Photo Credit: Kayti Burt

300 awesome female travel bloggers and enthusiasts gathered this past March in Boston Massachusetts for the Women in Travel Summit.

I was a little nervous to be surrounded by so many awesome and powerful women. To be honest, I’m an extrovert, but I get intense social anxiety when I’m surrounded by a large group of straight women.

My social and professional life has been filled with queer people for the last ten years. The last time I was around that many straight women was high school gym class and let’s be real, those aren’t fond memories.

Contrary to my initial thought, I ended up really enjoying the conference and the love I felt surrounded by these women. I learned a lot in the presentations. My favorite was about SEO

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I left knowing WITS had been worth it.

Who knows, maybe it’ll be worth it to you too. I rounded up some of the attendees and asked them how they benefited from WITS. Check out their responses below.

Christa Singleton-Travel Fearlessly

While I’m not a beginner blogger I am a novice in promoting my work and actively seeking followers. My previous blogs were simply online journals for myself; my travel blog is now more for my readers. I went to WITS hoping to make new friends and though I definitely did that, I feel that my blog benefited even more. I especially enjoyed the workshop “Being a Travel Blogger Even When You’re Not Traveling”. So many great new ideas and helpful feedback on posts I already have in the works! Travel Fearlessly

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Shannon Healey- Camera & Carry On

I think the big takeaway, for me, is that WITS is unlike any other blogging/networking/educational event out there. Being immersed in an environment of support, empowerment, and positive thinking has not only given me the lift I’ve been after, but opened the door to some long lasting and fruitful relationships. On a personal note, being among a group that shares my passion, without judgment, is so comforting. Professionally? The cup of knowledge and diversity overfloweth. Two thumbs way, way up. Camera & Carry On

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Kydee Kristina- Travel By Ky

WITS 15 opened my eyes to the idea of Traveling with Purpose. Personally, I travel to possibly to get away from my routine life, or to absorb culture and then blog about my experiences. WITS taught me travel can be so much more than personal pleasure. Its also about helping others, volunteering, changing lives abroad to those who may not be as fortunate, empowering women abroad, giving back in a sense. I think that was the best take away from this weekend. I now want to travel with a mission. Yes of course to get away, but always to give back. Travel By Ky

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Lauren Marinigh- Wanderlust 

WITS made me feel like I wasn’t alone in this whole blogging thing. I loved hearing and talking to other people who struggle with the same things I do as a blogger, and to be in a room with 300 other women who love travel as much as you, is absolutely inspiring! Wanderlust

Holly Robertson- Brave Little Cheesehead

Originally, I debated going to WITS because I wasn’t sure I would fit in. I was so incredibly intimidated. I thought everyone else would be so much more advanced than I was, with established business models and paychecks to prove it. For me, WITS was almost like a coming of age for me and my blogging career. I realized that everyone started from somewhere, just like me, and that rather than being judgmental or doubtful of me, every single woman I met was incredibly supportive and helpful. I showed up in Boston as some girl who just writes about traveling for fun every now and then. But by the time I left, I felt like a travel blogger. WITS gave me the confidence to pursue my passion seriously. Brave Little Cheesehead

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Delia Harrington- Away She Goes

For me, WITS is not only a place to find other travel bloggers, but a place to find those who care about social good and women’s empowerment. I love how supportive and generous the environment is, with nonjudgmental advice freely given. As a speaker, I found that WITS is open to speakers that push the boundaries of travel blogging into discussions of social privilege, safety, and knowing your own worth. I think it’s important that we examine our power as travel bloggers while we simultaneously look for how we can support one another to counteract the subtle (and not-so-subtle) sexism of the world we live in. Away She Goes 

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Did you attend WITS 2015? What did you think? Leave your comments below.