This post is a little different than my usual fare. I am two weeks into wine club processing at the winery where I work and I’m exhausted. I have travel on my mind. If I could take off this weekend, I would. I’d hunker down in an awesome rental space or hotel and do nothing but relax, sleep, eat, and drink great wine or beer. Or maybe I would just sleep for a couple of days. I just want to be alone with nothing on my mind in a place I’ve never been. Speaking of travel, did you know that it was my first love, before wine? My first outlet for travel-related social media was Twitter.
In September 2008, after attending an education conference as a community college professor, I decided to try Twitter. I had no idea what I was doing. My original name was @cestbeth, aka C’est Beth, it’s Beth in French (which still exists, I held onto it just in case). I had been a frequent flyer since 1997 and in 2008, I became a part-time, home-based business travel planner for Preston-Layne & Partners, Inc., a wine marketing and sales team. In 2011, I officially became an independent contractor with Montrose Travel and launched this blog. I found myself often having to explain the meaning of @cestbeth, so that same year, I changed my Twitter name to @travelwinechick (because @travelingwinechick was too long). The new name seemed to define who I was becoming, a woman who loves travel and wine, plus everyone understood it. Coincidentally (or not), most of my travel since 2009 has centered around wine destinations, such as Napa, Sonoma, Charlottesville (Virginia), Woodinville (Washington), the Finger Lakes (New York), the Okanagan (British Columbia), Mendoza (Argentina), Chester County (Pennsylvania), Santa Barbara County (California), Tri-Valley/Livermore (California), and the Hudson Valley region (New York).
After moving to the Napa Valley in January 2014, I haven’t had the opportunity to travel as frequently as before (no more Christmas break, spring break, or summer off in the wine business), but I still try to go somewhere four to six times per year, usually a weekend getaway. It just so happens that this year, I have been invited to some great wine, food, beer, and spirits destinations. During early summer, I will be traveling to Waterbury, Vermont for my first TasteCamp, then to Lodi, California as a guest of the Lodi Winegrape Commission. Later in the summer, I will return to Lodi for the 2016 Wine Bloggers’ Conference. I am hoping for more travel opportunities as the year progresses and I am open to travel anywhere (hint, hint).
With all of these wine-related travels past and present, there are a few key things that I always take with me, including my favorite accessory, The Wine Check. As a special treat, the kind staff at HomeAway created for me my own @travelwinechick travel essentials infographic to share with you, the top five things you need to travel if you’re a wine traveler. Pretty cool, eh? If you aren’t familiar with HomeAway (I wasn’t), then head over to their website to read more about how their vacation rental marketplace works. I know that when I plan my own travel or book travel for others, I search every option available for the best location at the best price, so I will include HomeAway in my future lodging searches. Perhaps HomeAway will hook me up with that weekend getaway that I’m sorely craving right now.