Berlin, The Final Stop On The Journey Of A Life Time

I am sitting in the office of a guest house in Bangkok. I have two large husky dogs at my feet and one under my chair. It is the end of a very long journey. I am waiting to go to the airport. I need to talk myself onto a plane, because I missed my flight.

Let’s back up. A few days ago I was sitting in a mid-century furnished room over looking Kottsbusser Damn in an art studio in Berlin. The theatre of the street moved below me as people picked up their dinners, rode their bikes with their children balanced on the back, or stopped for a drink at the bar downstairs. It was a warm summer day and the Berliners were not going to waste it.

This was my last and final stop on my world tour. I had been traveling for 2 months at this point: from New York to London and the final leg of the journey, Berlin. I held a workshop at Impact Hub Berlin with my collaborator Megan Spencer as well as a Twitterversity workshop with betahaus. Both of them were amazing. Berlin is like a rare exotic bird. It is a place full of colour and bustling life. It attracts creative thinkers from all over Europe.

I had the pleasure of meeting some of these innovative thinkers at both of my workshops. The two-day workshop on Deep Storytelling allowed myself – and my co-presenter Megan Spencer – to get to know the unique stories of people who are living extraordinary lives. Some are bringing us back to the basics in life; some are empowering people to build their own spaces though collaborative architecture; others are saving the world one illustrative visual graphic at a time, and some are searching for the right place for their passion.

This was a very diverse group of individuals from all over Europe. I know I have said it all before, but I will say it again: it doesn’t matter where you are from some things are the same the world over. If you have a passion, share it and other people cannot help but connect with it. We love a good story – even better if we learn something new about ourselves, and the people around us. This is what happened in the Deep Storytelling workshop.

My very talented collaborator Megan Spencer took a wonderful gallery of images. It shows the some of the activities we did, especially on day two where we created a recording of the each participant’s story (this will later be turned into a podcast). This amazing group of storytellers shared their inspiration with us! When the podcast is finished in around a month’s time, we will share it with you on my blog.

I would like to thank all of the people who supported us at Impact Hub Berlin: Vishal, Community Catalyst, for all of your advice and for allowing us to bring our vision to your wonderful space; to Aleksandra for helping us promote our workshop and to Sophie for connecting me to the rest of the team in New York.

And a special shout out to Matt who was our point of contact for the event, and for lending us the recording equipment that will make our podcast possible!

And of course the amazing Megan Spencer my partner in this workshop and empathic listener extraordinaire! Thank you for taking the leap with me, just to see what would happen!

I would also like to thank Iva, Program Director for Education at betahaus for your support with my event in at the wonderful and vibrant coworking space. I look forward to collaborating with you in the future.

And last but not least to my family, Mom, Dad, Erin and Matt – I don’t get to see you enough and I enjoyed the time I spent with you. To my amazing friends April, Martin, Rhiannon and Huw – thank you for taking me in while I stayed in London! And to all of the wonderful people I have met in my workshops and on the road. I am nothing without any of you.

And thank you for all of the messages of support sent through while I am stressing out about missing my flight. I am going to the airport in a few hours to plead my case to fly standby. I am sure it will be fine. I have relied on the kindness of many people on this trip and it hasn’t let me down yet.

Mistakes happen – like getting your days mixed up when you are extremely jet lagged! But this trip was worth everything I put into it. I know that only good things will happen and I am looking forward to more adventures in the future!

I will see you soon Melbourne! I can’t wait find out what you have been up to!

Class photo by Megan Spencer

My Entrepreneurial Journey, Stop One New York!

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The lack of street noise wakes me up. The city that doesn’t sleep does have its quiet moments and for the Lower East Side that appears to be 6 am. It is the morning of my first Twitterversity workshop on my world tour with Impact Hub coworking spaces. The first cab off the rank is New York.

Flash back to 6 months ago and I am sitting at my kitchen table in my home in Melbourne, Australia. I decided it was finally time to take a leap of faith and see what would happened if I undertook a journey of international coworking and presenting workshops. It was a calculated risk, but I knew the experience would unlock opportunities if I jumped.

In January this year I committed to making my dream of traveling the world while teaching storytelling and social media into a reality. I met with a friend of mine, Zahava Mandelbaum, from New York and asked for her recommendation on coworking spaces. She said anything at Impact Hub NYC would have her seal of approval. She explained the types of events hosted there were of a high quality and focus on positive social and environmental change.

I started my own research and discovered it would be the perfect space to support my plan. Impact Hub is an international network of awesomeness. “MissionHUB” owns and operates Impact Hub coworking campuses, in San FranciscoBerkeleyNew York City, Philadelphia, and Washington, D.C., as well as the Social Capital Markets Conference (SOCAP) for impact investing.

There are also an international community of coworking Hubs around the world. I chose the triumvirate of cool, New York, London (Westminster) and Berlin. Side note, a childhood dream of mine has been to play Broadway. Guess where Impact Hub NYC is located? Mom is so proud, I’m on Broadway!

Through the magic of networking on LinkedIn I discovered a kindred spirit in broadcaster and eclectic creative Megan Spencer. We connected via our love of storytelling and Berlin. We decided we were fated to facilitate a storytelling workshop together. Long story short, it is happening July 18 and 19th at Impact Hub Berlin. It will focus on storytelling, design thinking and deep listening with the end result being a podcast each participant can take away from the workshop and I cannot wait!

Megan Spencer packed up her life and permanently relocated to Berlin in April this year. As soon as her jet lag wore off she met with Vishal the Community Manager at Impact Hub Berlin and explained we would love to use their space for our event. He agreed learning the art of storytelling was a great opportunity for his community and accepted our proposal. Vishal connected me via email to his international team of community managers in New York and London Westminster.

I was welcomed by each of the spaces with a resounding yes, what an amazing journey, we love what you are doing and we want to support you. Floree the Community Enabler from Impact Hub Westminster even rearranged their schedule to accommodate my workshop as their monthly Hub event. I was humbled and honored by that act of support.

I was blown away by how quickly it all came together. When you find your flock, everything takes wing! I am officially hosting a Twitterversity workshop at all locations as well as a joint storytelling workshop with Megan Spencer in Berlin.

Being an entrepreneur means being comfortable with the three C’s – change, chance and challenge. By embracing the three C’s and seeing where it takes you, doors do open. And when they do, it is fascinating to see who steps through. Create change, be open to chance opportunities and do not be afraid of challenges. They always pay off!

This is why I teach social media and Twitter in particular. The lack of controlling algorithms allows people to connect through wondrous acts of serendipitous discovery. Reaching out and connecting with like-minded individuals leads to possibilities you never could have imagined.

As of this writing I have just completed my first workshop in New York. The participants had a blast as they refined their messages and stories while harnessing the power of Twitter. Check out the stream under my hashtag #Twitterversity to see what we did.

The people I have met through Impact Hub NYC have been invaluable. I would also like to thank Jeremy from Firebrand Group and Kevin from ManageFlitter for your networking support in New York. I am also looking forward to collaborating Sharon from Freelancers Union to co-create content for an event in September! I will be back New York, I have met wonderful people and want to stay in touch.

My experience of coworking out of the space has also lead to great experiences. For example today there was a shared ‘Sexy Salad’ lunch. It operates in the true spirit of collaboration, Eva the Community Manager worked with work trade host Vania to prepare the food, while coworking members Michele Iadarola, from Especially Puglia provided gorgeous olive oil for the dressing and Radicle Farm provided the living greens foundation for all the sexy fixings heaped on top.

Stay tuned this journey has just begun…next stop London!

Photos curtesy of Vania, Michele from Especially Puglia, Mission Hub and Zahava

Magic Happens

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Set things in motion and then sit back and see what happens. See what comes back to you.

I went to New Orleans and got sucked into a world of music, wonder and magic. The music of the streets collided with the stench of mouldy humidity and that vibrancy made magic happen. Voodoo, hoodoo call it what you want, but it was real.

All you had to do was roll down the street and wait for it to come to you. It was slow and sneaky and poked around corners, but if you are quiet and patient it will slide up along side you.

Lessons from travel, we are never really in control, we are all just along for the ride. Surrendering your allusions of control feels so good that it almost feels supernatural. However, letting go is the most natural thing in the world. That is why it feels so good when we allow the world to happens as it should. The unexpected becomes reality and it all just seems to make sense in the end.

The Exhaustion Of Choice

Be flexible, be positive and let all of your expectations go. When traveling you can end up anywhere. And this ‘anywhere’ is usually never where we think it will be. We will make the wrong choice, commit too soon and get lost.

All of this is good for you. Getting lost takes you to places you never knew existed. Saying yes quickly means that we will have a variety of experiences we wouldn’t otherwise. Letting go of your expectations means you will not be disappointed.

This is what I like to call the exhaustion of choice. Traveling can really bring it out. Where should you eat, where should you stay, are you seeing everything thing you should.

Don’t forget why you set out on the open road in the first place. Experience something new, see things you didn’t know were there and try not to worry.

Remember to keep your mind open, rest and unplug. Choice is good, no matter how tiring it can be.