After months of hopeful indecision, last week, I booked my tickets for the first ever Let’s Blog Abruzzo food and travel blogging conference, which will be held in the Medici hilltop village of Santo Stefano di Sessanio on June 1st and 2nd. As a new food blogger, I could have arguably waited another year before leaving my three young children (something I NEVER do – they’ve never even had a babysitter other than their grandparents) to fly across the Atlantic for four days (again, not exactly part of the day-to-day mommy routine) to attend a bloggers’ conference (something completely foreign to me until a few months ago) in Abruzzo (where I’m headed for six weeks only a month after the event). So why go?
- Although I started my blog and am managing well enough, the blogosphere remains somewhat of a mystery to me. I follow a number of other Italian food blogs and am in awe of their sophisticated design, inspired photography and impressive following. I need some help taking my little blog to the next level and believe that Let’s Blog Abruzzo can help me get there.
- I don’t know how to tweet, I barely know how to pin, I’m not quite sure how to press , I haven’t linked in and I have no clue how to tumbl (if that’s even a word). In short, except for Facebook, I’m a lone social media virgin in a brothel of experienced bloggers. I hope that Let’s Blog Abruzzo’s impressive panel of speakers (including Rome food expert Katie Parla, whose blog, www.parlafood.com, I’ve been stalking for years) can help me become savvier to the social networking world.
- Whenever I say my dad is from Abruzzo, most Americans have no idea where it is. At the same time, I’ve realized just how little of this magnificent region I actually know. In attendance at Let’s Blog Abruzzo will be local wine producers, food tour operators, specialty food artisans and people in the hospitality industry. I truly believe that Abruzzo is on the precipice of being discovered by the world and these are the people working tirelessly to put their region on the travel map. I’m incredibly excited to meet them and brainstorm ways to help further their mission.
- Although I could have met the organizers and a number of the event’s attendees individually this summer, you can’t put a price tag on gathering together a group of people with common goals and interests in the same room.
- The profits from Let’s Blog Abruzzo will be donated to charities dedicated to recovery efforts from the 2009 earthquake that devastated so much of the area. I visited the conference site, Santo Stefano di Sessanio, only last summer and was sobered by the image of the fallen medieval tower, the very symbol of this charming village.
- I spent years feeling regret – that I stayed in law school even though I knew it wasn’t right for me; that I went into corporate law (big $$$) rather than pursue an area of law that might have been more satisfying; that it took me nearly 10 years before I left; etc, etc, etc. I knew full well that if I didn’t go, on June 1st, I would log in to Facebook and see photos posted by Let’s Blog Abruzzo’s attendees and be awash with regret. I’m done with that. (And the irony that a friend from law school in need of a break from work is joining me on this adventure is not lost on me.)
So there they are – what I believe are worthy reasons for flying across the Atlantic for a food and travel blogging conference. I guess the fact that yesterday, at our sons’ little league baseball game, a good friend referred to me as, “a rock star mom who goes to Italy on business for four days” doesn’t hurt either! 😉
For more information on the Let’s Blog Abruzzo conference, visit www.blogaway.org. Hope to see you there! Ciao!