After we finished congratulating ourselves for having such a great idea—letting readers write and photograph our 10th-anniversary issue—the fear kicked in. Had we made a giant mistake? Giving up control is not something editors like to do.
But as soon as we began hearing from you, we knew we had something special. I spent a weekend going through the 2,800 pitches for the "Ever Dream of Being a Travel Writer?" story and the 500 submissions for the "50 Reasons You Love New York," and I honestly could not stop telling everyone about how fantastic they were. It didn't stop there: The cover photos, the pet tips, the restaurant recommendations, the lessons learned the hard way—they're all wonderful. But you'll soon see for yourself.
What I love most about this issue is that instead of commemorating the past, it looks to the future. Technology is changing the way readers and editors interact; more and more, our role is to lead a conversation, not deliver a monologue. New improvements to BudgetTravel.com will only foster that change. You can now create your own Trip Journals (with your own photos) and share them with everyone. Soon you'll also be able to upload videos and rate and comment on articles.
While we were working on this issue, we got an anniversary present: Budget Travel was named a National Magazine Award finalist in the General Excellence category. We won't find out whether we've won until after this issue has gone to press. I can only guess what the judges liked about BT, but my hunch is that we stood out because our readers really contribute. This isn't just your issue—it's your magazine. Happy anniversary!