Traverse 16 – Cardiff

Cardiff (or Caerdydd in Welsh) is the capital city of Wales and will be in the spotlight throughout the weekend event, especially during the ‘Sunday Experiences’, which will showcase the diversity of the city’s key attractions together with the beautiful surrounding areas. The city’s activities are diverse, from white water rafting to Doctor Who Experience and historical walking tours.

#Traverse16, the UK’s biggest weekend travel blogging conference, will be held in Cardiff in conjunction with Visit Wales over the weekend of 8 – 10 April 2016.

Cardiff is a truly modern and cosmopolitan city, with an event calendar to rival any other European capital. In the Cardiff Bay area, you’ll find some stunning architecture such as the Millennium Centre, a centre for art and cultural events and the National Assembly for Wales (Senedd). In the city centre there is the Millennium Stadium, the focal point for Welsh rugby and a range of other sporting events. But despite these more recent architectural icons, it’s a city that has not forgotten its past. The Civic Centre and National Museum of Wales are some of the finest in Europe and Cardiff Castle is an unexpected city centre surprise.

Cardiff is one of few cities to have an abundance of open green space within its centre. Bute Park includes features of historic interest dating back to Roman and medieval times. The park itself was landscaped in the late 18th century by Capability Brown and had alterations in the late 19th century by the 3rd Marquess of Bute. In 1947, Marquess of Bute gave the park to the people of Cardiff.

Furthermore, Queen Street is Cardiff’s shopping hub with high street chains and cafés dotted along the pedestrianised area. The St David’s Shopping Centre opened in 2009 and has elevated Cardiff to 6th in the UK shopping league. Nearby is a maze of the beautiful Victorian and Edwardian Arcades that house many of Cardiff’s individual and unique designer shops, as well as the city’s indoor market.

Eating out in Cardiff is an experience in itself. The city offers an eclectic mix of cultural traditions and different types of cuisine from Hawaiian to Japanese to Welsh. If you can’t decide which type of cuisine to choose, then head towards the Cafe Quarter in Mill Lane; here you will find a host of trendy restaurants, bars and clubs. Or for a real taste of Cardiff tradition it has to be Caroline Street, otherwise known as Chippy Lane. Best stumbled upon after a long night out, it holds a very special place in the hearts of most Cardiff residents.

For further information, visit

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Abigail King

Abigail King is an award-winning writer, blogger and photographer who swapped her career as a doctor for a glamorous life of travel on the road (plus one of waiting at airports, squinting at screens and fumbling about with the latest social media trend.)

Her blog, Inside the Travel Lab, covers thoughtful luxury and unusual journeys, attracting accolades from National Geographic Traveler, Vanity Fair, Stylist, Grazia and more. It’s frequently ranked as one of the top independent travel blogs in the UK and has pioneered ways of working with brands such as Cathay Pacific and Canon.

Abi is also a member of iAmbassador and one of the founding directors of Captivate, as well as an original member of the groundbreaking #mustlovefestivals project. She also teaches online courses at

At the end of the day, though, her focus remains on the world out there: from wild safaris with the world’s last rhinos to interviewing Nagasaki bomb survivors; from the city life of Cape Town, Sydney and New York, to the solitude of cycling in the Austrian mountains.

She loves Blackadder, books, a nice cup of tea and marmite toast buttered just right.


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Hannah Witton

Hannah is a 20-something British lady. She makes weekly videos on her YouTube channel where she talks about the trivial and the controversial. Hannah talks about books, TV shows, films, feminism and travel. She likes to spread positive messages about sex, relationships, body image, gender & sexuality. Her sex positive work has been recognised by MTV & Durex – she is a member of the Global Crew for their Someone Like Me campaign which promotes healthy sex education , and for healthy sex life purchase tadalafil online . In 2013 she was shortlisted for Young Person of the Year at the Sexual Health Awards in partnership with Brook and FPA.

And in 2014 she was shortlisted for Best Vlog at the Cosmopolitan Blog Awards. Hannah graduated from the University of Birmingham with a first in History and she specialised in sexual history; her dissertation was about the history of sexology and sex manuals.

Her short film on the History of Homosexuality was a finalist in the Guardian and Oxford University Press’ Very Short Film Competition in 2013. As well as videos on her own channel, Hannah also produces and hosts videos for the charity, YouthNet, who give advice and support to young people in the UK. Hannah is an adventurer, an optimist and most importantly, a Hufflepuff.


Laura Bubble

Laura is a comedy video blogger whose ‘Laurbubble’ channel has over 2 million views. Laura began her YouTube career in 2007 winning a Radio 1 competition and subsequently becoming the TV reviewer on Nick Grimshaw and Annie Mac’s Sunday Show. Since then she has worked with many companies including BBC Comedy, Comedy Central, EA, Busabout, British Airways and Hat Trick productions. In 2014 Laura became a vlogger on CBBC’s ‘Technobabble’ and currently vlogs on CBBC’s ‘Whoops I Missed the Bus’.


Rich McCor

Rich McCor (aka @Paperboyo) has taken instagram by storm with his witty travel photos. With a background in TV and advertising, he combined two hobbies from childhood, photography and paper-cutting, to transform famous landmarks into something entirely different with paper cut-outs.

With commissions from Lonely Planet and various tourist boards, he balances his day job with trips around the world to create these unique photos that will make you look at travel photography in a totally new way.


Niamh Shields

Niamh Shields writes the leading Food & Travel Blog in the UK, Eat Like a Girl. She is working on her second book, and travels all the time, seeking her next best meal and recipe to take home. No food snobbery here, from the street to the stars, as long as it is good, that is all that is important! Niamh will share tips on improving your food content for your blog, gleaned over 9 years of food blogging.

Ximena de la Serna

Ximena is a blogger, YouTuber and entrepreneur who helps passionate, young women to find their true vocation, create a business and build a life around it.

With more than 45,000 subscribers on youtube and over 250,000 views a month, Ximena has found her true passion and is ready to show you all she knows during Traverse 16!

Sharon McKee

Sharon McKee has always had a love of words. She trained and worked as a journalist before becoming an editor in a publishing company, and then moved into marketing and PR.

She set up her own PR company while continuing to write as a freelancer and blogger, and eventually self-published her first book.  That experience and researching digital publishing in particular led herself and an ex-colleague from the industry to set up Dilliebooks, an independent ebook publisher, launched in 2015.

Monica Stott

Monica is the travel blogger behind The Travel Hack. She’s been a full time blogger for almost two years and focuses on affordable luxury travel and, most recently, travels with a baby. She has a background in journalism and social media management.

Monica has a social media following of over 300,000 and has worked with brands such as The National Lottery, Microsoft, Thomas Cook, Air France, Celebrity Cruises and Kuoni.

Julie Falconer

Julie Falconer is a London-based travel blogger and speaker. She writes an award-winning travel and lifestyle blog, A Lady in London, for which she has traveled to 101 countries and developed a strong social media presence. She is also a public speaker and lectures about blogging and social media all over the world.

Originally from San Francisco, Julie attended Brown University and came to the UK in 2007 after leaving a career in finance, during which she worked for Goldman Sachs and a hedge fund.

Kim Leuenberger

Kim Leuenberger, better known as kim.ou on Instagram where she has more than 115k followers, comes from Switzerland and is studying a BA in Photography at the London College of Communication.

She loves the creative aspect of the art as well as its technical one, has experience with a wide range of cameras, from the analogue to the digital. She’ll show you how you can, with some easy tips, improve your photography and how to get the best of your camera or smartphone.

Greg Brand

Greg Brand is the creative director and co-founder of Travizeo, the travel video company.

Based in Brighton, Greg has worked all over the world shooting and editing online video campaigns for forward thinking travel brands. Specialising in production, hosting and seeding travel video content online has allowed Greg to create some truly unique and effective campaigns across the web.

See some of his recent projects here:

Judith Lewis

Judith Lewis is the founder of the deCabbit Consultancy specialising in integrated digital marketing consultancy and execution. She is a specialist integrated online marketer with skills in SEO, PPC, and Social Media Marketing as well as other digital marketing techniques. She has been doing SEO since before it had a name and has worked both in-house and agency-side.

She has judged both UK & EU Search Awards, is a founding everywoman Modern Muse and is the coordinator for London Girl Geek Dinners. Having both an in-house and agency background, her clients have included Google, Virgin, NSPCC, Zopa, Slendertone, the Guggenheim, SAP, Amadeus, Blue Cross, & ShareThis. She works from planning through to execution,integrating her digital expertise through research & analysis, design & build through to deployment.

Judith writes for the SEO Chicks and Mostly About Chocolate as well as the Huffington Post. She speaks at various conferences around the world and is passionate about teaching and helping businesses large and small (as well as chocolate).

Simon Heyes

Simon Heyes is an award-winning travel blogger and novice YouTuber with over 40 countries under his belt. Voted as one of 15 travel blogs to watch in 2015, his blog (Simon’s JamJar) is all about storytelling around inspiring adventures, and discovering the unexplored. From cycling the Death Road in Bolivia to a trip to Papua New Guinea with dad, he’s got some pretty good stories to share!

Travel blogging for Simon takes place outside of his 9 – 5 job in digital marketing. Over the last ten years he has helped craft digital marketing strategies for many global brands. With one eye on digital marketing, and one eye on travel blogging, we thought Simon would be ideal to pass on some affiliate marketing tips to help you make maximise the revenue to your blogs.

Sarah & Terry Lee

Sarah & Terry Lee are founders of luxury travel blog, LiveShareTravel and authors of The Luxury Traveller’s Handbook.

They are co-founders of Captivate, an elite group of award-winning digital storytellers, and Sarah is UK director of iambassador.

They regularly partner with brands with everything from site sponsorships, to promotional packages and marketing campaigns through the blogging collectives.

Sarah’s a print journalist and editor of more years than she likes to talk about, and has worked on newspapers, and women’s, consumer and B2B travel magazines. Terry has a background in PR and communications of more than 20 years, principally in the challenging environments of politics and local government.

Tika Larasati

Tika Larasati is the Global Influencer Marketing Manager at Skyscanner, the world’s travel search engine. After completing her master’s degree in Sociolinguistics, she left her lecturing days at the University of Indonesia to explore the world of hospitality where she eventually found a new love in online marketing. She worked for Accor Hotels from Front Office to Ecommerce and marketing but then decided to take on a new challenge in the metasearch industry. In 2013 she managed Skyscanner Indonesia for nearly 2 years before she was relocated to Skyscanner Edinburgh last year to expand and scale Skyscanner’s influencer outreach worldwide through content collaborations.

She loves creative marketing and data analysis. But what she loves most is the human relationship that is the foundation of all her works.

Mini Session Speakers

Rodica Maria Lazar

Rodica is trained as a PR and worked for Havas Media, Mason&Williams and the UN Information Centre. She found the love for digital marketing during a training in SEO. After two years working as an SEO she took a sabbatical from work and travelled through Europe. That’s when her passion for travel blogging developed and UK Travel Room came to life.

She is now working full time as Senior Content Marketer at Latitude Digital Marketing, blogs at UK Travel Room, is the chapter leader for Travel Massive Manchester and until recently was hosting events for international business in the North with up to 150 people. Her work involves a UK Search Awards trophy for the agency in the category “Best use of content marketing”. In her mini-session you can learn how to put your readers first and create award winning content.

Jen Lowthrop

Jen has been writing a travel and dating blog She Gets Around for 5 years and has worked with brands such as Double Tree by Hilton and Visit Denmark on exciting blogging and social media campaigns. She delivers training in Innovation, entrepreneurship and social media to charities, travel brands, students and SMEs.

Jen writes a variety of content for numerous travel brands and small businesses and has managed blogs and web content at national charities, councils and international development organisations. Jen is currently working on a new digital campaign for Refugee Week in June this year.

Anna Lysakowska

Anna Lysakowska visited over 70 countries around the globe and lived in 7, including cities such as London, New York, Boston, San Diego, Mexico City, Cape Town, Amsterdam and Florence. During her journey around the world Anna received degrees in Journalism, Latin American Studies, Fashion Marketing and International Law from top universities including Harvard, while working also working as a marketing & PR manager for various international companies.

She’s currently running her adventure & luxury blog Anna Everywhere while training aerial acrobatics and ballet.

Susan L. Schwartz

An American living in London, Susan L. Schwartz researches, experiences, writes and edits everything for Best Bits Worldwide, her luxury travel blog for those who savor the authentic but love the luxurious. She is an award-winning blogger and journalist whose work has been seen in the Mail on Sunday, Condé Nast Traveler, Grazia, Vanity Fair Italia and other publications online and off, as well as being a member of the British Guild of Travel Writers. Susan received her M.A from St. John’s College, Cambridge University and was graduated magna cum laude from Princeton University.

When she saw Venice for the first time, she knew right then that her stay-at-home days were over. With a well-worn copy of Freya Stark’s autobiography in her back pocket, she has set out to explore the world around her one luxurious bit at a time.

Alexandra Delf

After following the well-trodden route of Law and qualifying as a Barrister in 2010, I decided to pursue my love of languages and travel. I worked and played abroad in Italy and Australia for several years before returning back to London to work with Ophir PR. I have been lucky enough to visit and work with some of the most luxurious hotels and spas around the world. Always eager to explore, my curiosity and passion for travel and ongoing mission to embrace ‘La Bella Vita’ has led me from ski festivals in the Italian Alps to excursions through the metropolitan jungles of Japan and Hong Kong to safaris in South Africa and Tanzania. As Susan Sontag said “I haven’t been everywhere, but it’s on my list”.