It was that time of the year where bloggers from across the Eastern Cape get together to share ideas, exchange business cards, meet the newbies on the block and share experiences.  For the Travelbucket team it was time to travel again, to experience the Eastern Cape and to visit a new venue that has not been visited before – another tick off our list…… was time for the #ECMeetUp.

We’ve been blogging under the radar for a few years now, but we could never understand why our following would not pick up.  For the month’s leading up to the ECMeetUp, we would follow and keep a close eye on the event on social media.  Being a traveling family, we would always choose a solitary life in the wilderness somewhere.  There where we would be alone and make memories for us to remember.  Even though we were sharing our memories with fellow and potential travelers, we never saw the need to attend any events where you mingle with fellow bloggers.  Being adventurous, we decided to take the big step and signed-up for the ECMeetUp to get out of our comfort zone and see what all the fuss was about.  If you don’t attend, you will not be able to say that “you aren’t one for events like this”, and then simply crawl back into your cocoon and carry on traveling solo.  Even after buying our tickets, we were still looking for excuses not to go, but we took the leap of faith and there we were, all dressed up and ready for the high tea.  We have made it!

It was nothing like we expected and from entering the venue right through to the prize giving, everything was just so amazing!  The food was of a very high quality and the caterers from Petronella Fine Dining really did a beautiful job.  Port Elizabeth has just outdone itself once again and I am so proud to call this city our home (for one half of the Travelbucket team atleast)!  Not only is the ECMeetUp an opportunity to meet fellow bloggers, it is also the opportunity to collaborate with brands like Travelstart, the leading online travel portal in Africa!  Wow, what a privilege to learn from the knowledgable Kirsten Litsen and fellow blogger and influencer Lyle Scritten (  New ideas on how to improve our blogsite to provide better feedback to our followers arouse from their talks and working in collaboration with them, is a dream come true for the Travelbucket team.

The organisers of the ECMeetUp event know what they are doing and they sure know how to make you feel spoilt and important.  The goodie bag that we received at the event speaks for itself.  Popular local brands like Cape Mohair (mohair socks), Travelstart (Discount flight voucher), Nutristart (honestly the best cereal), and Five Roses (tea is our favourite beverage) to name a few, were onboard and us as travel bloggers could see how we could utilize every single gift in our goodie bag.  We like practical presents.  The competitions that were running on the day was mind blowing and once again Nutristart, HPH Publishing and Daily Dish, just to mention a few, have partnered with the ECMeetUp event to make this one of the events to attend in the Eastern Cape.

Nelson Mandela Bay is a city that is underestimated and underutilized in the travel industry.  People are often under the impression that because we are not an economic hub (although the motor industry is big in the area), that we do not have a lot to offer.  This incredible city is a gold mine of activities and so affordable.  Since one half of the Travelbucket team resides in the Garden Route, they are situated right in the middle between the beautiful Cape Town and the adventurous Port Elizabeth.  Having the best of both worlds, the logical go to city that has everything and more on offer, always ends up being Port Elizabeth.  Make no mistake, Cape Town is a world class city, but Port Elizabeth is not far behind.

Nelson Mandela Bay with Port Elizabeth at the centre point, offers you everything that Cape Town has to offer and more.  Sun, sand, sea, wind and eateries, but there’s more.  Nelson Mandela Bay boasts with the largest South African flag proudly displaying in the wind on  a daily basis, an hour’s drive from the only Big 7 National Park in the Country in Addo Elephant National Park, a world class horse racecourse in Fairview Racecourse (also the venue of the ECMeetUp), a beautiful coral reef to explore with one of the diving companies in the city, ziplining, segways, horse riding, sandboarding, boat trips, surfing spots, a very rich history (we are named after one of the world’s rolemodels afterall), Cheap flights to Port Elizabeth and best of all, friendly people – yes we are called the Friendly City!

To top all of this off, everything is affordable and aimed at family experiences, which makes it a perfect holiday destination and gives you a reason to prolong your stay to have the full experience.

Travelbucket has experienced a big variety of different cultures and activities during our travels, but we highly recommend making your flight bookings, jumping on a plane and making your way to the Friendly City for an experience you will never forget.  We have had a great time and we will definitely be making our way back to Port Elizabeth soon to bring you another few items to add to your bucket list.

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