Travel Chat Dine: A Networking Experience Over Ethiopian Cuisine

Written by Staff
Travel Chat Dine is a networking event where people talk about international travel. The last event drew some 50 to Awash Ethiopian Restaurant. Photo: Erica Knowles. Photographer: Paul & Shana Co.

Travel Chat Dine is a networking event that brings people together to talk about their love of international travel. The last event, which took place on February 27, drew some 50 international travelers and foodies at the Awash Ethiopian Restaurant in Miami Gardens, FL.

“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.

Attendees were treated by a performance by the percussion band FeminAfrika, an all-female World Music Percussion Ensemble, and an informative conversation led by their host, Knowles, and sponsored by Truist. The guests discussed things such as the key elements of immersing yourself in another culture and what their favorite authentic experiences were.

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. Knowles stressed the importance of trip 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.” 

“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.

Attendee Vanessa Conde was the winner of the Truist ticket. Guests also received gifts from Miss Jessies and AARP.

Founded by Erica V. Knowles Shespiration Media Group, Collective Drift, is a multimedia platform that connects women of all ethnicities that enjoy culture, travel, and the “finer moments in life. We create curated spaces locally and internationally for women to share their stories, experience the arts, and enjoy authentic fine dining experiences.”