Social Media and Travel – A Social Media Success Story by Jeanne Dee

What could be better than traveling the world on an open ended tour?

At Soultravelers3, we have been amazed to find absolutely stunning opportunities, beautiful connections and world wide collaborations through social media.

When we began our open ended, family world tour in 2006 we had no idea that it would play such a big part of our journey  and our lives.

We travel the web 2.0 while we travel the world and it expands our benefits as well as the benefits of our audience that travels with us virtually.

We are the opposite of geeks, don’t own an iphone or ipod, yet our world traveling digital lifestyle as a family led us to be early adopters in some ways, primarily in social media. We knew nothing about blogs when we began, but wanted to share with family and friends, plus create a memoir for our child, so we are shocked that out of the estimated 200 million  travel-related websites on the net, that we are in the top 20 today. We were stunned when our first Youtube travel video went viral with over a million views.

We live richly and travel the world on just 23 dollars a day per person and find ourselves to be accidental trail blazers for a new way of being. Social media has also played a huge part in our daughter’s education as  a 21st century global citizen which is the primary goal in our journey 
(as well as wanting to spend more time together).

The very best part has been the people that we have met that have enriched our journey beyond measure in so many unique ways.

Before leaving, I researched information about what digital piano to buy on a piano forum and by chance the most helpful person was a man from Spain who lived an hour away from where we would winter. That family became one of our best friends in Spain and our guardian angels.

Our daughter takes piano and violin lessons via Skype webcams with teachers on a different continent, both found through social media. We find great travel secrets by asking on social media and we share the great secrets that we discover.

The positive stories are truly endless and I wrote about some a while back in a popular post called “Twitter and Travel 2.0″. We’ve had a lot of fun meeting up with some of the people we’ve met online, like Wendy Perrin from Conde Nast Traveler who invited us to do Hallowe’en with her family when we were in New York City meeting the thousands of disadvantaged school kids who followed us virtually through a non-profit. Her kids were fans of ours because of our Youtube videos and they all had a blast together.

When I had a bike wreck on the Danube and landed in the hospital in Austria, a quick tweet on Twitter allowed my mom and sister to find us and call us. When I tweeted about my daughter taking an online  class with John Hopkins University’s CTY program, a teacher sent her the books she needed from London,  gratis because he was a fan.

Perhaps the biggest way social media changed our lives is when we got a Twitter Direct Message out of the blue which resulted in a featured story in the New York Times from one of our favorite writers. That led to many literary agents finding us and now we are writing a book. Social media makes it a small world today!

About the author: Jeanne Dee is an internationally recognized travel guru and creative lifestyle design consultant, via her award winning website Soultravelers3 that National Geographic Traveler called “One of the best Family Travel Blogs in cyber space”. Find us in Social Media via our Google Profile.

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