I can’t remember the last time I went more than 24 hours without a cell phone. No screens, just waves and stars. No texting, just talking around the campfire. No emails, no work, just rest–pure rest.
Two of my best friends from my San Diego spin days decided it was time we all–The Tripod–reunite at a scenic camping spot somewhat-halfway between our two cities.
We booked our Jalama beach camping site in January, dreaming of beach days and campfire nights away from the city lights. We committed to no electronics (save cameras) and no work talk–it was time to reconnect and give our bones the deep rest they needed. Even while writing this two weeks later, I can nearly feel the longing deep down in my marrow to return to that restful space in time.
How quickly the weekend passed by! Unplugging, even for just a short moment, refreshes in a way nothing else can.
Read on for our photo-journal from the trip >>
Last Sunday I boarded a plane bound for Mexico.
After being sick for over a month, bedridden for almost a week, and plain sick and tired of Karl the Fog, there was nothing I wanted more than this: quality time in the sunshine, tropical heat, warm ocean water and oppressive humidity with new friends.
So I dove in.
South by Southwest is one of those must-attend events every start-up-loving-branding-marketing-maven, Fast-Company-reading-techie-nerd like myself has on their bucket list. I learned I was going to check this “to-do” off my list less than 48 hours before my flight to Austin was set to take off.
Cue the manic jumping bean happy dance I did for our Director of Strategy when she asked if I would attend with her. Real cute and professional, Aves.
Lack of planning (on my part) aside, I was beyond grateful for the chance my company was taking on the “new girl” and packed my bags for my first work trip – five days in Texas at this famed gathering to aggregate ideas and come back ready to report on the latest trends to our team, clients, and of course, on our blog.
Well. If I had a penny for each time someone mentioned the word experience over my five days at South by Southwest Interactive, I could pay for my trip to Austin, my SXSW pass, plane ticket and hotel in one fell swoop.
I collected experience like lucky pennies left on the sidewalk as I strolled in the hot Austin sun and waited in line the for one of the many sessions. I scooped up experience reaching for my cold beer at the bar and hammered experience out on my phone as fast as my two thumbs could type a well-timed tweet.
I tripped over experience stepping through the halls of the exposition floor and bit into experience dripping in barbecue sauce at a late night event. Experience clung to my coffee cups and conversations and looped itself across the pages of my beat up notebook.
This new buzzword is actually not new at all. But over the course of SXSW, these ten letters have somehow taken on a new meaning.
Before the Pacific Ocean and endless summers of San Diego stole my heart, I called the snowy mountains of Colorado home.
Being away save for a few long weekends a year has given me a different perspective of my rectangular home state. I see the jagged horizon line with fresh eyes and feel the sharpness of sub-freezing weather a bit harsher on my skin.
I may be making my bed along the West Coast, but home, true home will always be Colorado: where my family is, where my life began.
Life has seemed to simultaneously speed up and slow down all at once over the past couple of months.
My work projects haven’t been coming in as consistently or as spread out as I would have liked (yayyy freelance life!), so during the ebb and flow of work and spin class I find myself either scrambling to pull deadlines together or left sitting in the empty silence of a day wide open.
During these quiet what-am-I-doing-with-myself moments, my mind wanders. As as excited as I am for a fresh start, nostalgia does have its sneaky way of taking over.
So for now? I am learning to appreciate these slow San Diego days as much as I can before I make my big move to San Francisco next month.