On Tuesday, January 12, three of the four #TRLT team members were in the same location: Utrecht, Netherlands. Shane Dallas (@TheTravelCamel) flew in from Kenya for the Vakantiebeurs as a keynote speaker. Savannah Grace (@Sihpromatum) and I (@JLipowski) drove in from Alkmaar and Amsterdam respectively, both to network at the trade show and hear Shane speak. We felt this special occasion called for a celebration: a #TRLT meet-up. The Grand Hotel Karel V graciously hosted our travel event. The group of 15 was easily accommodated in the Koning Willem I room.
Guests started arriving at 5:30 p.m., and 15 minutes later, received a tour of the picturesque grounds, which I will discuss in more detail in another post. Ending at our meeting room, each person was offered a beverage; I went for the champagne. We were then presented with a soup and salad appetizer before the chat began. While consuming the delicious creations, we did a round of introductions. Some of us had met in person prior, but others we only knew from their Twitter handle. A few minutes before 7 p.m., we fired up our laptops and tablets in preparation for the whirlwind chat.
The online portion of the event – The Road Less Travelled (TRLT) chat – took place at 1 p.m. EST (7 p.m. CET), and 160 participants chimed in from all over the world to discuss the topic “People.” ABBA played in the background, a tradition Shane embraces each Tuesday wherever he is in the world. The responses were fantastic, with inspiring stories and meaningful photos shared. The people are truly what makes this #TRLT community great. You can read the recap here.
Following the online portion, our personal attendant, Hein, served truffle pasta, which was absolutely mouthwatering. Additional platters with cheese, nuts, crackers, and bitterballen were sprinkled around the room as we swapped stories and shared laughs over bites and drinks the rest of the evening.
It was fantastic to have travellers from all over the world come together. In this in-person meet-up alone, we had people from Australia, Belgium, Canada, Germany, Hungary, Netherlands, Uganda, and United States. The entire evening was heartwarming, between the #TRLT community vibes and the fabulous experience provided by Grand Hotel Karel V. Be sure to read Savannah’s account, as well, for additional detail and more photos!
Below are the people who joined – from near and far – to attend the live event. Please be sure to follow them. They have some wonderful stories to share! And please follow our host, the Grand Hotel Karel V, too: @HotelKarelV
Thank you so much to everyone who joined – both online and off-line. It was great to see many of you again and meet new faces, as well. It is an honor and a pleasure to be a part of the #TRLT community!