Tag Archives: unique

Nebraska, 2011

The morning after  4th July, I awoke in the cabin at Sandhills to see stuffed animals on the walls and a small jetty leading to a lake outside. My bestie took me to meet the hunting dogs, Tank and Boots, and I was taken on a tour of the property by 4WD.

Rolled bales of hay lay scattered on wide plains, filled with buffalo. We saw the windmill, the tepee and flushed a few pheasants out of the trees. My besties dad is a bit of an expert in wildflowers and found a few for us along the way to enjoy. My bestie’s brother Chris kept horses on the neighbouring property and was working on re- building a traditional red barn.

Sandhills was undoubtedly a beautiful place and I could understand why much of the family didn’t leave. My bestie’s dad’s brother Jim lived next door and old Grandpa Hamilton still lived not far in the other direction.

The beauty of the land, was matched only by the great hospitality of the people living on it. My bestie’s dad was skilled in cooking buffalo ribs on a real smoker BBQ and his wife was a master in the kitchen making everything from homemade ice tea to jello pie, which I had never had before.

The next day we went tubing down the river with Jim’s grandchildren and their father Nick. I had never heard of the activity before and was terrible at it, but it was all in good fun.

There was complaining that the water was as cold as the Bering Sea and Chris told me stories about the possibility of getting shot if I didn’t stay on the river. Kind of like the ones Aussies tell about drop bears I think. The water was cold so that night we warmed up with a bonfire near the cabin and I had smores for the first time. Yummo!

On another day, we headed back into Stuart to help set up the town hall for cousin Laura’s wedding. The whole town pulls together for these special occasions and countless hours are spent decorating, creating and making everything just right. Now I understood why my bestie is so good at interior decorating!

Too soon it was time to leave and drive back to Omaha, this time with my bestie and during the daytime so I could see the countryside. Cornfields stretched as far as the eye could see and we saw real reindeers.

We also managed to fit in some shopping along the way of course. I bought a Huskers t-shirt and two semi formal dresses at JC Penny for about a tenth of the price they would be at home. We stayed with Chris for the night and went to a bar with real hot wings for dinner.

I feel incredibly lucky, not only to have met my bestie and be able to see where she came from; but to also have the opportunity to experience such unique part of the world with the lovely people who know it best. Looking forward to visiting you all again one day, hopefully soon.

Related posts: Independence Day, 2011, It’s an American Thing, USA Road Trip, 2007: Part 2

Who are you?

How much do you ever really know someone? You can think that you know someone and then they turn out not to be what you thought they were at all. It’s when you find out that they were deliberately hiding their real self from you that you get a little mystified.

Perhaps you are only seeing one face of their multiple personality. I’m a pretty honest and open person myself, but sure, I may act a little differently around work colleagues than I do with my bestie.

It wasn’t always this way, but experience has taught me that it is often not wise to be yourself around certain people that may choose to use this against you. Perhaps this is a wisdom that comes with a little age?

Others seem to be themselves all the time no matter who they are with. Either they don’t know or don’t care what others think and it doesn’t bother them.

I am like this to a certain degree, but also recognise that we still live in a society of people where others may get hurt if you are 100% honest all the time. There’s no harm in a little sugar coating it a little every now and then and modifying your behaviour. Or is there?

You might think you know what it’s like to be in somebody’s shoes, but you can never really know. You can empathise, but you didn’t go through their life experiences and you are not in their head, so you can never really know what it’s like to be them.

You can’t know what it was like to grow up in a particular home unless you were there, and even then you experience of and reaction to it may be different. You may think you know what your husband is thinking (and sometimes you do), but how can you really ever know?

The other day I judged someone I had just met on my first impressions of them, which turned out to be wrong. I guess everyone does this sometimes.

What I forgot was that this was just a small part of who this person was that I was seeing. It was the part they chose to show me, perhaps in nervousness. I think I sensed that they were not being their real self and I didn’t like that.

In reality it takes time to get to know someone, so it was a useful reminder to not immediately judge. After all, aren’t we all weird in our own uniqueness?

Related post: I’m happy for you, Is it just me?, The seven year itch, Relationships: my five (per)cents worth

People vs Place

Discovering new places is always a big drawcard for me when I am choosing where to go to next.

I try to go to a new place every year and love discovering new towns, cities and countries.

I have more places on my want to see list than I have seen, as my Pintrest boards will attest to.

There are the places that are higher in priority like Japan, Cambodia and going on an African safari. And those I know I won’t get to for a while like Portugal, Malta and seeing the Northern lights. Plus places I don’t even know exist yet that I want to see.

Then there are my favourite places that I always want to go back to like Paris, San Francisco and New York.

So, why do I keep going back to places I have already been?

To discover new areas in places I am familiar with of course; and have new experiences.

Wherever you go and no matter for how long, there is never enough time to fit everything in. I missed Mont St Michel when I went to France and Rio de Janeiro in South America; plus all the other places in America in other states than the ones I got to.

But a lot of the time, I find myself returning to places because of the people.

I am fortunate enough to have family and friends in a few of my favourite places- London, Vancouver and Barcelona. There are more in Belgium, Singapore and Sri Lanka; plus other areas of England, America and Canada. Even around Australia if I feel like a domestic trip.

Perhaps part of the reason they are my favourite places is because of the people and the unique experiences they have given me (as well as a reason to come back). They have shown me places that are not in the guidebook or on my to see list, but turned out to be the best fun.

Of course fun times eating, drinking and going out are much better if you have some local friends to guide you. And sometimes the fun in a place is just seeing the people you love in the place that they love.

And there are always those people that I met on a trip to a place that may inspire a trip to a new place. The unknown element is one of the great things about meeting people when you travel to new places.

So I guess the perfect scenario is a mixture of both place and people. Or even better, you can meet up with people in new places to both of you and all have a great new experience together.

Who’s up for it?

Related posts: It’s a Sri Lanka Thing, It’s a French Thing

What’s Inspiring about your Event?

Inspire EX is an exhibition and showcase for events professionals held in Sydney. I went to the event two years ago to attend some educational seminars and found out that “What’s hot right now” in events was Mexican. Mexican, I thought, what are they on about? Nobody does Mexican.

And then the whole world exploded with a love of Mexico. You couldn’t open an airline magazine without seeing another article on Tulum and Sydney became inundated with Mexican restaurants selling authentic fish tacos.

So, I came to InspireEX 2014 to be updated on what was hot, attend the keynote presentation by John Daly and find out the best use of Social Media for Events from Yvonne Adele.

John Daly’s keynote presentation, “What’s so great about face to face,” was inspiring and made me wish I could go and work with him in Santa Barbara on all his fun and exciting events. His concepts of teamwork, site inspections and working with timelines were illustrated by lovely examples of events he had worked on like the restoration of a garden at a French chateau, transforming a generic hotel foyer with a Japanese theme and being serenaded by the Vienna boys’ choir while fixing flowers to an altar for the Pope.

The new trend of hybrid events was also discussed- that is the use of social media for low budget events. The example given was of a surfer who tweeted 25 of his friends which translated in 1 million followers of 100 mini coopers shining headlights on the ocean at midnight while the surfers rode their waves.

And one final tip- never marry a divorce attorney.

Yvonne’s presentation on the best use of social media for events was very practical and useful with lots of ideas on things that a business can implement in social media to increase their event reach. The key is planning activities for before, during and after the event itself and finding the remarkable that can be re-marketed. Yvonne’s top two pieces of advice were to create content which is compelling to share and use the next level of social media platform tools. Smart stuff.

So, what’s hot right now? Tell me already, you say!

Well, according to a panel of top event professionals- Mexican is OUT and Simple and Rustic is IN.

And it’s also called on trend now.

People are looking for:

  • Extraordinary events
  • Unique venues
  • Visual memories
  • Colour
  • Statement pieces
  • Stand up dining
  • Interactive meals
  • East meets East cuisine e.g. Korean and US
  • Green screen entertainment e.g. hologram of performer who is not actually present at the event
  • The latest technology
  • Engagement in events
  • Volume

Watch the world around you for simple and rustic stand up restaurants with East meets East cuisine popping up everywhere and articles about rustic and simple extraordinary colourful events appearing in your airline magazines. And remember you heard it from me first!

Well, after all the other InspireEX event reporters and twitterers anyway.

If you like what you just read- please vote for me on the Big Blog Exchange Competition 2014!

Related posts: Kicking Goals, The Seven Year Itch, By Special Request, All Creatures Great and Small, I first started writing