/**/ Event Blog: Lonely Planet Traveller's National Travel Day 2013 - Travel + Decor + DIY

Event Blog: Lonely Planet Traveller's National Travel Day 2013

Last Oct 2, I was so static to attend the first ‘National Travel Day’ event organized by the Lonely Planet Traveller (Dubai).

To be honest, on that day I got several event invites and a (Gravity) movie premier, but there is something inside me, telling me that this is the place that I should be going to.

True enough…

…As I have kinda started doing travel blogging myself, it was we very interesting to meet (and listen) to fellow travel enthusiasts (I was smiling the whole time).



Lonely Planet Traveller invited speakers who are ‘experts’ in the industry of adventure travel, photography, travel blogging and mountain climbing.

Ok.. ok…I cut and pasted the descriptions below from The National Travel Day website (http://nationaltravelday.com) and rearranged them according to the order they have presented. See my italized comments.


Image from Lonely Planet Traveller’s FB page.

David Butler, founder Offbeatours (first speaker of the night)
When he retired from being a pilot, David didn’t sit back and relax. He set up Offbeatours – which will take you into some of the most dangerous (and exciting!) places in the region. Afghanistan, Yemen, Pakistan – if you like adventure, you don’t want to miss this.

(This was a very interesting talk, he showed us photographs of places which we thought  we will never put in our ‘must go’ list. Places like Yemen, Pakistan and Afghanistan. It is true when they say that the world is full of treasures.)

Suzanne Al Houby, founder, Rahhalah
Suzanne Al Houby is the founder of travel company, Rahhalah, and she lives and breathes travel. Rahhalah can help you trek, backpack, horse- back ride, climb, snorkel, raft, para- glid, bike and ski across over 100 destinations in the world, all of which Suzanne has visited (and often climbed as a keen mountaineer). The company organises international active trips with focus on eco, cultural, & wellness trips, while always respecting the lands we visit, their people and their culture.

(What I got from her talk is the ethics of traveling, sometimes as travelers, we tend to forget that we too have the responsibility to preserve and also respect the environment and culture of the places we are visiting. This topic is close to my heart as this was what I have studied and presented during my final year in architecture.)

Catalin Marin
Catalin is lucky enough to be a professional travel photographer and encourages others to fulfill their passion, with on the ground photography workshops in exotic locations like Madagascar. He’ll be sharing his tips for great travel shots. www.momentaryawe.com

(I am not a photographer, but I do love taking photos, and pretend that I know what I am doing. He told us basics of do’s and dont’s which can be very handy to amaze all our friends in fb and instagram.)


Image from Lonely Planet Traveller’s FB page.

Samantha Dancy / Footstepsofawanderer.com
A lover of travel and adventure on land and underwater who has been working in Dubai for nearly a decade, Sam loves nothing more than ditching the posh suit and getting out and exploring the UAE, Middle East and the world! Her travel blog aims to share tips, advice and anecdotes to show there’s more to the Middle East than sand and shopping and offers travel and adventure recommendations, reviews and insight from across the UAE, Middle East and around the world.

(I love her, she was on point on all the things we need to consider when travel blogging, I was able to talk to her after the event and let’s just say that I am looking forward to collaborate with her soon..)

Omar Samra, founder Wild Guanabana (final speaker)
Omar has just climbed the highest mountain on every continent, known as the 7 Summits, including Everest. When he’s not on top of the world, he’s giving others the opportunity to embark on life-changing journeys through his ethical adventure travel company Wild Guanabana. The company is also the Middle East’s first carbon-neutral travel company.

(To be in the presence of someone who have conquered Mt. Everest was somewhat very humbling. When he started his presentation, I told myself that I am not that interested to climb mountains..but after his speech, I found my self writing ‘Mt. Kilimanjaro’ in my bucket list. I was happy that I was able to talk to him after the event, he is the one beside me in the photo above.)

It was indeed a very successful event. All in all I was so happy that we are starting to have this kind of events (for travelers) in Dubai. If you somehow know events like this in your neighborhood, I highly recommend that you grab that opportunity, meet people and be ready to be inspired.

For the mean time, while we are waiting, people here in the UAE can get their travel inspirations from the Lonely Planet Traveller Magazine! You can get your discounted subscription by clicking on this link (Lonely Planet Traveller Subscription).

Enjoy traveling and see you on the next trip!!!


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