Travel is like knowledge…
Hello and welcome to issue 38. It’s the middle of August so I decided if you can’t beat them, join them – well almost. Whilst it’s the holidays and although I’m still not on holiday myself, I thought I would get into the summer holiday spirit (well, sort of) and dip a toe in the world of travel and hospitality as viewed through the lens of some of the most kick-ass women in the industry.
A different type of bottom line
I was interested to gather together women who are driving the industry from either a corporate perspective or the perspective of entrepreneurs. Hospitality and tourism is all about experience and how you are made to feel, but don’t get me wrong, it’s not all touchy feely stuff – it is a tough industry. If you don’t know your financials inside out and back to front, your business will be very short lived. The bottom line isn’t just about tanning in your bikini – the other bottom line is about understanding how to minimise costs and maximise turnover if order to drive profit.
I can’t think of a much more dynamic line-up of women, at various stages in their respective careers who have made other people’s down time their business.
This got me pondering about travel. It was Mark Hertsgaard who said,
“Travel is like knowledge. The more you see, the more you know you haven’t seen.”
I think this is right and wrong at the same time. It depends on where you’re going and what you’re doing. There’s some travel that has this effect. When I was fortunate enough to be able to visit Dubai last November, this gave me a real hunger to explore more of the world, because I’d had such a fantastic experience.
Infinite possibilities opening up
I’d been visiting on a Womanthology driven trip to attend a Ro’Ya event that celebrated the success of pre-start up female entrepreneurs in Dubai. As part of this I also visited other dynamic female entrepreneurs and women in business to interview them about their experiences. This visit really taught me that there is literally a whole world of opportunity out there to be explored as a woman looking to ‘find myself’ as I reached a career crossroads and as infinite possibilities opened up before me.
Contrast this with the holiday travel of my late teens and early twenties when I ventured to various Mediterranean holiday destinations and had a good enough time bronzing myself, eating and drinking copious amounts for two weeks. So whilst yes, I enjoyed lying by a pool with a good Bill Bryson book to keep me amused and doing some sunbed shimmying to some of my favourite tunes pumping on my stereo, I always came home feeling like I’d seen it all and the world was less exciting and full of opportunity than I’d previously thought.
Purpose bringing peace
Nowadays of course you can head off to the Mediterranean and expand your mind through Yoga. Check out Soulla at Soulshine who set up her own Yoga retreat so you can visit, rest up, relax and take your mind on a journey whilst your body stays in one place. I’ve never been a particularly spiritual person, but I couldn’t help but be intrigued by Soulla’s words about finding your ‘dharma’, your purpose in life. I’d never really identified my career journey as being something so inherently spiritual, but I realised this week that’s exactly what it is. What better way to be at peace with yourself than to spend your time doing something that you love and that gives you that sense of purpose?
Ideas shared in a few taps on a smartphone
So for this evening peace to me is to get all the rest of my copy for the new edition edited together, my images formatted and uploaded to the site in readiness for me to publish it. Maybe it’s that idea of creating something – I love the notion that I can publish the ideas of our contributors and these can then be shared around the world in a few taps on a smartphone screen. It never fails to fascinate me when I open up the analytics for the site and I can see that people across the other side of the world are reading stories that arose from my ideas.
So I suppose the theory of infinite knowledge applies here too. It keeps me hungry to know more and keeps me full of ideas. So even though I haven’t travelled anywhere I now consider my mind expanded. The more I learn, the more I realise I don’t know, but I’m actually starting to quite like it.