Subject: Re: GTG Portugal / France?
Dear Ziners,

Congratulations to Annabelle & Bill for starting off 2005 off with some GTG chatter! What better way to celebrate a new year than to plan a "get together" with international friends old and new?

Here's how GTG'ing works:

We all watch the Zine for GTG teasers like this one from travelers Annabelle and Bill, who are interested in meeting others during their visits to Portugal and France. If you live in the Algarve region of Portugal or along the Cote d'Azur, consider offering to coordinate a GTG at a restaurant that features some of your best regional cuisine or at a special museum or, being discussed of late, a lovely garden. Any public place where people can safely and comfortably gather is an appropriate setting for a GTG. Each person pays her own costs--the coordinator is not expected to be host.

If you are going somewhere, do as Annabelle and Bill did, and post your travel plans. Two things could happen: one, a friendly resident could offer to arrange a GTG; or two, a fellow traveler who will be in the same area at the same time could suggest a meeting!

For those back home who want to talk travel, propose a local GTG. Moderator Mark is my favorite example--he's quite the social butterfly out there on the west coast of the US, having successfully brought Californians and visitors together on more than one occasion!

After the initial postings of GTG ideas, interested parties should communicate about details via email. Then, come back and post your final GTG arrangements on the Zine so everyone will know the plan-- you may attract others!

My modest contribution to all of this fun is to maintain the GTG Calendar in the Files section at http://groups.yahoo.com/group/TheTravelzine/files/

What is the purpose of the calendar? It does not take the place of your posts to the Zine; however, it gathers all of the information in your GTG posts in one place for easy access. Let's say you've just decided to go to Provence in March. Instead of performing an archives search for possible GTG opportunities, you may simply go to the calendar, and voila! you will see that Annabelle and Bill will be there, too.

Happy travels and GTGs, everyone! And a special thanks to Annabelle & Bill for being unwitting subjects of today's GTG tutorial. I hope all of this publicity of your plans brings you a GTG!

Diana Ball near Houston, TX