All Posts in Category: Company Info
Today’s holiday trivia: Continuing our look at holiday traditions around the world, we travel east for a very different type of holiday. As a secular, communist country, North Korea has a different take on holidays than many societies. Its 71 official holidays include Sundays, for instance, and many holidays are based on birthdays of the party leaders and founders. Today North Korea celebrates its Constitution Day, for which the state provides rations explicitly for the holiday feasts.
When we surveyed you guys to see what you’d most like to see in our holiday specials, one of the things that came up again and again was opportunities for one-on-one coaching!
Since I’ve finished my coaching certification this year–which was a very eye-opening experience that I wish more people who offer business “coaching” would do–I’m even more excited than ever to work with you one-on-one to move your career forward.
Today’s holiday trivia: A secular holiday, December 26 is celebrated as Boxing Day in a number of countries that previously formed part of the British Empire. For the U.K., Canada, Australia, New Zealand and Trinidad and Tobago, Boxing Day is primarily known as a shopping holiday similar to Black Friday in the U.S.–the perfect start to our holiday specials!
In Ireland, however, the holiday combines both the religious feast of St. Stephen and an older pagan tradition of a purge day into something called Wren Day, when bands of young men dress in cloaks of straw and parade through the town “hunting” a (usually fake and stuffed these days) wren bird atop a decorative pole, stopping in at homes along the way in a trick-or-treating fashion with coins rather than candy as the treats.
If you’ve been itching for an opportunity to pop off questions to me when you need help–our new program will give you a way to do that too!
It includes the opportunity to have small-group calls with me to get your questions answered live nearly every week, include exclusive live access to all of our new webinars and a members-only monthly ask-me-anything call.
You’ll also have access to every question and answer we’ve ever handled for other clients, so you can find even what you need on the spot.
Help Us Choose What Special Deep Discounts You’ll Have in Our 12 Days of Travel Writing Holiday Specials This Year!
Small disclaimer: Absolutely no Dachshunds will be sent through the postal service as part of our travel writing holiday specials!
But, puppies aside, we want to know what you would like to see this year.
Each winter, we put together a riff on the 12 Days of Christmas between December 26 and January 6, 2019, with advance access to products we’re not launching until next year and deep, deep discounts on many of our offerings.
I had a coaching call today with someone that I met at a really preeminent writers’ conference who recently joined our Full Coaching Program, and had to take a moment.
As we wove through her vision for her future, goals, and past writing experiences over the course of the hour, I was touched by the depth of her intellect and ability to articulate the intangible.
And I just thought how incredibly lucky I felt to be sharing our resources and vision for what the life of a travel writer can be with this kind of writers.
In the two years since this business began, I have been so honored that so many of you have shared your experiences with us to empower me to have the perspective of what travel writing life is like not just for myself, but for the multitudes of you out there who are succeeding in this career or on your way.
When traveling for work or leisure, I’ve often found one of the most beautiful and revelatory parts of new cultures centers around their religions. Italy’s transcendent cathedral architecture and Renaissance paintings. Bali’s towering stone temples and daily flower-filled offerings lining the streets. India’s multi-day, technicolor wedding festivities.
As my husband is Indian and a scientist and I am Irish Catholic but a child of two scientists, our family’s take on the holidays has always been a bit like our approach to our Indian wedding: a la carte.
We love to give people gifts, so each holiday season sees us putting a lot of time and care into handcrafting candies, chocolates, jams, and other gifts for our friends and families each year.
This year, as part of my deep gratitude to all of you who have chosen to allow us to help you reach your goals and read our newsletters, watch our webinars, attend our retreats, and sign up for coaching and the database, I wanted to extend that holiday tradition in your direction.
When you’re starting from zero, the path forward is much more clear than when you’ve been at it for a while and are struggling.
Not enough people ask me that question: What is my number one piece of advice for struggling travel writers?
For those who have been at it for years and feel like they’re gong to quit if things don’t turn around soon, or like they should quit but they can’t imagine doing anything else and need to find a way to make this work.
When I’m traveling, I can’t help but wander into stores with lovely things and then try to think of a purpose for explaining purchasing things that catch my eye.
Museum gift shops with jewelry from local artists and finely-bound notebooks adorned with famous works of art.
Shops focusing on local handicrafts where the goods bear tags talking about the life of the woman who created the shawl or bowl or bracelet and how her work has changed conditions for her family.
And, particularly, groceries and small food producers whose every handmade product has a deep story not only of the person’s obsession with making the perfect chocolate bonbon or cassis wine, but also the history of the provision itself, along with its cultural significance.
When I go on press trips, and someone has told us their story, given us their wares to sample, and, most importantly, set aside their precious business-owner time to focus on us, the compulsion to pick up something that I’m already eyeing is basically incontestable.
As a travel writer, you can always say that such browsing is for research, but for me, it’s more.
I’m pretty nomadic, my husband is based in a normal-sized apartment…for New York (like 600 square feet is quite good/decent), and we’re not big into stuff anyway, so I’m usually not looking for things to buy for myself.
I just love giving gifts.
Join Us at Early-Bird Prices for Our Winter Retreats to Up Your Skills, Surround Yourself with Other Hard-Working Travel Writers, and Spend the Winter Somewhere Cozy
Our retreats at our private location in New York’s Catskill mountains are not conferences. They aren’t workshops. And they aren’t classes. They’re retreats.
We’ve decked out the space with everything you need to get your focused-writer on, including:
- workplaces for all moods, from desks with huge windows looking out on nature to comfy, sink-in chairs for snuggling in to couches piled with pillows and blankets (hey, it’s winter!) and an actual pub
- thousands of magazines to get your pitch-idea juices flowing and inspire you with top-tier writing
- hundreds of books on the craft and commerce of writing along with the tomes from the top travel writers in the world to help un-stick your writers block
- all of the coffee, espresso, and tea
And you experience all of those things whenever you want on your own with our Creative Residency Program.
So when we do a retreat, we kick things up the personalization in five big ways:
- All of our retreat content is focused on exactly where you are. I literally present the programs differently each and every time, taking into account the skill and travel knowledge backgrounds of each individual present that week or weekend.
- Our retreats are kept uber-small so it’s not possible for you to get lost along the way. This group size allows me to constantly check in that the concepts we’re discussing are hitting home with each and every person there, and revisit, re-explain, or further break things down so that each person moves through the content with the group. No writer left behind.
- You get one-on-one time to dig really deep down into what YOU are stuck on. In each of our weekend and week-long retreats, you get one-on-one time (typically two one-on-one) to make massive progress quickly, in the middle of our educational content, so that we can slough off wherever you’re stuck and get you charging through to completing your goal for the week or weekend.
- We focus on the experiential. As we move through the information covered in each event–whether focused on building your business, working with magazines, learning how to be a travel writing in the field, or building your own travel content marketing gigs–we heavily alternate between hearing, doing, and discussing. In medical school, they have an maxim, “See one; do one; teach one,” that allows them to level up their students quickly through difficult tasks, and we give it the travel writing treatment. If I were to just teach you what to do and let you go home and (hopefully find the time and then) try it, you would never making nearly as much progress, if any at all, as you do by hunkering down to give something a try right away and then discussing what did and didn’t work and why so you’re prepared and patterned with how to do something the right way when you do get home.
- You learn from a multitude of experiences. While we alternate learning by knowledge acquisition (listening) and learning by doing (exercises), the sharing time our small group size allows is also a crucial part of expanding your horizons and sparking new ideas. As you listen to how your peers have dug differently into the exercises based on their life, work, and travel backgrounds, your pre-conceptions about how things should or need to be done will naturally expand, showing you more ideas for yourself that fit you.
We’ve currently got early-bird pricing (more than 25% off!) for four of our events coming up this winter.
Since I started pursuing professional coaching certification in March, I’ve had many conversations with other business coaches and aspiring coaches, and they often ask me the same question:
Why did you decide to get certified as a coach?
They’re asking me, though, because they don’t think that I needed to do the program.
Most of the business coaches that I’ve met started their coaching certification before they left their previous positions to pursue coaching. Before they even had their first coaching client or conversation.
Typically before they have any idea who they will coach, how, or why.
In their eyes, they needed to have the certification under their belt to begin the process of building a business around their coaching.
So, when these other coaches or coaches-in-training see me with this little fledgling business that I’ve spent the last two years busting my butt working 16 hours every day to build, it looks like I have what they think that coaching certification will bring them.
Why Is It So Hard to Make the Changes We Need to Make to Achieve Our Dreams? (And What We Want to Do About It)
I always planned to be a professor.
Throughout college and for many years after. I laid the groundwork to go back to school for a PhD in Italian literature.
Travel writing was meant to be a way to pay the bills legally while I was in Italian working on research for a dissertation.
There’s all sorts of odd things you have to also learn about to get a PhD, at least in Italian literature.
It wasn’t enough to speak fluent, academic-level Italian. I actually was going to need to pass proficiency tests in up to three other languages, from other romance languages to unrelated ones like German. Theoretically this was so we could read literary criticism on a global scale.
I also would have needed to read and be able to speak at length in an oral exam on every single significant work of Italian literature over a roughly 1,000 year period.