Is 2021 the 12 months to make journey matter?

Is 2021 the year travel is important?

That’s what we’ve all been waiting for, “next year”. What happens now when the world collectively breathes a sigh of relief after the end of 2020?

The pandemic is far from over and while Australia has led a relatively normal life (aside from our friends in the Northern Beaches clusters of Victoria and Sydney) one thing that has not returned to normal is travel.

When it comes to travel, we all know that it broadens your horizons and teaches you about other places, other cultures and also about yourself. There’s a growing trend to go one step further and make travel more meaningful.

I’ve been a travel blogger and travel writer for the past decade and have been traveling abroad regularly since my first visit in 1996 (before Instagram). In the past 24 years, my travel habits have changed – from racing for every city imaginable, ticking off the big tourist attractions, packing as much as possible into every single day, to slower, more immersive trips. I spent six months in Rome, determined to become a Roman (which never happened, that’s a different story, for a different time), a month in Buenos Aires, where I never learned tango, but on a number of Malbec’s Asados ​​have washed a lot of Malbec, a month in which you learn to cook and write about food in Vietnam, a month in Bergamo to learn Italian and the list goes on.

Our trip is likely to be limited to Australia for some time. So why not combine a trip with professional development or a learning experience? If it is about work or what you do for a living, it can also be a tax deduction (disclaimer: I am not a tax advisor, check with your accountant first).

Conferences and the like also make it easy to travel alone, so you don’t have to convince a spouse, partner, or friend to go anywhere. You have to go to work. It’s a win-win situation.

Here is a list of rewarding work-related travel in 2021:

Marketing, advertising, film, music, photographer, creative industries

When it’s one thing marketers, advertisers, and creatives understand as the power of fun, and when you’re having fun, sometimes the best ideas are generated. Emergence Creative Festival is just that, a haunted anti-conference culture that blends culture with creative thinking and has been dubbed “the greatest shot in the arm you’ve ever had”.

Taking place March 24-26, 2021 in WA’s breathtaking Margaret River wine country, the Emergence Creative Festival is designed to bring together some of the world’s most innovative minds with renowned speakers to share their revelations, inspirations and “origins,” curated panels and hands-on workshops . It’s not all work, play is just as important and there is no better place than a wine region to do it.

Travel writers, bloggers, videographers, podcasters, travel media

The Australian Society of Travel Writers is a membership-based organization that receives rewards for those who meet the criteria to join. Aimed at real travel media professionals, the ASTW hosts a professional development conference every year in a fantastic location. The final session was in Cairns and included families (trips) to the Great Barrier Reef, the Atherton Tablelands and more. The previous one took place in Bangkok. In 2021 the ASTW conference will take place on the Tweed Coast in northern New South Wales from 2pm until October 16th.

Chef, Hospitality, Food Industry, Agriculture

There are many worthy food festivals across Australia, but the two stand out for their specialization. Firstly, Beef Australia will be in Rockhampton, Queensland from May 2-8. From paddocks to pitching for the “next big thing” in livestock farming, cattle competitions and connections for mentoring, property tours, trade shows and dining experiences, everything beef-related can be found at Beef Australia. Second, there is Truffle Kerfuffle on the other end of Australia in Manjimup, Washington’s Southern Forests region. Manjimup is known as the “Heart of the Australian Truffle Country” and is a productive truffle growing area that produces 80 percent of all Australian truffle production. Manjimup’s seductive black truffle is sought after by chefs around the world and is celebrated once a year at a decadent country festival. Truffle Kerfuffle is celebrating its tenth anniversary in 2021 and will take place from June 25th to 27th.


Business Chicks is a phenomenal community run by women. For women, Business Chicks is the ultimate professional sorority club. Each year, Premium Members can take part in a two-day Business Club Retreat (not yet announced in 2021) that aims to connect, inspire, and help women clear their path and take the next steps to meet their goals to reach. It’s not just for women who own businesses, it’s for all women. If past retreats like Uluru and the Great Barrier Reef are expected, 2021 is likely just as attractive. Business Chicks also has a five-day business school in New York and an executive retreat on Necker Island, Sir Richard Branson’s private island. Yes ladies this is one to watch out for.

Fashion and beauty

When it comes to fashion, the Melbourne Fashion Festival is the pick of events to attend in the nation. No place has events like Melbourne and their fashion festival encompasses art, ideas, development, shopping, food and drink and more. The 10-day festival from March 11th to 20th will celebrate its 25th anniversary in 2021, making it the longest running fashion festival in Australia. The program of events will take place in a variety of locations and on a variety of platforms including a creative takeover from Melbourne and beyond, a three-day Australian Fashion Summit with learning sessions and networking events in venues across Melbourne, screenings of the Fashion Film Award and The Festival’s famous runways featuring Australia’s most respected designers, including the traditional opening night extravaganza, Gala Runway.

Medicine and health

The Tasmania Emergency Conference attracts a wide variety of emergency medicine sectors including doctors, nurses, paramedics, health professionals and educators. It is scheduled to take place in August at Cradle Mountain. The past conference included sessions on developing the future of paramedics in emergency care, infectious diseases, head trauma, ultrasound and more. The morning started with yoga sessions and there were plenty of opportunities to network with international colleagues.


Australia’s premier mining forum, Diggers and Dealers, will take place August 2-4 in the Kalgoorlie mining country in Western Australia’s gold fields. The delegates combine company presentations from listed mining and exploration companies with a large exhibition area, where over 164 exhibitors from the industry are represented. Delegates include miners, explorers, brokers, bankers, investors, financiers, and mining services industries from around the world. The event provides a unique opportunity for industry professionals to meet and network, visit regional mining locations, engage with the media, raise funds, invest in projects and, in general, engage with the extractive sector at a senior level.

World-class entertainment ensures that attendees experience the best of the style and hospitality of Kalgoorlie, Australia’s unofficial gold mining capital.


The National Builders National Leader’s Summit connects political and government leaders with CEOs and decision-makers from the construction industry and the Master Builders Movement. The 2019 opening event took place in the Parliament Building in Canberra and created a forum for engagement, ideas and relationships that brought together leaders from major political parties, brokers and influencers, senior officials, investment decision-makers and influential media. If that’s too many suits for you, you might prefer to attend the National Excellence in Building and Construction Awards, held in November, which honors builders and the best construction projects from across the country in residential, industrial and civil engineering. a block of flats, a hospital, an office tower, an outback bridge or an inner-city transport hub.

Tourism industry

Destination Australia takes place in Sydney on March 4th. Following the unprecedented challenges of 2020, the conference will focus on the future of Australian tourism. Top-class speakers share consumer insights and global trends, and discuss key opportunities for the tourism industry in a post-COVID world. Destination Australia is also offered online for those unable to attend in person.

Social media and digital marketing

Held in Perth on August 24-25, the State of Social is designed for astute marketers and savvy business people to end the carousel of digital marketing and to regroup, rethink, and redefine digital and social best practices. The digital world is constantly changing and if you don’t keep up with the latest developments, the same old strategies are likely to become unusable.


One of the best parts of traveling is the anticipation of the trip. So, google it, block out your journal, and make plans to get away to add some (potentially tax-deductible) career development to your mix of travel plans in 2021.

Dianne Bortoletto is a freelance travel and food writer and blogger for Travelletto.

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