Location: Italy

This was my first time in Italy and it definitely did not disappoint. I was a part of a small group of creative people who were brave enough to make the trek to the villages of the Cinque Terre. Two long flights, a train, and donkey ride later (jking) I finally arrived to Riomaggiore.

At one point I wanted to give up. The language barrier, heat, and sketchy internet connections were almost too much to bear but then I was soon greeted by candy-colored houses on a hillside kissing the deep blue sea and nothing else seemed to matter.

This workshop was organized by Bianca Gignac of Italianfix and taught by Justina Blakeney. It was designed for creative entrepreneurs who are interested in learning how to tap into their most creative self and how to successfully apply that creativity to our work. These two make it all look so easy!

The scenic route to my Airbnb. The directions read and I quote "take the tunnel on the right and walk along it. At the end turn left. This is the main street via Colombo. Walk up it until you reach a little square and church on the right"....What in the world? I guess you get what you ask for sometimes. I'm really manifesting this whole "life is a daring adventure" concept and it came to me in the form of sketchy directions and 248 cobblestone steps.

Drum roll please....Can you believe this is the ONLY bag I packed!!?? Impossible you say? My intuition told me this trip was gonna be rough and I was so right. You can't imagine how relieved I felt not to tote luggage up and down stairs, on and off trains, and across rocky roads. I accomplished this by trying on everything at home and choosing only one outfit per day then opted for dresses & rompers to save space. 

Check out this lunch view.  It was truly a "pinch me is this my life" experience. 

Okay I'm not gonna lie. Lunch the Italian way was delicious and most likely nutritious but definitely not hearty enough for this Texan. I mean I'm from the south were we deep fry butter and Oreos. So after this plate of antipasto I snuck in the kitchen and ordered a hunk of apple pie. shhh!

and did indulge in a bit too much gelato..

And one of my favorite parts was swimming with my new friends in the Ligurian Sea. It was super salty, a bit cold, and beautiful shades of blue + green. The beaches were rocky so I'll definitely invest in sturdier shoes next time. My eat, pray, love sandals just were not making the cut.

From L-to-R:  Zio and Sons (photo credit), Gina, Lori, Christina, Justina, Me, Lauren, Jabulile, Jessica, April, Alexandra, Kiiri, Tessa, Lisa, Anuschka, Bianca, Deepa

I finally found my tribe! There is nothing like being surrounded by a group of creative people who are going after their dreams full force. We learned about branding, photo editing/processing, using social media, the importance of having a creative practice, and goal setting. There was a lot of synchronicity among the group and serendipitous moments that let me know I was right were I should be. I'm so thankful to Bianca for having the ingenuity to organize this event and to Justina for being a bad ass and sharing so openly. It was so fun to make new friends and I enjoy seeing 

Here are five creative tips I learned from the workshop:

1) You have NO excuses not to be creating content daily. You can do a lot with a few minutes of time and a few found objects. 

2) Have a vision of your life and be willing to sacrifice to make it happen. 

3) Turn negativity into creative energy. 

4) It's important to have an online home because platforms are ephemeral. 

5) Don't overlook small goals. They give you a boost to move on to conquer the bigger ones.

Are you ready to make bold moves?! Come to Italia and let's hang out, look for treasures, and spend obscene amounts of time on the beach! Be sure to subscribe to keep up with my latest shenanigans.

Ciao!