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Authentic Travel Experiences
Presented by
Truist logo
February 27, 2020

50 international travel lovers and foodies came together to enjoy Travel Chat Dine, a networking event where attendees got to talk about their love of travel and enjoy authentic cuisines. “I created Travel Chat Dine to bring together people that share the joy of international travel. We had amazing conversations about authentic travel experiences while indulging on Ethiopian food,” said Erica Knowles, founder of Collective Drift - producer of Travel Chat Dine.  The majority of the attendees said that this was their first time visiting Awash Ethiopian Restaurant and that they plan on returning. Vanessa Conde, the winner of the Truist ticket and a first time visitor of Awash said she had a “wonderful time. I met new friends and loved the food”. 

Attendees of Travel Chat Dine were treated by a performance by the percussion band FeminAfrika, delicious food from Awash Ethiopian Restaurant, and an informative conversation led by their host Erica Knowles and sponsored by Truist. FeminAfrika at one point had everyone standing on their feet dancing and singing along. The guests discussed things such as the key elements of immersing yourself in another culture and what their favorite authentic travel experiences were. “The event was amazing. [It provided a] great community, great information sharing, and great food,” said Simone Bradshaw. Fouad and Eka Wassel owners of Awash also explained the significance of and treated the guests to an Ethiopian coffee ceremony.

 

The topic that got the audience most involved was travel safety. Marshana Spavento emphasized the importance of trusting your instincts, saying “you don’t owe anyone an explanation” if you feel uncomfortable just walk away. The group talked about the importance of doing a little bit of research before traveling, checking on things like the currency exchange rate, how to pay for a taxi, and general safety precautions. Erica stressed the importance of travel insurance, “it helps with dumb mistakes such as leaving your bag in the airport, airline errors like delayed bags and flights, and emergency situations such as accidents and health emergencies. I’ve used travel insurance in all of these scenarios”.  Lady Chanel Moore said “This was an amazing night. I was really enlightened by the travel experiences of others”. Guests left inspired, informed, with new friends and  with gifts from Miss Jessie’s and AARP.

Photographer: Paul & Shana Co.