11 March 2014

Please Don't Take Our San Diego Mojo Sunshine Away

Grey skies and prolonged cold days are known to cause depression and dull the mind. The energy we receive from the sun's rays is integral to our ability to shake the cobwebs of a lengthy winter. Moods and outlooks can become gloomy, but if you keep your face and ideas towards the sunshine, shadows fall behind you.

MMGY Global's 4th annual DMO MOJO was held in sunny San Diego this year to warm up attendees' minds and bodies alike. Forty-five destination marketers from all over the world gathered in the Gas Lamp Quarter of 'America's Finest City' to brazenly contend and debate the tourism topics others shy away from examining.

Is content marketing over-hyped? Are international visitors really worth our effort? Do visitors even use our website? Why is Bahlman dressed as an American flag? Was it a good idea to serve bloody marys at breakfast? Is that a two-toed sloth in the middle of the room?

We made best use of our time both inside the Mojo Classroom and outside in the California sunshine. In between boat rides around the harbor, golf on Coronado Island, trips to Sea World and lounging at the rooftop pool, attendees uncovered the obstacles they face and worked together to develop solutions to conquer them. 

Tourism marketing wisdom is the product of a lifetime's attempt to acquire it, and wise people embrace the invigorating warmth of the sun. We that enjoy the brightness of the sunshine must relinquish the coolness of the shade.

Ted's Top 5 Things He Learned About Tourism On This Trip:

1. San Diego's average daily temperature is 70.5 degrees with 70.5 miles of beaches. Not really fair, is it?

2. More people visit zoos per year than all other sporting events combined. The biggest attraction? Elephants.

3. The 'Wit & Scott Mojo Tequila Night' may have had its final performance in San Diego. It's getting downright mean, guys. Create a new tradition next year!

4. Since the movie Blackfish (which details a killer whale's history of killing a few trainers) has been out, Sea World attendance has been up. Go figure. What are they hoping to see?

5. Eating In-N-Out burgers, chili-covered fries and some weird cheese sauce is the perfect way to sponge up a LONG Mojo evening. You can feel your heart trying to beat.

There comes a time when our minds achieve a higher dimension of knowledge, but we can never prove how it got there. How do we assist our minds with this attainment? We evade the dark and cold and head for the curative warmth of the sun. Mojo is instant karma for the mind, which lets us all shine on...like the moon, the stars and the sun.

Trip Quote:

"Ted, I brought a porcupine, toucan, condor, fox, snake, sloth, owl, and kangaroo to show the group, but once I bring out the animals, people won't pay any attention to me because the animals create that much interest and focus." -Joan Embry (to me, while I was feeding a sloth)

"Huh?" -Me (not paying attention)

"I wouldn't get too close to him. He bites and it hurts." -Joan Embry

"Huh? Hey Joan, can I pet him?" -Me (about to get bit by a sloth)

For Additional Photos From This Journey, Click Here FlickrTravelWithTed.com


16 January 2014

Snow Schmo! Traveling Through A Blizzard We Go!

Snow elevates emotions and responses that reach right back to childhood. At home we can't wait to run and play in it, but if you have to travel in snow... completely different emotion. Look, I get it and it's all happened to me, too. Flight delays, everyone in line is cranky, digging your car out of the airport parking lot upon return and so many extra clothes to pack. It can be a hassle if you let it.

Being properly prepared for a blizzard trip can reward with you with a winter experience that can be the cure for even the worst cabin fever. Knowing a winter storm was almost upon us, my daughter (who's always up for an adventure) suggested a train trip to Chicago. "Snow can't stop a train, dad, and with all of these Christmas gift certificates I could do some damage on Michigan Avenue." (So it begins.)

The train was cheaper than gas for the car, hotels were a 1/3 the price, cabs were easy to get, restaurants all had availability and we had the attractions to ourselves. Chicagoans don't whine about the cold; they accept the challenge and throw on another layer so they can feel the exhilaration of victory of successfully navigating the storm. With two more months of winter left, we all should hope for a blizzard to travel in because getting only one inch of snow is like winning a nickle in the Lottery.

Ted's Top 5 Things He Learned On This Trip:

1. There's a big difference when you take your shirt off to go swimming in an indoor pool a few days after the holidays than when you do in the middle of summer...a huge difference. Massive, actually. (SORRY, no pic. Was like a jar of Mayo in shorts.)

2. Many US cities embrace the winter and have awesome activities, great hotel rates and fun promotions. If you're considering a destination, research their winter promotions when you plan.

3. Use a CityPass if your destination has one. You can save up to 50% on the tickets, avoid lines, and they provide a variety of options regardless of the weather.

4. Having a "No Texting Your Boyfriend Weekend Or Dad Can Post Any Picture He Wants Of You On Your Instagram" is a great idea. Weird that Coley wouldn't agree to it.

5. Chicago public schools went 13 years without a snow day until the blizzard of 2011. (My kid's school had 6 just last year.)

We all love our warm months and they are easier for travel, but it's winter which forms our character and brings out our best. At our best, we create incredible stories which we should cherish. Otherwise, you have nothing to talk about in the locker room.

Trip Quote:

"Sir, you should probably put a hat and gloves on before going outside." -The Doorman of our Hotel

"I'm just going across the street to get some bagel sandwiches." -Me

"Yes I know. I wouldn't touch metal with your bare hands either." -Doorman

Additional Photos From This Journey Can Be Found By Clicking Here FlickrTravelWithTed

you are here: travel with ted

”All journeys have secret destinations of which the traveler is unaware.” – Martin Buber

Luckily, I find one on every journey I take.

Seriously, folks, if you’re keeping score with frequent flyer miles, this probably isn’t the blog for you.

If you enjoy adventures, even the small, bizarre or unplanned ones, well, then this is exactly the blog for you. This isn’t a dress rehearsal folks, this is the real thing.

I’ll be out there on this globe and I’ll tell you what I experience. You’ll laugh, you’ll learn, but unlike me you won’t get the middle seat behind a colicky baby. So come along. Experience the road as you Travel With Ted.

about ted

Travel. I love it. Guess that comes from growing up the son of a full-time Geography teacher and part-time nomad. Whatever the cause, travel has always been my passion. The way it enriches, arouses and inspires. And the sights, sounds, smells, tastes, and feelings experienced by travel are what this blog is all about.

Ted Jumping

For 18 years, I’ve worked in the hospitality and tourism industries. But it hasn’t really been work – it has been a labor of love. With MMGY Global my love of travel continues in my blog. So, come along for the ride. Experience travel with Ted. It’s not ordinary and it might be just the spark your own travel love affair needs.

what i do for mmgy

I understand each destination is unique and I work with tourism marketing organizations to increase visitors and their spending in the area. I help customize completely integrated campaigns for the travel industry around the world.