I have always been very proud of the region I was born and grew up in. The North East of England is a place full of friendly people called the Geordies and home to beautiful countryside and coastline. We have some great urban areas with cities like Newcastle-Upon-Tyne, Durham and Sunderland and a whole lot of heritage.
We have had some negative press and in recent years one ill-advised politician suggested this region was ‘desolate’ but there is a huge amount to explore and I think that people who visit the UK but skip this region are really missing out. We have many attractions here and historically we were at the centre of inventions such as the steam locomotive engine. With two World Heritage Sites, a National Park and some of the best nightlife in Europe, there really is something for everyone.
When I started to travel blog and find out more about this great community of writers and photographers, I had no idea that I would be coming back home to do more in my region. At first, I had no idea what I was doing or even what to write about as a travel blogger. I have over 8 years of solo travel experiences in between work/study so there was enough material. What mattered to people? What could I tell others? Could I help promote places through my blog? It’s been a year of questions and changing direction but I’ve finally decided to have a section in my blog on North East England.
It started with my first travel conference Traverse which came to Newcastle-Upon-Tyne. I not only made a lot of fantastic contacts and learnt valuable skills in their workshops, but I also fell in love with my hometown again. I heard people new to the area talk with excitement about the places they wanted to visit, the things they would do, and the food they would eat. I heard of brand new places and plans for more development and my home suddenly became a place to explore once again!
An unexpected meeting with Erika from Travel Massive in Athens a few months later saw the beginning of a Travel Massive chapter in Newcastle being created. After months of talks and emails, I set up the first event. It wasn’t an easy process and a lot of venues and people took time to warm to the idea. The three rules for Travel Massive events are that they must be free, open to everyone in travel writing, blogging and local businesses, and they should connect people and promote globally. The new manifesto talks of the vision Travel Massive has for the future.
The venue that agreed to our launch event was Popolo City Bar on Newcastle Quayside. It is a great location and a very relaxed atmosphere with some great drinks on the menu. Perfect spot for people to meet up for our first event.
It was a small group but with great diversity including PRs, a fellow blogger, business owner, tour guides and English Heritage. Everyone was lovely and passionate about the North East. It was brilliant to get a group of people together who share the same love of this place and love of travel.
Alex who runs Iles Tours in Newcastle city centre, had read almost every history book on the area while setting up his business and it was fascinating to learn more. I need to go on one of his tours! Chloe, a fellow blogger, has an incredible regional blog called Prosecco and Pie and has written her review of our launch event too.
Emily from English Heritage told us about the exciting plans for Hadrian’s Wall and other sites. We were even lucky enough to get VIP passes to all of the sites in the North East! Such a great gift. I was so pleased to get to talk to all of the people who attended and I can’t wait to grow and develop our chapter.
Have you been to a Travel Massive event? Would you like to come to our next event in April?