I’m back from my Sundance Festival road trip and it was amazing!
I had so much fun and packed so much stuff into a short time frame (left on January 26 and got back Feb 2).
I posted pix of my explorations on our ACA Facebook group. Come join us there if you’d like to take a look. (Note: If you request to join and your profile doesn’t provide any info about your administrative support business, be sure you also message me either on Facebook or by email.)
I just LOVE road trips. Travelling by car is my favorite way to travel because you can go at your own pace, stop when you feel like checking something out, and see cities and countryside up close and personal that you haven’t before.
It’s a much more intimate way to travel and see and explore places that would be bypassed in any other mode of travel.
Some of my road trip highlights:
- Um, attending the SUNDANCE FILM FESTIVAL!
- Meeting and talking with all kinds of interesting industry people from actors to a film composer to filmmakers and others who work behind the camera.
- Having Robert Redford walk past me so close we actually touched. And yes, he is handsome as ever.
- Also, walking past George Lucas as he was exiting one of the many celebrity Suburbans that began showing up later in the day on Main St.
- Shopping for souvenirs and gifts.
- Having an amazing pedicure in Park City.
- Getting restaurant recommendations from locals and eating at some amazing places including some fantastic greasy spoons. (For anyone not familiar with the term, a greasy spoon is a high honor. It’s the kind of establishment that is usually locally/independently owned where typically fresh/home-cooked type food is served. These are often the BEST places on the planet for amazing down-home breakfast served any time of day.) I highly recommend No Worries Cafe in Park City.
- Seeing the Great Salt Lake in person for the first time (I’ve only ever seen it by plane other than that).
- Seeing country in Oregon, Washington and Idaho I’ve never been to before.
- Oh, and lots of new souvenir travel magnets to commemorate my travels and explorations!
And it was scary crazy how everything worked out so perfectly. This was a totally spontaneous decision to go. I hadn’t actually registered for Sundance this year, didn’t know if I’d be able to even see any films (and if I didn’t, I was okay with that; it was enough just to go), and I thought there was no way in hell there would be any hotel rooms left, especially not without any advance reservation (and if there were, they’d cost a million dollars; most rooms start at $500 during festival week and go up into the thousands.).
I just left and trusted that everything would work out the way it was supposed to. And it did!
Everyone I talked to could not believe how lucky I was. When there were still hundreds of people on waiting lists for tickets, for some reason I scored seats. And the first hotel I called actually had a room available. For some inexplicable reason, they put me in a $500 room and only charged me $129/night (I stayed two nights). The only thing I can think is that I really hit it off with the gal I spoke to on the phone. She loved how I had just hopped in the car and took off.
This trip was also one of personal growth as well as it was the first time I’ve traveled such a distance (3 states!) all by myself.
Since I’d never done anything like this before alone, it was scary to me in a lot of ways.
And I aced it! Not one bit of anxiety being that far from home by myself and not one pang of homesickness (other than being ready for my own comfy cozy bed after a week).
I gained a huge sense of accomplishment and empowerment. It was a reminder to me that the world is my oyster and I can do anything I set my mind to do (and have).
And while I do love travelling with a partner, I also enjoy my own company and meeting and talking to new people immensely.
This trip was a precursor to a bigger plan I’ve had brewing for several years, which is to travel the U.S. (first) and some parts of Canada, meeting my members and colleagues, and seeing the country by car.
I’ve sort of kept it on the down-low because I wasn’t quite sure how to go about it. I’m also not one of those people who benefits from putting plans out there as a way to make me accountable to myself. The minute I do that, I get blocked, so I just don’t. And life also simply got in the way.
First, we moved to Europe for a couple years. Then six months after we returned to the U.S. for good, I left my man of 12 years which was a huge, life-changing decision. Then I wasn’t sure how to even undertake something like this all by myself. And then my dad’s health took a turn for the worse and I had to put him first and help care for him.
Once we got dad’s health stabilized in January, I decided to make this trip to do something for me to recharge and renew.
I’ve long been a lover and devotee of independent film so it was perfect timing and the festival gave me a great destination focal point.
And besides being a business networking/writing retreat, I had also wanted to try to meet a few colleagues along the way. This trip was pretty much a spur-of-the-moment decision and since I announced it so last minute (like, the day I was leaving, lol), by the time I had heard from three Portland area colleagues, I was already near Idaho.
So, I did learn a lot of things in this first trip which are going to help me in my next member/colleague meeting travels:
- After a certain point, you have to stop planning and trying to identify every little detail and JUST DO IT! There’s no way you can figure everything out upfront and too much planning can easily become a procrastination vehicle.
- One of the things that was stopping me before was trying to figure out how I was going to accomplish a full cross-country trip. What I realize now is that the best way I’m going to accomplish it is doing it in different legs, not all in one shot. For example, I’m thinking my next trip will be down the Pacific coast and/or I5 corridor through Oregon and California and than maybe over to Nevada with a turn-around for the return leg of the trip in Sedona, NM. I haven’t completely figured out how I’ll work any midwest and east coast and southern legs, but I’m thinking for those trips, it might make sense to fly somewhere once I’ve mapped out that particular travel route, and then rent or lease a vehicle there. Anything west of the midwest states, I can use my own car.
- I love to travel and I can and have continued running my business and taking care of clients on the road (even in a different country). However, I do work best from my main command center (my home office, lol) and the luxury of my big main computer. I do not prefer working on a laptop. I can and have, but it’s not how I do my best work. In recognizing this, I can plan accordingly. And all the more reason why I will benefit from doing these trips in mini-stages instead of one long stretch. That way, I can come back to home base, regroup and then go on the next leg of the journey at a time that’s optimal for me.
- I need to figure out how to monetize the venture so that besides the expenses being a business write-off, it also funds itself instead of just being an expense. That includes putting more focus and attention on sales from the ACA Success Store. I’m thinking that in addition to just meeting up with my industry mentors and colleagues, I could offer some paid in-person, day or half-day consulting and coaching spots for those who want to take advantage of the opportunity while I’m in their city or town.
- There are people who are super smart about getting sponsors and things like that for trips like this. I would love to learn more about that, but currently I’m not one of them and I’m okay with that about myself right now. And the thing is, I don’t really want to make a huge production out of things. Because once that becomes the case, for me, it takes the joy out of it and then I don’t want to do it. I can’t let not having sponsors to make these trips pay for themselves be the thing that stops me from doing it.
- I need to find the balance between being spontaneous (which is what “does it” for me) and not having everything turned into a big production, and planning and making announcements with enough advance notice that people CAN have enough time to plan on meeting up when I’m in their city. What I know about myself, bad or good, is that I am commitment phobic, lol. Not about taking care of clients or anything like that. I don’t know where it comes from (though it does seem to be something I developed when my first/late husband passed away nearly 20 years ago). I just know that the minute I have to RVSP to something is the second I absolutely, positively don’t want to go. I know, it’s crazy. But that’s just me. Therefore, I know I wouldn’t do well making a big deal out of planning a meet-up, securing a specific venue or conference room, yada, yada, yada. Yuck! I hate that stuff! I like to keep things casual, informal, personal. What I envision is letting my peeps know (on the blog, via the ACA mailing list, etc.) that I am close to their city and inviting them to contact me to meet up. Then when I hear from someone, asking them where a great spot would be to get together, a fun restaurant or pub or something, and once we decide that, inviting others in the area to join us. Casual, see?
I don’t have it all figured out. I don’t know how it will all work out. And I don’t have any specific time frames right now. But that’s where all the magic, fun and adventure of it is!
If I was to come to your area, would you like to meet up for a meal, do something fun together, or maybe be my tour guide for a day? What do you like to do for fun and/or what would you show me in your city? I’m game for just about anything. (Except skydiving. I have no desire to skydive and I’m okay with that, lol.)
Would you love an opportunity for private, one-on-one, in-person business consulting and guidance if I came to your city? I’m exceptionally gifted at identifying where people need help in their business, but tell me, what areas of your business would YOU like more help with?
Very good story and adventure. I’m also into road trips and have done many of them, and driven on my own or with others, too.I’ve never driven cross country, but I have driven half-cross country (CA to Corpus Christi TX and back, and CA to Glacier National Park and back). And I used to have a job where I would drive all over CA and also drop into Arizona by air then rent a car and drive around there.
One thing I recall, how in the “old” days, we didn’t have cell phones, and I wasn’t afraid to be out there on my own. Now we are so used to be connected 24-7, some people are frightened if the connection is broken. Being smart, cautious and having plans is the way to do this. Last road trip was from LA up Hwy 395, The Eastern Sierras, to NV, then back to Bay Area.
Happy Trails, Danielle, wherever you roam!
I love hearing that, Judy! And, thank GAWD for GPS these days. I don’t know what we ever did without it, lol. Though, from my private investigator days, I learned to always keep a current Thomas Road Atlas guide in the car. You never know when you’ll be without Internet service in places.
(We’ll have to meet up when I do my Cali trip!)
What a great trip and so much fun! I am so happy for anyone who allows themselves the chance to “fly free”. As you know, I don’t have the opportunity often but when I do, IT’S WONDERFUL!!!
Going to enjoy some pictures of you and your trip now!
I hope you have more opportunities to “fly free” soon, Sherri!