Earlier this month I had the pleasure to return to one of my favorite events of the year: the New York Times Travel Show.

Working as an author is a solitary pursuit. Being an introvert, I am fine with this most of the time–in fact, I love working as a lone wolf! But… sometimes you need to get out. I love the opportunity to meet travelers and readers. I also love seeing my fellow writers and Italophile experts at these events.

Meet and Greet

New York Times Travel Show Karina Ordell 17 MAYBE

I’m not describing how to make lasagna–I promise! I’m talking with visitors about how Florentine leather is made. Do you know

Nearly 30,000 people visited the show this year. The Javits Center in New York was packed so I was not surprised to hear those numbers! I talked to many people who were planning return trips to Italy, and some who were planning their first. How exciting! Lots of visitors had questions about where to go and how to come home with authentic souvenirs.

Discover Italy

Discover Italy panel

Discover Italy panel

This year I had the distinct pleasure of being invited to serve on a panel called Discover Italy along with some of the people I most admire. Susan van Allen, author of 100 Places in Italy Every Woman Should Go, kept our group on track and proved a powerful presence at the front of the room even though she described herself to everyone as “vertically challenged.” (In reality, she is precious and vivacious!)

Joining us on the panel were Kathy McCabe, editor of Dream of Italy newsletter and the wonderful public TV series of the same name; Steve Perillo of Perillo Tours, and Jason Spiehler, co-founder of Walks of Italy.

New York Times Travel Show Karina Ordell 4 YES

We gave out lots of great raffle prizes, including a signed copy of my book, Made in Italy!

All of us were amazed to walk into the seminar room to find it standing-room only. We had a wonderful group of engaged show-goers and lots of great questions.

Books and more…

After the panel, I got a chance to catch up with more readers, travelers, and colleagues in the book store and signing area, including Arthur and Pauline Frommer of the venerable Frommers travel guide franchise.

Signing books at the New York Times Travel Show

Signing books at the New York Times Travel Show

One very cool thing about going to shows is the chance to meet people in “real life” who I’ve met on Facebook, Twitter, or elsewhere on line.

With Pauline Frommer and Susan van Allen

With Pauline Frommer and Susan van Allen

I’ll be back next year. Hope to see you there!

Have you attended the New York Times Travel Show or another similar show in your city? Drop a comment below. I love to hear your experiences!

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All photos and video courtesy of Karina Ordell.

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