Around this time of year in 2009, my husband announced he wanted to cycle cross country. At the time, we were living in Northern California. I was freelancing and he had wrapped up a contract with a company there. So, we were free to choose any destination we wanted.
It so happened, I had a bloggers’ conference to attend in Atlanta. The timing for arrival by bicycle was tight, but do-able. So we decided to make Atlanta our destination. Since I was heading into a bloggers’ conference, I figured, why not set up a blog of our own? So I set something up in minutes at crosscountrychef.blogspot.com and got to posting!
As a communicator, I love experimenting with media other than text. Don’t get me wrong: I love writing. But there are things you can communicate with photos and video that are a slog with words on a page.
Armed with a wi-fi dongle and a snapshot camera, he and I packed up all our belongings and headed east. He, by bicycle, and I, in our car. Together we traversed California, New Mexico, Arizona, and other states. When I look back on our blog now, I have to giggle and roll my eyes. We were nuts!
Here’s a little video clip I shot and edited in while on vacation in Mexico a few years back. It was a lot of fun. I scraped by with my Spanish to learn about the process, leaned over folks with my snapshot camera to get the shot, and then sat on the balcony of my hotel room editing the different shots. (Any video pro will note I used iMovie and one of its templates to make quick work of the project. I think it took me about four hours to edit.)
My husband, a cigar aficionado who stumbled on this factory in Cancún, spent a day rolling cigars with some of the best. I remember them saying their best guys roll between 80 – 100 consistently good cigars a day. My husband managed to eek out 10 in eight hours. About seven in ten rollers were Cuban–real pros who practically grew up in the trade. The others were Mexican. (In the video clip, only one of the four was Mexican–and he was competing in cigar-rolling events.)
What I love most about communications is the storytelling aspect involved. I like to share something I learned.
When I was working at Akaku: Maui Community Television, “How-To” videos were often used to teach the filmmaking process. Because it has clear steps, like a recipe, it’s easy to determine a beginning, middle and an end, much like a good story.
In journalism and creative writing, figuring this out can actually pose a bit more of a challenge, but it is essential to communicating effectively no matter what the medium.
So, when you’re in business for yourself, looking for work or clients or projects, or simply on the market for new employment — what exactly is the protocol for announcing your absence due to vacation? How far in advance do you share your plans to be away? How relevant is such an announcement when nothing substantial has been established? Do you announce this sort of thing on your LinkedIn page?
I am in the last couple days of my almost two-week trip through France, Spain and Portugal, and haven’t had reliable internet connection most of the time. While I haven’t really worried about it too much, I have wondered if some of my leads back home have noticed my absence, or if they’ve been doing their thing and therefore have not even noticed. (I am inclined to think the latter.)