all of us, you aren't sure when you will be able to travel again.

You may choose to focus on what you don't have, or you may choose to create the world you want to see right now where you are. I made this choice at the start of the crisis in 2020 to add value and service anywhere I am. I may not be hopping on planes anytime soon, but I am hopping on virtual online social media, meetings and conferences in every direction.

You love to travel and create content and share what you love with others. Perhaps, you are a multi-passionate entrepreneur, creator, and traveler already? Maybe you are a travel brand wanting to connect and create with community now more than ever? Or, has your travel bug reawakened recently?

You've traveled solo, with family and friends, or participated in press trips as an entrepreneur. I get it. The journey of wellness, lifestyle, and entrepreneurship is not for the faint of heart. It involves figuring out your passions, purpose, people, and profits.

One of the most essential aspects now is connecting and creating community, and taking the temperature of industries ranging from wellness to travel. (Temperature quote credit Nina - SideWalkerDaily!)

You may have heard of travel communities, a friend of yours may be part of She's Wanderful, or you've heard me talk about it since Ashley Renne mentioned it to me via our Cuba Retreat. I originally was attending the Women in Travel Summit in Kansas City to help in social media. Beth, Marissa and the team shifted amazingly to an online summit in May 2020.

Every speaker and participant brought such a special experience to every session. From mindset to health to wealth to business to travel, every session lit my soul on fire. There are many ways for you to create community online now so join me with my Virtual Global Travels with Women in Travel Summit 2020.

Via our Cuba Retreat Photo Credit ps.ilovefilm Preston Olsen

Insights into Creating Communities

As a multi-passionate creator, educator and traveler, I am constantly creating, connecting and cultivating with communities from an influencer, entrepreneur and brand side. Community is everything! That's why when She's Wanderful announced their conferences this year in Kansas City and Gdansk, I applied for social media and a speaker for wellness, media and lifestyle workshops.

If you didn't know, I was conceived in Bulgaria, born in Poland, lived in a refugee camp in Italy for six months, and in four countries and the USA by the time I was two years old. I am also fluent in Polish, Bulgarian and Spanish. I have traveled to 27+ countries and have a deep love of travel largely due to my mom.

Would you love to transform and travel with the community you love around the world? You may start now with online experiences in communities globally like She's Wanderful. If you are a creator and/or brand, you will love their virtual meetings day coming up end of May.

A few years ago, we participated via a meeting day with BloggerBridge and TBeX in Finger Lakes, NY and loved it. BloggerBridge is an incredible tool to help create connections between creators and brands. Chris, the Founder is super helpful.

I use BloggerBridge, and other tools on both ends as a creator and as a brand for our influencer marketing community. When I found out She's Wanderful is partnering with BloggerBridge on the virtual meeting day, I loved how aligned it is.

Women in Travel Summit Highlights

According to GutsyTraveler, there has been a 230% increase in the number of women-only travel companies in past six years. Whether you are a content creator, retreat leader, or community creator, women in travel are on the rise.

If you have never heard of it, Women in Travel Summit (WITS) is the premier event for travel's top marketing talent. Creative entrepreneurs, influencers, DMOs, and industry come together to discuss future innovations, build dynamic collaborations, and change travel worldwide, all while supporting and empowering a diverse community of women.

WITS is organized by Wanderful. Now 40,000 strong, Wanderful is an international community of women who travel.

Beth is the Founder and CEO of Wanderful and creator of the Women in Travel Summit.

The idea for a robust community of women travelers came to her while cruising her blue motorcycle through the streets of São Tomé and Príncipe, a small country in Africa’s Gulf of Guinea.

Now, she is a thought leader on women's travel, an avid community builder, and a voice for women creators and entrepreneurs.


WITS Summit Opening

Beth kicked off the conference welcoming everyone warmly. We did a poll on if this was your first WITs. Over 54% of us said yes (myself included!) It is the eight Women in Travel Summit ranging from locations including Chicago, Boston, Quebec and more.

In the eighth Women in Travel Summit, over 250 travel brands, creators, and entrepreneurs came together virtually to discuss the critical landscape our industry now finds itself in. From marketing to pivoting your business during a global crisis, from work-from-home tips to financial management in a time of uncertainty, we covered it all and then some.

We did a fun activity virtually with our goals via post-its and the chat. Beth posted many of the goals on post-its via the wall behind her.

Derek, joined us from Kansas City with highlights on the city, tourism and a new date for November 13-15 for the Women in Travel Summit. He shared with us fun facts about Kansas City like Hallmark Cards, Amelia Earhart, and Missy Copeland!

I loved how right away the chat in the community was engaging and active. Beth, Marissa, Abigail and the team helped lead this in every way.

My Goal: Aligned Passion + Purpose and minimum 30 bureaus & brands inspiring travel now and in the future online and live with wellness, media, business leading to 7 continent trip 21-22 and 3+ retreats resulting in free and earned media, travelers, helping others lead retreats, and $150,000 minimum in next year or less.

@visitkc via @atasteofkoko


Travel Was Never Your Focus

Lola and Beth led this session kicking off a 10:30 a.m. I loved how Lola @lolaakinmade shared about how this is an opportunity to reinvent yourself. A chance to pursue passion & purpose fully and reprioritize.

She focused on the opportunity to strengthen your voice now more than ever. She spoke avidly with passion & purpose & shared examples how she is creating what she loves. Lola is represented by @NatGeointheField, creator of NordicTB, and lives by motto #WhyNot

Via @lolaakinmade

My Action Items:

1 Publish e-book on my first 25 countries,

June - July

2 Content Series Book launch with Mexico, and Future Forecast Industry Series on blog & podcast.

June - Aug

3 Launch Inspire Travel Now & In Future Project.

May - June

4 Tie my own reflections for 2020 + industry into my book Pain to Purpose - coming Oct 2020.

May - Oct


Workspace Ergonomics for the Remote Worker

with Donna Cantrell, DPT

During our break, Donna gave insight into ergonomics for working from home. She shared insight and tips into posture, chairs, getting up hourly, stretches, and more.

You know me - I love anything wellness. I am implementing more of these especially some of the chair yoga shared later.


How to Talk About Travel Without Sounding Tone-Deaf

with Bartłomiej Barski, Bex Shapiro, & Eulanda Shead Osagiede

Bart from VisitGdnask, Bex with Intreprid Travel, and Eulanda with @DipYourToesin came on a panel.

Bex highlighted now is the time to nurture and build relationships. The panel overall covered being empathetic, soft, and service driven.

Bart shared insights on the Gdnask Will Wait campaign, along with other cities in Poland. I love Gdansk, Gydnia, Sopot on the Baltic Sea in Poland. I went numerous times as a child. So looking forward to visiting again. #citywillwait.

I loved Eulanda's focus on inspiration, as well as the panels. Brands mentioned innovating included Gdnask and Polish cities, DiscoverPuertoRico and Faroe Islands with online experiences and more.

My biggest takeaway here is simple - inspire and innovate.

Think outside the box with virtual, online and live - my favorite thing to do.

My Action Items:

1 Softer e-mail connection & alignment & relatability

2 Ideas for connection, value, service, & free first e.g. IG Live, stories, show, etc.

3 Added options to explore & Inspiring Travel Now & Future

4 Openness to ideas & chat & help how best now & explore at right time


Mindfulness Exercise – Confidence Through Collaboration and Creativity

Nicolle Merrill

Nicolle brought so much passion and joy to this activity. She focused on putting yourself in a different mindset no matter what is going on externally.

She shared suggestions on doing new things and hobbies from home. I wrote down getting a paint kit, bath bomb set, and gardening kit over the next 2-3 months.

I loved how she talked about connecting and creating community and collaborations now more than ever.

Loved her joy - she felt like a ray of sunshine.


PIVOT! Ingenuity and Resilience During a Crisis

with Gloria Atanmo, Kate McCulley, & Leah Chandler

Gloria, Kate, and Leah brought an awesome dynamic to this session.

Gloria of The Blog Abroad and @glographics shared how a brand leaving her stranded became a blessing in disguise.

She transparently shared how she went from 1-17 income streams. She shared on e-books, courses, retreats and more.

As a lifestyle brand builder in infancy to toddler stages, I completely relate and gives confirmation I am and we are on the right track.

I felt like this picture completely shows her spirit in every way.

Kate @adventurouskate is a solo traveler, Forbes Top 10 Travel Influencer, and has traveled to 80+ countries.

She shared how she has pivoted by showcasing inspiration in travel in different ways, as well as setting up a Patreon account for exclusive content for her tribe.

She is sharing travel stories never told before. I found people use the platform for many reasons.

A similar tool we use is Substack for exclusive stories. What appeals to me is Patreon highlights creators of all kinds for memberships. I could see creating a membership page including wellness, marketing, business and travel.

For example:

Tier 1 wellness & travel

Tier 2 - all in Tier 1+ marketing

Tier 3 - all of above + biz & money

Leah Chandler with Discover Puerto Rico Public Relations shared how the island bounced back from the Hurricane before and will again.

She shared how after the Hurricane the island put together a Crisis Playbook. She shared how with Covid there are many factors impacting people and the travel industry.

I love how she shared to not be afraid to pitch inspiration and innovation now.

Agility is so critical for this situation - Leah Chandler @discoverpuertorico

My Action Items:

1 Continue firming up foundation and sharing offerings via FB & Inf Groups

2 Launch Patreon in June alongside books & invite Kate on show

3 Submit Travel Collaboration Ideas to Leah and Amanda via DiscoverPR

4 Invite Speakers via IG Live & Podcast & Blog Features

After this session, we had break time for an hour.

Stretching it out in San Diego Photo Credit: Brett Seeley


WFH-ers Tell All

with Gloria Apara, Meera Dattani, & Melissa Megginson

Gloria @nomadic_chica, Meera , and Melissa with Tailwind shared insights and realities on working from home. Everything from their workspace, routines, and tips and insights. These included setting boundaries and breaks and more.

Fun Fact - we have interviewed Melissa and Tailwind on our show, and done an IG Live together.


Low Back Relief Stretch

with Rachel Suson, DPT

Rachel did an awesome stretching session on the floor. I enjoyed every single focus on wellness not only for the summit, but for added focus to integrate into my daily life now more than ever.

At the end of the day, I didn't feel like I sat on my couch all day for an online conference at all.


What Creators Can Be Doing Right Now to Build a Lasting Business

Becky van Dijk, Ciara Johnson, & Nina Zadeh

The creator session with Becky @beckyvandijk @weartravelgirls , Ciara @hey_ciara, and Nina @sidewalkerdaily co-founder shared a lot of wisdom and insight.

I have followed and been inspired by both @wearetravelgirls and @sidewalkerdaily for years. I found WATG via IG, and found out about SideWalker Daily via Ashley like I shared earlier. Love their communities.

I learned about Ciara because of this summit, and love the work she is doing! Congrats on being a new speaker! Way to break free of fears and barriers and serve!

Becky talked about increasing a value-based approach, increasing platform, and diversifying income streams. She highlighted having a quarantine master list and testing different things on platforms.

Photo Credit @bechkyvandijk

Nina talked about importance of sharing all of you, and developing new focus areas e.g. finance, business and more.

The importance of connection, community, and collaborations echoed throughout the talk as well.

Photo Credit: @nina_zadeh @sidewalkerdaily

Ciara shared new ways she is creating content to engage her audience in new ways on her platforms to increase community as well.

The emphasis on connecting and checking in with community was shared as well.

My Takeaways: 1 Be Multi-Passionate

2 Continue to Diversify Content & Business

3 Focus on Online Business

4 Create Master List & Update 90 Day Plan

5 Increase Leaps of Faith & Community

Photo Credit @hey_ciara


Desk + Chair Yoga

with Viola Wang

This session was life with Viola @blessingbucket. I've never had a desk and chair yoga session before, and now am doing it at least 3x a week.

She incorporated cat, cow, and forward folds among many other yoga poses. I felt like a new woman after the session.

Loved her recent post not just doing yoga, but getting creative and wearing the mat!


The F Word (Finances)

with Nora Dunn & Phylecia Jones

Nora Dunn @theprofessionalhobo has been traveling full-time since 2007. She is an author, writer, and blogger. She joined Phylecia Jones @keepupwithmrsjones, a 2X TedX Speaker, Emcee, Money Nerd, writer and author, and traveler to 50+ countries.

They interacted with fun and joy talking about finances, tips, and tools like EveryDollar. I love that WITs included a talk on money.

As a CPA, and someone who has walked through quite a transformation in money, this is a needed topic especially for women and entrepreneurs.

My Action Items:

1 Continue to Use Every Dollar

2 Create Value & Use 6 Pack of Wealth


Meditation + Breathing to Ease Stress + Anxiety

with Sophia Hyder Hock

This meditation with Sophia was such a beautiful experience. She focused on release, ease, and loving kindness in the experience.

I practice meditation on a regular basis. I have found that a different focus during the experience may help you exponentially in different ways.

Loving kindness is one of my favorites.


Closing Session: The Future of Travel

with Beth Santos, Carol Cain, & Gabby Beckford

The closing session with Beth, Carol and Gabby brought an interesting dynamic with Beth, Founder of Wanderful; Carol @girlgonetravel both from creator and brand sides, and Gabby who is a Gen Z Traveler, TEDx Speaker, and recently quit her 9-5 @packslight.

The session brought a beautiful close to the summit with a focus on perspective, local travel, and humility when connecting with creators and brands now more than ever.

The event was amazing, and the community interaction priceless. And, just like that folks, its a wrap!

Photo Credit via @maximumbeth IG


Carol Cain


Gabby Beckford

Virtual Global Travels with Women in Travel Summit

My virtual global travels with Women in Travel Summit filled my heart and mind in every way. Not to mention, the wellness breaks with meditation, mindfulness, and movement. As you read over this or tuned in, I am sure you felt like you caught a glimpse of the value and community experienced.

So much happened in a day that it felt like a lifetime! From hands-on activities to travel industry insight to connecting and creating community with bloggers, entrepreneurs, and travelers, my heart and mind are full in every way!

What are some of the ways you create community? Have you experienced your bucket list destinations yet? Do you have a post quarantine list in place? How could you take steps now to create a life and business you love globally?

Don't over think it or judge your dreams in any way. If I did, I wouldn't have experienced this Women in Travel Summit. Write down three domestic and international adventures and communities (even if online only) you would love to experience in 2020-22 to start!

How will you create next? You'll love these tips on how to transform your life like a boss.


If you post on social media, please tag us @katrinajuliafit @fitlifecreation



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