Costa Brava,TBEX & an Unexpected Trip to Spain
Leah Walker August 20, 2012

Unless you’ve been hiding under a rock since April or not a regular reader of my site {shame on you if the latter is the case}, you know that I’ll be going to Barcelona, Spain in November on my Go with Oh tour. I’ve been busily planning my Spanish adventures in hopes of making my first trip to Spain as special as possible.


Imagine my excitement when I found out that I’ll get a small taste of Spain in September. I get to Go with Oh early! TBEX {Travel Blog Exchange} is hosting their first-ever European conference, and the TBEX crew is taking the show on the road to Costa Brava, Spain. Go with Oh just happens to be one of the sponsors of the conference.  So, a couple of months ago the folks at Go with Oh asked me if I’d be interested in traveling to Spain for TBEX to help promote their spring blogger competition. After about 1.45987 seconds of deliberation, I accepted their offer. I’d be a fool or utterly insane not to, right?

Cala Morisca, Costa Brava, SpainCredit

I did have one tiny reservation about hopping a plane bound for Barcelona. There’s this little thing I have called a job, and this job frowns upon my taking unlimited vacation days. I know, the nerve, right? Thank goodness I was able to work something out where I could go to Spain and still have a job to come back to. Sadly, it’s only going to be a quick trip. In on Thursday morning and out on Sunday afternoon, I’m not going to have much time to explore. However, something is better than nothing, is my belief when it comes to travel.


Thus, I’m off for three nights in Girona, Spain where I’ll have the chance to listen to an amazing lineup of TBEX speakers, meet more bloggers, and promote the Go with Oh spring competition. Fortunately, I’ll be there for the opening night party in the Castle of Saint Gregory {Castell de Sant Gregori} where I’ll get to taste local wines and some speciality tapas from the Costa Brava region.


My limited time doesn’t allow me time to experience any of the pre or post-blogger trips offered by the Costa Brava Tourism Board. Believe me, it’s tempting to say to hell with my job and spend a month exploring Spain, especially their beautiful Balearic Islands. I find myself mentally plotting my drive around one of Spain’s lesser-known and tranquil islands. Hiking the rugged coastline of Mallorca would offer some much-needed exercise and the opportunity for spectacular views of the Mediterranean. Perhaps a quick flight to the lively Ibiza would be in order. Unfortunately, island time is but a fantasy only to be realized after I’ve won the lottery.

Costa BravaCredit 

I am grateful for this unexpected trip to Spain and the fact that I’ll get to experience an area that I won’t have the opportunity to in November. I suppose three days is better than none. Meeting European-based bloggers is also something that I am very much looking forward to. Although my time in Spain is short, I plan on cramming as much as possible in and dusting off my average-at-best Spanish skills.

Will you be at TBEX in Spain? Grab me by the arm, slap me on the back, or simply stick your hand out and introduce yourself. I’d love to meet you!

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Leah Walker

Leah has a marketing management company specializing in strategy, content creation and implementation for luxury brands and destinations. She's also a luxury travel and food writer who has as many stories as she does shoes. Leah documents her experiences whether that's in the lap of luxury or riding through a swamp in an airboat. She sometimes freelances and has contributor/editor roles with The Daily Meal, USA Today 10 Best, Bonjour Paris, France Today, Luxe Beat Magazine, Four Seasons Magazine, Forbes Travel Guide, and is a travel and wine ambassador for Atout France USA. Leah's lived in Paris for five years, and was awarded additional time with a Passeport Talent visa. Though, her talent for speaking French is abysmal.


  1. Have a great trip! I was expecting a pink slip this month and TBEX Europe was going to be my pink slip trip. Good news/bad news situation right?

    1. Yeah, that’s certainly good news/bad news, isn’t it? I’m certainly glad you still have a job, but it would have been great to have a fellow Texan in Spain. 🙂

  2. Congrats Leah! Have a great time! Glad you were able to work something out with your employer. Sometimes it’s a pain in the neck to be a responsible adult, isn’t it, lol. 🙂

    1. I’ve tried my hardest not to become an adult, much less a responsible one. Alas, it just is unavoidable. 🙁

  3. Glad to know you’ll be in Spain by then! For me, I still need to work on my Schengen visa. I’ll be applying for one by next week. Being a Philippine passport holder can be stressful at times. Hoping to visit Spain real soon too! 😀

    1. Good luck with your visa. I’ve never had any problem getting one. The process needed to get them usually is the biggest pain in the behind. Ultimately, they just want their money. Safe travels (hopefully to Spain!).

    1. Thanks so much, Rick. I look forward to Spain as much as I did Keystone. I know y’all will put on another great conference. I hope to get a chance to speak to you in Girona.

    1. Yes, Alex, meeting you will definitely be a highlight of Spain. We’ll have to squeeze in a ton of fun over those three days.

  4. woot. there it is. HOLA Spain. it’s LOLA! we are coming and you have exactly one month to get ready for us. we’ll try to ease you into the Leah & Lola duo gently so you will be prepared for November. see you in Girona, Leah. travel partners in crime ride again!! 😉

  5. You’re going to have such an amazing time! I wish I could go to the conference. I also agree that a whirlwind trip somewhere is better than no trip at all. Just hope you don’t get jet lagged easily!

    1. I don’t think I’ll have time to get jet lagged. Plus, I’ve got a good supply of Ambien that will do me right. I wish you were able to go, too. How about Toronto?

  6. Island time VS Employment. Aaaargh. Even Alice didn’t stay in Wonderland forever. I know you’ll make the most of your time there. You’ve taken all the right steps of marrying job and travel one day you’ll be there.

  7. So jealous you’re going to TBEX in Europe! Wish I could go but it’s a HUGE launch week for us at work…can’t miss that. Looking forward to your coverage.

    1. Again, work gets in the way of life for someone else. Ugh…I’ll do my best for you, John. Although, my photos won’t be nearly as pretty as yours would be.

  8. I had no idea you were heading to TBEX Europe… how very cool. Go with OH – spring promotion…. hmmm… sounds interesting too. Very interesting.

    Well, wish I could toast you with a glass of cava in person….. have a blast… and with Lola there, I have no doubt you will..

    vaya con dios, Craig

    1. You should totally enter, Craig! I’d love to pass the baton to you (and others, but I’d be tickled if you at least entered). Oh, yes, you know Lola and I will give Spain something to remember. 🙂

    1. I have a feeling that I should be looking over my shoulder though. I never know when the two of you will show up, like you’ve alluded to in Paris. 😉

    1. AWESOME! I get to bribe you in person with some more photos from Brazil. 🙂 Kidding, of course…please, let’s make sure we meet. I’ll be at the Go with Oh table a lot.

  9. I really wish I could go but after my recent half month+ away, I do need income coming in. Now Paris… Have a BLAST!

    1. Yes, you were hiking for orphans. I suppose that’s a good enough reason for you not to attend. I’m not sure who be Lauren and my handler. I guess we need to start taking applications.

    1. Oh, that’s great to hear, Pola. I’ve wanted to visit Spain for many years. How lucky am I to get to do it twice in three months?

  10. So exciting, congrats! I’m bummed I can’t meet all the bloggers at TBEX Spain — I was planning on going, then got a cool assignment from work to spend a month in an Eastern European country I’d never normally think of visiting. But one of these days I’ll get to TBEX!

    1. Well, I certainly think a cool assignment in Eastern Europe sounds like a great alternative. Maybe you can go to TBEX in Toronto? I’ll be there too.

    1. I think you’re right about the no-sleep route. I’ll have a great time in Spain and then I’ll just have to sleep under my desk on Monday when I get back. 🙂

    1. Excellent, Callie. Just in case I’m in my own little world, grab me and introduce yourself, please. There were so many people that I didn’t get to meet at TBEX in Keystone. I don’t want that to happen again.

    1. You’re always so sweet to me, Francesca. Thank you. Costa Brava does look like such a wonderful place, doesn’t it? Wow! Pinch me now.

    1. I’ll be at TBEX in Toronto, too! I went to the one in Keystone and had the best time. I learned so much and met some truly great people. It really is not only a networking opportunity, but the hosts put on a good time to boot. I’ll see you in Canada!

    1. Yes, Ayngelina, I’ve checked out the profiles, and I’m thrilled to get to meet so many of the attendees. I’ll be in Toronto as well. I’ve already bought my ticket. I’ll see you there…if not sooner. 🙂

    1. YES! Let’s meet, please. I’d love to talk to you about the competition. I know you’ll for sure be able to find me about the Go with Oh table since I’ll be promoting the spring competition. You should totally enter!

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