Los Angeles Travel and Adventure Show

I pulled out my calendar tonight to take a look at the coming weeks. I don't know what was scarier: The act of pulling a calendar out or seeing it chock-full. When I was walking to the beach every day for sunset in Central America last year at this time, I didn't exactly need a calendar. "Pura vida" as it's called in Costa Rica. However, amidst being a full-time writer and launching a new business, the first couple weeks of 2012 have been an adventure in and of themselves without even stepping foot onto a plane. Nonetheless, 2012 travel is off and away this week as I'm down in Southern California for the Los Angeles Travel and Adventure Show in Long Beach. It's one of a few trade shows I'm attending over the next couple months.

The Los Angeles Travel and Adventure Show is the largest travel show in the west, bringing travelers, tourism boards, tour operators, travel personalities, and intrepid travelers together for a weekend of travel inspiration. Travel personalities headlining this year's show include the Travel Channel's Samantha Brown and Andrew Zimmerman, travel expert Peter Greenberg, and celebrity chef Mark DeCarlo, just to name a few. Some of the exhibitors that I'm especially interested in, as they represent places I want to travel to, include the Belize Tourism Board, Honduras Tourism Board, Mexico Tourism Board, and Yosemite Tourism Bureau. You can visit the full list of exhibitors here.

Last year was my first travel trade show, attending the Los Angeles Times Show. It was a great opportunity to connect with friends and colleagues, make new friends, and learn about destinations from around the world. It provides face-to-face time you just can't get from an article, blog post, or email. For example, representatives from Egypt were there discussing the state of travel after the Egypt uprising.

However, it was a time of transition for me. I had just landed back on U.S. soil the day prior after my own travels and adventures in Central America for several months. I'm even more excited for this year's show as I've continued to grow my travel writing since last year and have launched a new media consulting company. As I've talked to entrepreneurs and executives in the travel industry this week, I've noticed a positive wave of momentum as travel continues to show growth. I talked to one hotel owner who said that January saw slim bookings last year, but is at 100% capacity this month.

Even more exciting, is that I'm thrilled to be a part of a great speaker lineup for this weekend. I'll be on a panel Saturday at 1:30, discussing the best travel apps. I'll be joined by other writers, Jill Robinson, Jennifer Miner, and Kim Lachance Shandrow. Some of my favorite travel apps have saved me a lot of time and money throughout the entire process, from researching to planning to booking to traveling. A few of my favorite apps include....Actually you'll just have to come on Saturday.

Finally, if you'll be at the Los Angeles Travel and Adventure Show on Saturday, I invite you afterward to Congregation Ale House for drinks between 5-7 p.m. Congregation Ale House is just a couple blocks from the Long Beach Convention Center. Stop by to say hello to other intrepid travelers like yourself, because wherever there's a congregation of travelers, drinks aren't far behind.

First two photos courtesy of the Los Angeles Travel and Adventure Show and photo of me a tweetin' from Kirsten Alana.