March Madness: Meet-ups, Travel Shows, and More

There was some finality today. I paid my last rent payment, bought another plane ticket, got my confirmation for the Los Angeles Times Travel Show, and verbally committed to a haircut. That means one journey is coming to an end and another is beginning. While 2011 has been marked by "slow travel," spending a couple months living and traveling around Costa Rica, I'm following it up with a little more intense schedule. My first trip to Central America has been a hit. I've become quite taken with the "pura vida" lifestyle of Costa Rica. However, I'm now looking forward to a few weeks of traveling around the U.S., visiting a few of my favorite cities, spending time with friends, and meeting up with some of you.  I want to take a break from my regular posting schedule to let you know about some of my upcoming travel plans and also tell you about some events you might be interested in.


  • March 17-19: Los Angeles. On tap for this weekend is the Los Angeles Times Travel and Adventure Show and a couple travel meetups. I fly out of L.A. early on the 31st, but probably won't be in L.A. except for this weekend.
  • March 20-30: San Francisco. San Francisco may just be my favorite U.S. city. I'm planning on meeting up with friends, but am also looking forward to exploring some of the local area. I can't tell you how stoked I am to travel up Highway 1 and spend some time in Big Sur. Since lessons fell through in Costa Rica, I'm not ruling out surfing, paddle boarding, or kite surfing lessons. Also, you'll probably find me at the Athletics/Giants Spring Training Game on the 28th.
  • April: I'm doing pretty good to have planned a month in advance, so April isn't so black and white. I'll be in Atlanta in early April, probably trying to finagle my way to at least a practice round of the PGA Masters Tournament. Later in April includes visits to New York City and then New Orleans for the Jazz Festival, before heading back to the south and getting ready for my summer trip to Europe.


  • Los Angeles Times Travel and Adventure Show. This will be my first visit to a travel show. Several hundred exhibitors will be showing off their destinations and products for travelers. They don't really hold too many travel events or meetups in Central America, so this will be a nice change of pace. Arthur Frommer, Rick Steves, the Travel Channel's Samantha Brown, and actor/travel writer Andrew McCarthy will be a few of the speakers for the event.
  • TBEX Lost Angeles Chapter Meetup. So there's this thing called the Travel Blog Exchange (TBEX). It's all the rave in travel blogging. They are holding their first chapter meetup the weekend of the travel show on Friday, March 18. You can sign up for the event here.
  • The "Travelers are awesome and are always looking for a reason to support their drinking habit" Meetup. That's not the name of it, but since we're being all official in this post, why not give it a name - you know, something with a ring to it that's easy to remember. Thanks to Christel Lom for helping organize this. It's going down at the downtown Los Angeles Yard House on the patio at 7 p.m. on Saturday, March 19. We'll be there for a couple hours, so stop in for a drink. We made it close to the travel show location so that people in attendance wouldn't have to go far afterward and could even walk.

But wait, there's more! Not really, but sort of. So, a couple things before you click away. Do you have any recommendations for me? Maybe you know this sweet hole-in-the-wall diner on Highway 1 that serves kick ass burgers or have a recommendation for a can't-miss thing to do in San Francisco. Maybe your second cousin, twice removed is a surf instructor. Also, I haven't made any accommodation plans yet. I'll be using some leftover Hyatt points for a couple nights in San Francisco and then have a feeling I'll be using Airbnb, which I haven't had the opportunity to use yet, but am looking forward to. However, if you have other recommendations for staying cheap in San Francisco or Los Angeles, leave a comment below or email me. Hope to see some of you soon.