The second day of the Women’s Travel Fest in New York City was jam-packed with even more informational and motivating speakers and panels.
Deidre Mathis had an informational session, “Perfecting your pitch: How to Win Money for Your Big Idea.” Mathis shared how she raised $28,000 in pitch competitions to fund her dream of opening Wanderstay Hotels in Houston, Texas. She became the first black woman in the United States to own her own hostel.
Then there were breakout sessions, attendees could choose whether to attend “Etiquette of Influence: Working with Brands to Maximize Travel” on the main stage. Speakers included Sierra Brown who is the account manager of Turner PR, Passport2Pretty creator Kenecia Lashae and Danny Rivers-Mitchell founder of Black Girls Travel Too who all spoke about connecting with brands and the best way to build your own.
Meanwhile downstairs was another panel at the same time with Uyen Luong who has worked in the financial services industry for over 15 years and spoke about saving up more to ensure the best and safest travel experience. Luong’s session was aptly titled “Financial Independence: How to Stretch Your Money to Travel.”
For all the heavy packers the next panel was a necessary one. Editor-in-Chief and founder of Travel Fashion Girl, Alexandra Jimenez led the next panel on the main stage “The Carryon Challenge: How to Pack Light for 1 week or 1 Year” which was all about packing efficiently. One of the more impressive travel accessories by Jimenez is the sleek packing cubes.
During the same time slot, downstairs accomplished scribes Jessica Colley Clarke and Rachel Friedman gave an informative chat about the art and business of travel writing, sharing resources, tips, and advice on pitching and publishing.
With all of this brain food, it was time to take a break for lunch and feed our stomachs. Appropriately, after lunch, downstairs Kae Lani also known as the “Ms. Frizzle of food,” was teaching female travelers to tap into their senses through food writing.
One of the most inspirational speakers of the weekend (and may be of any of the Women’s Travel Fest prior) was proficient writer and Editor-in-Chief of Panorama Journal, Amy Gigi Alexander. To attempt to put Alexander’s strength and inspiration into words would be an understatement, she has been through hardships, challenges, and despair time and time again.
She spoke of suicide, health issues, being a survivor of sexual violence and so much more. Like many women over the weekend who strived to figure out and follow their dreams, she wanted to give up. But she didn’t. The common thread between the women speaking onstage is perseverance. Alexander is the epitome of strength so it’s no wonder why she was the perfect person to talk to women about “How to Fear Less.”
Speaking of fearless, Jessica Nabongo took the stage afterward to talk about her mission to be the first black woman to travel to every country in the world. She has been to 159 countries out of 193 countries, so far and she’s not done yet. Her personable style, wit and humor made for the perfect way to end the conference. She expects to complete her trip around the world, to every country, in October.
Article by Liz Ramanand