Do me a favour. Have a think about something you are really passionate about, and put some time aside to really focus on it. Find an event, or a workshop, or any kind of gathering, where you can learn from amazingly talented people, and meet kindred spirits. You are NOT too busy - just do it! I desperately want everyone to have as much laughter and learning as I have had in the last few days.
When I attended the first Way Up North conference in Stockholm last October, I knew I had to find a way to join them again in Rome. I had complete faith that Jakob and Cole would create another amazing experience, and I certainly wasn't disappointed.
It might seem odd to travel so far to such an amazing city and to spend a lot of the time sat in a dark theatre, but it really is a magical event. There's no "them and us" feeling when it comes to the speakers, we all chat and party together, and learn from each other.
I was a bit scared when I tentatively asked if anyone fancied meeting up the day after the conference to do some exploring and swap portraits, but, thank goodness, there was some interest, and we couldn't have had a nicer or more international group. I don't think I'll ever forget that day. We were all slightly nervous, very hungover, and over excited by everything we'd learnt. Our names in a hat, we drew out three at a time and set off together, regrouping half an hour later to draw the next lottery and start over again. We climbed up trees, lay down on the street, went where we weren't supposed to, drank cold beer, ate great pizza and laughed a LOT.
Anyway back over to you. Go on, put yourself out there, book onto something that looks interesting. Sign up to that nightclass down the road, or find out what events your industry has to offer and give them a go. Don't limit yourself to the country you're in and don't worry if you've got no one to go with - there are always new friends to make and so many new perspectives to share. Travelling may take more money and time, but if it's the right event it is so worth it. Attending these two Way Up North conferences has honestly been the best investment I've made for my business and my clients, and they've both been 100% enjoyable - what's not to love about that?!
Here's some photos of my new friends, and they come with an even bigger thank you to my family and old friends, who are always there to support me and help me to be able to get out into the world and have the adventures we all need.
The Magic 12 of Rome - please check out their amazing work.