Welcome 2013



Welcome 2013. I’ve been waiting for you. It’s going to take some doing to show up 2012, but I have a feeling you’re up to the task.

Here’s what I have on the travel agenda for 2013:

Las Vegas

It’s been awhile since I’ve spent any time in Las Vegas, and I’ll be heading there later this month for NMX and then again in June for International Pow-Wow. The city has had tons of remodeling projects in addition to some new attractions, and many of the house shows have changed, so I’ll be checking out what’s new. Since Las Vegas is an easy travel weekend for those of us in the Pacific Northwest, I’ll be sure to share the latest scoop of what’s hot. And what’s not.


I’ll be heading to Berlin in March for ITB Berlin and to help with the TBEX sponsored Speed Dating. ITB Berlin is the world’s leading travel trade show and I’m pretty excited to take a look at it. This is a work trip for me, but I also hope to be able to see a little bit of what the modern side of Berlin has to offer the visitor. There’s a good chance I’ll be able to cross off a bucket list item during my visit.

European River Cruise

In conjunction with traveling to Europe for ITB Berlin, I’ll be adding on a river cruise (another check off on my bucket list). The cruise leaves from Antwerp and ends in Amsterdam, and in between I’m looking forward to seeing and discovering more about the countryside. I’ve done ocean cruises before, but have wanted to slow things down a bit on a river cruise. I’ll be sharing this great adventure with fellow travel blogger and friend Chris Gray Faust. Can you say fun?! And chances are that this will result in a few more check offs on the bucket list.


I was in Toronto for a quick trip last year (a scouting expedition), but will return for a longer visit for TBEX 13. A good deal of my time there will be spent working on making sure the conference all comes together as planned, but I’m hoping to take an extra week and see some of the sights in the area. The downtown core has a wonderful city vibe, and great food scene, but I know there’s even more to see if I expand my travels to the greater Toronto area. Great restaurants, wine tasting, soft adventure? Yes, I’m hoping to do, and taste, a bit of it all.

And if you’re wondering what all this travel blogging is about, you may want to check out this event as well. It’s a perfect blend of education and fun.


TBEX Europe will be in Dublin this fall and preliminary plans look like it’s going to be dynamite. I’ve never been to Ireland, so once the working part of the trip is done, I plan to extend my stay and see the rest of the country. Oh sure, I’ll spend some time with my good friends Guinness, Jameson, and Bushmills, but then I’ll have to decide whether to head to Belfast or Cork, Limerick or Galway, Derry or Drogheda. Tough choices, but I have friends – and time – to help me decide.

If you need an excuse to take a European getaway this fall, this would make a fine one.


Hawaii is still in the picture, and I envision the “day job” taking me to the islands a few times a month. There are some new places I’d like to explore, and I’m always looking for more recommendations, but when in the islands, I most prefer to be on island time. To slow things down a bit. To watch the sunrise and the sunset. To listen to the waves. To let the sun warm me to the core. To simply be. For me, that’s the joy of being in Hawaii.

Where Else?

While I have a few of the broad brush strokes of my travel plans on the calendar, I never make the mistake of over scheduling this early in the year. There are some spots to fill in with an interesting press trip, a speaking engagement, a business opportunity, or a WOWZA value luxury destination. Want to be a part of that? Just get in touch.

Those are my plans for 2013. How about you?

Photo credit:  SXC

Mary Jo Manzanares is a traveler, travel blogger, and podcaster. In addition to her blog, Traveling with MJ, she hosts the Where Else to Go podcast, and is the founder and the editor-in-chief of The Traveler’s Way, an online travel magazine. Her travel ethos is value luxury - luxury for real people - and her goal is to help travelers know when to splurge and when to save. Mary Jo has been a speaker at various industry events around the world. When she’s not traveling, Mary Jo likes lingering over a cup of coffee, wandering in a museum, sipping wine at a cafe, and sharing it all with friends and readers. Her most recent travels were to Stockholm, a Baltic cruise, and Universal Orlando Resort.

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