As I have shared in a recent post, I had to wait 10 long months to travel to a different continent again and an even more agonizing 18 months to set foot on US soil again. I realize that for many of you, this statement sounds ridiculous. Complaining about only having traveled through Europe in the past 10 months must sound arrogant. But I cannot help it, traveling is in my genes. At the risk of repeating myself, I have to say that I adore everything about traveling. Yes, everything! Even the long lines at the airport, the waiting, the crowds, the narrow seats in Economy, the bad food, just everything.
I will always, always spend a lot of money and time on traveling. Many of you may disagree with me, but I think that with every single penny you spend for trips around the world, you gain an invaluable amount of wisdom.
So, I was full of glee when I started my journey to LA. The flight was rather uneventful. I flew with Air New Zealand for the very first time and this airline is a keeper. The light attendants were very courteous and the accent is so cool.
Funny anecdote: While I was boarding, I listened to the Secrets of Pan Am Podcast and they talked about the fact that Air New Zealand created a safety instructions video with people who, hmm how do I phrase this?, well wear no cloths. It was perfect timing. Unfortunately, they had a new video. This time, with rugby players. But I have to give it to Air New Zealand, I watched the safety instructions video for probably the first time! So, I’d say, job well done.
Ok, let’s get back on track.
After checking in at the hotel, I tried to take the elevator to the 15th floor, but every time I pressed the button, nothing happened. It took me quite a while to figure out that they had given me a room on the Executive Level! I had a suite! I cannot even put into words how excited I was! This made for a perfect start to a perfect trip!
My hotel was in walking distance to the Convention Center where BlogWorld took place. On the way there, I felt a bit uneasy. Some serious self-doubts arose and for a moment I truly doubted I could come across as the competent blogger and podcaster I would like to be. However, the moment I stepped into this big playground with people who all share the same love, I was in my element. When I know I am surrounded by like-minded people, a transformation within me takes place. I started to introduce myself to those bloggers, podcasters or social media gurus who sat next to me or stood in line with me. I genuinely enjoyed those conversations and wasn’t as nervous as I normally am when talking to people who are so much more brilliant than I am.
I am not going to go into every single session I attended, but I will say how much I learned in those 2 days. I came home with an abundance of ideas, full of creative energy. The speakers were incredible and I was so glad to be able to learn from their experience. What I loved even more about BlogWorld than the sessions themselves, were the interactions in between the sessions. I met so many wonderful people from all over the world, had so many interesting, deep and fun conversations that it still warms my heart just thinking about it.
It was wonderful to meet my friend Cliff Ravenscraft again and I was thrilled to finally meet Wayne Henderson. Wayne and I have been part of the gspn.tv Community from the start and we have been forum and twitter friends for many, many years. Wayne saw me struggle with anorexia, he was there during the difficult time of graduating, he was very excited for me when I got married, but we never met. When we saw each other at the Convention Center, we chatted as if we’d just seen each other yesterday. The power of social media never fails to surprise me. It is funny; I have experienced this phenomenon so many times and, yet, I am always amazed at how good to can get to know a person through such means as twitter or facebook.
On that evening, Cliff hosted a gspn.tv meet-up and I got to know even more members of our community. I met Karin, who is a brilliant lady and gave me so much advice. The girls’ table was the fun one: we each had a super yummy cocktail and just chatted and laughed the entire evening. Such good times! Even Pat Flynn came by to say hello!
I did not see anything other than the Convention Center during those two days, but BlogWorld was a major success for me and I will definitely attend future conferences! I am not lying when I tell you that my mind hasn’t stopped bursting with ideas since I’ve received all this wonderful and creative input!
However, those 2 days were just the beginning…
Stay tuned for part 2 of my California story!