On a whim, a whole eleven months ago, I bought a ticket to attend the 2013 International Food Blogger Conference in Seattle. The proofs right there, in black, size 10 Arial, in my 2012 budget spreadsheet, and when I look at that entry, sandwiched between an outrageous dry cleaning bill and a weekend trip to Trader Joe’s, I’m awestruck that I had the balls to buy the ticket. Somehow in that moment, I knew the coming year would kick me so hard in the keister that I’d need a cross-country escapade, and now all that stands between me and the Emerald City is a couple of days and a mere 2,800 miles. (Actually, it’s more like 5,000 miles, courtesy of my cheap plane ticket’s Texan layover… 12 hours of travel, totally worth it.)
Seattle has topped my travel wishlist since college, and not because of the sappy romance flicks filmed there—it’s deeper than that. It’s in my bones and my gut. It’s cosmic. And it’s why I’m making this voyage alone. Just me, a bag of snacks, a couple of books, and my big girl pants. Much has been written about the personal discovery one experiences when traveling solo, and for a gal whose been running on E since April, I’m aching for it. Maybe it’s just undiagnosed-ADD, but I have this insatiable craving for adventure. I’m constantly seeking opportunities to grow and learn and see and do, and in this vein, here’s what I’m hoping will come of my trip:
Grow. The first, and most personal, of my hopes is to enjoy this uninhibited opportunity to experience a new city, new people, and new food without feeling the need to fill my time with productivity and networking.
Learn. My creative brainwaves are desperate for stimulation, and of all the awesome seminars offered at the IFBC, I’m especially excited for those geared towards writing and photography. The agenda includes sessions on increasing blog traffic and readership, but that’s not where my head or heart are right now. Instead, I’ll be hanging out with Andrew Scrivani (photographer and food stylist for the New York Times) and listening to Dorie Greenspan speak (yes, that Dorie).
See. Aimless, unscripted meandering will be my primary pastime.
Do. In this context, “DO” loosely translates to “EAT.” It wouldn’t be a food blogger conference without an exorbitant amount of food, not to mention the awesome Seattle restaurant scene I’ve read so much about. My goal is to try new foods, especially those local and/or special to Seattle, and to eat my face off without eating myself sick… and maybe squeeze in a run or two.
I would like to send a HUGE thank you to Truly Good Foods for sponsoring my attendance at the IFBC! Truly Good Foods specializes in premium snack mixes, raw and freshly roasted nuts and seeds, dried fruit, and hundreds of bulk and packaged candies, spices, grains and specialty foods. Truly Good Foods has an extensive line of retail branded products, including Grabeez®, Buffalo Nuts® and Dip & Devour Dipping Chocolates. For those attending the IFBC, be sure to check out the Truly Good Foods goodies in the gift suite!