Google+ Happiness & Happenstance - no.1 | Travel & Happiness I by Jenn Smith Nelson

Happiness & Happenstance – no.1

Welcome to a new section of entries: Happiness and Happenstance.

These posts will centre around the simple things that bring joy into my daily life. They may be things I have brought on, work towards, or they could simply be things that have happened by chance, hence the title.

hap·pi·ness: the state of being happy.

hap·pen·stance: coincidence.

Whether by chance or will, they will always be things or moments I am grateful for – things I depend on to keep on keeping on, as I pursue my personal path to wellness. I hope they inspire you to share, too, the things that bring a smile to your face. So without further adieu …

Happiness & Happenstance – no.1

My first entry for this series is sharing a goal reached.

It has been just about two years since I shifted my work-life focus to concentrate on travel writing and photography. You may (or may not) know I flipped over from the other side (industry) and have never looked back. The creativity, exploration and opportunities to experience and share with others the amazing things travel can bring, have been life-changing for me. It has caused me to become curious again – to explore on my own – to do things I may not have tried otherwise.

It has also encouraged me to set and meet some pretty amazing goals in a very short period of time.

So, it is only fitting that my first post for this series be around a major goal achieved. I have been invited to Go Media Canada Marketplace this year. This was an ambitious goal I set for myself last year.

What is it and why does it matter to me?

It is a conference where media meet via ‘speed dates’ with tourism boards and see if there is a fit for future travel/exposure for particular regions that match the interest/potential audiences of media. This isn’t a conference one can simply apply, you have to be invited. And, it is mainly focused on international media with only about 50 or so Canadian travel journalists receiving an exclusive invite. I didn’t make the first cut which was announced some time in April but, just last month, I received an unexpected email with my invitation.

So, why is this so great? Maybe it’s weird for me to be excited. I am pretty certain you won’t see a whole bunch of seasoned journalists blogging about their invites. But, for me, it’s a confirmation. I have come far in a short time – I have worked hard and it hasn’t gone unnoticed. It’s validation and I am honest enough to say it means something to me. There is trust in my work – in my work ethic, in the relationships I have built. It makes me feel like the last two years, some of which have been filled with such extreme ups and downs, thrills alongside sacrifice and rejection; have been worth it. They like me, THEY REALLY LIKE ME.

And, it gets better …

Beyond ‘making it’ to this year’s conference, in conjunction to it, I am fulfilling one of my ultimate travel dreams. As part of a pre-trip experience offered at Go Media, I will be heading to Churchill, Manitoba. This has been without question, the number one destination on my list to visit. You may be wondering why. Three answers for you my friends: Birds, belugas and bears.

Polar bears viewable in the wild.

Image courtesy of the Canadian Tourism Commission

Image courtesy of the Canadian Tourism Commission

Thousands of belugas and the ability to snorkel or kayak with them.

Image courtesy of the Canadian Tourism Commission
Image courtesy of the Canadian Tourism Commission

One of Canada’s best migratory patterns – birds – loads of BIRDS people!

Will I see the elusive but magnificent Harlequin Duck or the rare Ross's Gull? Imaged borrowed courtesy of Copyright © 2014

Will I see the elusive but magnificent Harlequin Duck or the rare Ross’s Gull? Imaged borrowed from

It is actually blowing my mind that in less than a week I will be on an artic safari.

I cannot wait to go and then share this experience with you. Hopefully it will inspire some of you to put this destination on your ‘must visit’ list. I really cannot think of a place where the extremeness of the wildlife offerings would be comparable. The tour I am on will be hosted by Lazy Bear Lodge. Watch for a slew of (my own) photos (especially of some birds) and stories to follow.

I can’t tell you how incredible it feels to be afforded this opportunity and I am so grateful to the Canadian Tourism Commission for the invite and to all of those I have worked with over the past two years – thank you!

Image courtesy of the Canadian Tourism Commission

Image courtesy of the Canadian Tourism Commission


2 thoughts on “Happiness & Happenstance – no.1
  1. Wow, congratulations Jenn! Hard work really pays off. I have to say that your invitation is definitely deserved. What an achievement to receive such validation from the industry. 

    I wonder if we have something like that in the states… it would be a dream of mine to share my passion & work with tourist boards, like you!

    Can’t wait to see what else is in store and what doors of opportunity this opens for you. Hats off!!

    • Jenn Smith Nelson on said:

      Thanks so much Amanda! You are so kind and I appreciate your words of support SO much!

      I know for certain the CTC reaches out to US journalists with the Canada Media Marketplace which occurs alternating between New York and San Francisco. The Canadian Tourism agencies attend that show. It is set up much the same as Go Media. I am sure though there are similar conferences there as another conference I attend (TMAC – travel media association of Canada) brings in tourism reps from all over the US. Maybe check with SATW? They may know more!

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