Well, Ya Got To Have Friends
Just finished with a two week road trip presenting workshops, being a mentor, storytelling and taking meetings. Woven throughout these weeks has been a wonderful underpinning of time spent with friends and colleagues - learning, catching up and sharing warm support.
When I first started my free-lance storytelling business thirty years ago, I stuck pretty close to home. I would only agree to tell in far-away places where I had friends living so I could do a performance combined with a visit (and then often, have a place to stay). It was a wonderful tradition that I have stayed with through most of my career as I added consulting in youth librarianship to my portfolio.
My favorite times are spent not in hotels when I'm traveling but touching base with friends and family. It makes each trip more personal and less...unreal. Hotel time while doing consulting work makes me feel more "other". I don't want to come in to present as the pro from Dover but as someone who just happens to be visiting the area. It helps me enfold my audiences into my circle of friends and acquaintances and relaxes me when I am on the road.
This recent trip had some hotel time but it was far more fun. The first instance I shared time with people on a learning retreat in a gorgeous spot and the second, my honey came and joined me to explore a community together during a storytelling festival. That touch of the personal - which I always get at conference because I always share a room with friends - makes everything I experience feel more grounded. I still spend plenty of time staying with different friends and connecting with others over breakfast, lunch and supper and everytime in between.
So while two weeks is an intensive amount of time to be away, I was really finding home again and again throughout the days. Taking the time to re-connect, to listen and share renews me. I can't recommend it when on the road enough.