Hello friends! Just a reminder to those of you that subscribe to this blog via WordPress or Email that we have moved to our new blog site and we are waiting for you to join us there. When you have a moment come and check out our new digs and sign up through the new site so you don’t miss out on our continued adventures. http://blog.learningvacation.net
Well we’ve officially moved! We really want everyone to join us for the next chapter of our story at our new blog and website. You can find our new blog at: learningvacation.net/blog and please take time to check out our new website learningvacation.net
It is a little sad to leave this blog site after it has had over 67,000 visits, but I know everyone will love the new site even more. Once we get settled in to our new home and offices we will be expanding the blog (more frequency and variety) so stay tuned! In the meantime, here is a preview from the photo shoot that Natazha and I did for Myee Carlyle (a boutique clothing designer from Byron Bay, Australia) this past weekend.
I’m surrounded by moving boxes and trying to squeak out this post before packing up my computer. Last week slipped by without an update because Natazha and were wrapped up in a hectic mess of house hunting and jumping through paperwork hoops. We finally found the perfect place- a great house with an amazing view of the ocean, with enough space for us to live on one level and use another level for the LVN office and art studio. We get the keys tomorrow, so we are busy packing up today and will be moving the rest of the week. If that weren’t enough to keep us busy, we are also doing a photo shoot for a great Australian clothing designer named Myee Carlyle this weekend, and I’m still working to get the LVN website ready for public launch on October 1st (this coming Monday!).
Next week will most likely be the last post from this blog, as we are packing up and moving our digital lives as well. Learning Experience’s new home will be on the LVN blog, where it will live as a weekly ongoing story. We will be LVN’s first ambassadors and contributors, and the idea is to curate content from other contributors with great stories related to learning vacations to have a steady flow of posts each week. Learning Experience will be a weekly feature that will range from DIY art projects Natazha and I are working on to stories about us visiting learning vacation schools around the world. The first visit that we have scheduled is to check out Create+ Cultivate at the ACE Hotel in Palm Springs in October.
The LVN site will launch Monday, even if it is a “soft” launch… it is taking a little longer than I thought to collect all of the information for the profiles of the member schools and workshops, so we won’t have all of their profiles visible right away. At any rate we’ll have something for you to finally see starting next week. I’m excited to show you what will be our true launch pads for dreams, speaking both of our new virtual space on the web and real space perched above the Pacific Ocean (for our home, studio and office).
Check back on Monday for a link to our new blog. We really appreciate all of the support we have received here and hope that everyone will continue to follow our story… and I promise you are going to love our new digs!
Wow I can’t believe it is Friday already! It has been a hectic week for us. The first round of LVN member invites went out to the learning vacation schools, retreats, and workshop providers yesterday and this morning. Earlier this week I was cold calling some of them to get a contact to direct the invitations to, and doing that made me very happy that I don’t work in sales on a regular basis. Most people were really nice on the phone, but I had some flashbacks to when I started my school and remembered how it can be sometimes to introduce a new idea to others. Americans are skeptical and defensive by nature and assume that everyone is just trying to sell them something. I read somewhere that the average American is bombarded with over 7000 advertisements a day, between emails, internet, TV, billboards, signs, phone, radio, etc. so it makes sense to have your guard up for anything new out of the blue.
Learning vacations represent a 3-5 billion dollar a year industry in the US alone, according to Richard Miller, a marketing research analyst. So imagine that there are all these independently owned and operated businesses out there- everything from race car driving schools to cooking schools to photography workshops- that are in a booming segment of the travel industry, but yet until now there hasn’t been any type of unification or association to help bring them together. What I have noticed is that they are often so focused on their immediate community (i.e. film school with the film industry, rock-n-roll fantasy camp with the music industry) that they don’t even realize they are in a larger booming new genre of travel or that there are huge benefits to being connected to their peers with parallel businesses. I am used to explaining the learning vacation concept to people that ask what I do for a living, but it didn’t occur to me that I would have to explain the genre to some of the businesses that are in it! I attribute some of that to the fact that the marketing world is evolving so quickly that unless you have an overall view of all of these businesses and are in tune with the social media marketing in particular some of them don’t even realize that their business is so similar to the others or that they can grow tremendously by looking around and connecting with their peers.
It is both exciting and challenging to introduce a new idea. Ted Wright, former head of marketing for Delta Airlines, and pioneer of “Word of Mouth” marketing, told me that LVN was the best idea he had heard since WebMD. I don’t doubt the idea. The challenge is spreading it. The winds of public interest are hard to predict and as an entrepreneur you have to figure out how to fan the flame of your idea until it gets big enough to spread and grow on its own. In my personal journey, with the concept of connecting the learning vacation travel community, the idea is unique but the challenges are old and universal. Let’s hope it becomes a story of inspiration.
Happy Friday. Whatever your dream, get out there and make it happen!
Natazha and I did a photo shoot in the mountains this week, skateboarding down some hills in a national park here in southern California. It was a welcomed break from the desk, where I have been extra busy these days as we inch towards the launch date of the Learning Vacation Network’s new site. We are very close, just waiting on some legal paperwork mumbo jumbo to process and then we’ll start collecting all of the profile information from the awesome members we have invited (learning vacation schools/ workshops). We are shooting for an October 1st launch, which means that we will also be migrating this blog over to the new blog by the end of the month. The new blog format is really cool so I can’t wait to finally “pack up” and move in to our new home.
On another note, I am currently looking to hire a content manager for LVN to curate the blog (there will be professional travel writers contributing content and much more frequent postings) and manage our social media. If interested you can contact me for details at firstname.lastname@example.org
“Creativity is just connecting things. When you ask creative people how they did something, they feel a little guilty because they didn’t really do it, they just saw something. It seemed obvious to them after a while. That’s because they were able to connect experiences they’ve had and synthesize new things.” -Steve Jobs
The girls from No Subject LA are at it again, organizing another great weekend getaway. Their recipe is a great one: bring together top bloggers, influencers, and creatives, host cool hands-on workshops, mix some music and cocktails in, mingle over some great meals, and relax in the hipster hangout called the ACE hotel in Palm Springs. The workshops range from D-I-Y style and fashion to art and design projects to branding to urban gardening to mixing up specialty cocktails. There have been two previous Create + Cultivate events, one last year at the ACE and one on the east coast earlier this year at Ruschmeyer’s in Montauk, NY. You can check out the recap videos of those events on the No Subject LA website.