A few weeks ago, I was lucky enough to have won a free ticket to Wanderfest, courtesy of a giveaway hosted by Zero to Travel Podcast (one of my favorite podcasts – if you haven’t listened, check it out and support Jason’s work)! Hosted by Wanderful, a female-focused travel community, Wanderfest is the world’s first outdoor travel festival for women. This festival brought travel lovers from around the world for a weekend filled with inspiring speakers, live music, and connecting with other likeminded women/individuals.
While hosted on Saturday and Sunday, there were additional excursions during the weekdays to do some sight seeing around New Orleans. Since this weekend had been a spontaneous one for me, due to winning the ticket a few weeks before the event, I decided to focus on attending this first-time festival. And I’m so glad I did. It was a gathering of nearly 1,000 attendees looking to experience seminars, demonstrations, and inspiring, cultural experiences.
Wanderfest included a diverse lineup of speakers and performers. Some of the speakers included Emmy award-winning journalist, media personality, & Travel Channel host Oneika Raymond, author of NYTimes bestseller 1,000 Places to See Before You Die Patricia Schultz, and Wanderful creator Beth Santos, to name a few!
In addition to inspiring speakers, there were performances and exercise classes to help keep us moving through the usually cold weekend (it was 45 degrees Fahrenheit with wind gusts up to 50 mph – no exaggeration!). Cultural energizer and creator of Masala Bhangra® fitness Sarina Jain, brought Bollywood fun and rhythm to New Orleans! Adrianne “Ajax” Jackson, owner of Magnolia Yoga Studio (the first Black-Owned Yoga Studio in New Orleans), hosted a wonderful yoga class with some Afrobeat music.
The overall environment to Wanderfest was so warming and inclusive! As a (mostly) solo female traveler who’s also an introvert, it can be challenging to meet others and feel included in conversations. But the festival couldn’t have been more welcoming! I spoke with several women from all over the country and felt so inspired from hearing their stories and passion around travel.
If you’re still not convinced to attend this amazing festival next year, I also encourage you to check out Fodor Travel’s recent article to learn more (and please ignore yours truly awkwardly on her phone in the background – I promise you I was more present throughout the festival)! I already reserved my ticket for 2023, so if you do go, I will see you there! 🙂