The bold, pink-on-black welcome banner at the 2012 Nomading Film Festival (NoFF) , said it all. The banner hung against century-old brickwork of an enormous youth hostel in upper Manhattan, and declared the reason why several hundred travelers had gathered there on a fine summer day:
“We believe that stories caught on film, while traveling, are some of the most entertaining, educating, beautiful, and authentic. These are stories which should be shared, acknowledged, and awarded. Traveling shapes us. Traveling defines us. Traveling connects us. Welcome to the Nomading Film Festival.”
This mission statement  exactly captures the spirit of something I call “tranquilo travel”  - a slow, immersive way of seeing the world, that I was immediately intrigued by the event and humbled when they asked me to speak at this year's festival.
See the photos! NoFF Facebook Photo Gallery 
The NoFF motto of “Engage, Explore, Record” also directly overlaps with Moon Travel Guides , my publisher, and one of the proud sponsors of this 2nd annual event, which was held at Hostelling International New York City on the upper west side (largest youth hostel in North America with 652 beds!). In my humble opinion, Moon Travel Guides are the most thorough, comprehensive guidebooks out there. They allowed my coauthor, Randy Wood, and I to go deep with our first edition of Moon Nicaragua — which was a hefty 450 pages.
Moon goes deep. So do I. So do all the travelers I met at the Nomading Film Festival.
There were two screenings of the ten finalist videos of the 2012 NoFF , all of which had to be less than seven minutes long. The videos cover the globe and they range from gorgeous wordless journeys, to remarkable road trips, and incredible expeditions.
In my speech, I talked about how the storytelling phase of the travel process is no longer limited to the end of the trip. It happens constantly, from the moment we hear the call to journey, through the map-gazing phase, the trip itself, and the homecoming (as Joseph Dispenza so artfully breaks down the phases of travel in his book, The Way of the Traveler , Avalon Travel 2002). For those of us for whom storytelling and traveling are inseparable, this new state of affairs, in which we have so much power to create and share, carries responsibility.
In my humble opinion, the NoFF crew is on to something and this event will grow. Stay tuned and in the meantime, keep traveling, filming, editing, and sharing.
MORE VIDEOS: THE NOMADING FILM FESTIVAL YOUTUBE CHANNEL 
Photo © Matt Borowick