This past week, I flew to the Gold Coast to attend the annual Problogger Training Event. Emerging off the plane from a bleak Melbourne morning to the above turquoise surf, soft sand between my toes and my face being kissed with warm sunshine, the excitement was palpable. This was my 3rd Problogger event and I LOVED it! Thinking back to my very first blogger event in 2011, I didnt even have a blog but by the end of the weekend, I just knew it was what I HAD to do. This event was no exception and only spurred me on to reach even further in my blogging & writing journey.
Generally speaking I’m a little intimidated by being in a room full of strangers and introducing myself cold turkey, but here’s the thing about bloggers. We are a wonderfully collaborative and supportive community and with each post, we put a little piece of ourselves out into the ether just hoping at least one person is reading…just one! And when you laugh, comment, breakdown, identify and share the journey with us, it has been worth all the effort. Also, that room full of strangers you were afraid of becomes a piece of cake. If you’re lucky enough like me, you find some new friends for life too.
Over the 2 days I met up with old friends, made new friends, listened to amazing presenters such as Clare Bowditch, was deeply moved by others like Samuel Johnson of Love Your Sister, learnt about the technical side of things like ebooks, facebook marketing with Amy Portfield , creating video content with Hailey Bartholomew but more than anything else I came away INSPIRED!
Darren Rowse, the original problogger dared us to pursue our dreams just starting with working towards them 15 minutes a day, that what happens in the future is the direct result of what we are working towards NOW and that the world of blogging will bring with it a plethora of opportunities to live the lives we want that haven’t even been thought of yet. Very exciting!
A big THANK YOU to the Problogger team and sponsors for such an amazing and well run event! If you are already blogging or indeed waiting to begin I urge you to go to next years event – it is seriously one of the best decisions you’ll ever make!
The above is the fantastic Tsh Oxenreider who blogs at Simple Mom shares Q & A with Darren Rowse
So what is my dream you ask? My dream one day is to become location independent, and to become a full time freelance writer and blogger where all I need is my laptop and an internet connection. Crazy? maybe. Do-able? definitely! There….now its out in the universe….there’s no turning back.
Now, tell me, what is your crazy dream? What is holding you back? Fear of failure, lack of time, financial commitments, confidence, lack of a support crew? You can overcome all these things – just begin with the first small step. To quote the wonderful Trey Ratcliffe of photography blog Stuck in Customs who gave a very heart felt, honest and open presentation at Problogger “The best way to conquer negativity is to fight back with awesomeness“. Word.
Now, for the other REALLY IMPORTANT part of the weekend – the food!!! Problogger was hosted by ultra hip QT Hotel Surfers Paradise on the Gold Coast. I wish had stayed here but still managed to stay firmly in heaven with each day of the conference.
Being from Melbourne, my morning isn’t complete until I get that first lovely hit of caffeine – The QT cafe delivered the goods each morning, along with a table laden with all sorts of baked breakfast treats and an old fashioned lemonade and soda stand in case the Queensland heat called for it.
Just your average afternoon tea really! As the doors opened up and into the catering area, it felt a little like discovering Willy Wonka’s chocolate factory. What to try first??
Chocolate delice, jelly crumble cup with sweet lime syrup, and caramel macadamia nut slice. Also, not shown here but we were also treated to mini macaroon trees that we could pick off from. I narrowly avoided disaster here as I am allergic to macadamia nuts which become more prevalent the further north you go in Australia. Luckily a small bite only produced mild symptoms.
The QT version of white chocolate rocky road
During the second day the Sunnybrook Farm combi van arrived serving up creamy, crunchy flavoured ice cream like honeycomb vanilla and strawberries and cream. Did I mention that accompanying candy bar topping stand for grown ups??
After a productive day of networking and learning, it was definitely time to head to QT’s Stingray bar for a cocktail or two. I highly recommend an espresso martini while you’re there.
Friday night saw over 400 lovely ladies get frocked up and heading over to the amazing roof top pool area of The Hilton, Surfers Paradise where we were greeted with cocktails and champagne for the Problogger networking event. Hosted by Tourism Queensland and Virgin Australia, we had the pleasure of fire twirlers, stilt walkers, cartoon characters, Marilyn and Austin and…
a few snakes! The kitchen team also had the BBQ’s cranking alongside popcorn and fairy floss makers – just when I thought I couldn’t possibly fit anything else in….
This is my good friend, the lovely Di Borteletto from Travelletto whom I met on a recent food writing trip in April to Vietnam, check out her fantastic travel blog here. Even though she lives on the other side of the country, our mutual love of food, travel and adventures keep conspiring to bring us back together. We are naturally SUPER excited to be heading to the EatDrinkBlog Food Bloggers Conference in Di’s hometown of Perth in November this year.
The following morning called for one last walk on the beach before heading to Brisbane…bliss!!
After my walk on the beach, my quest for great coffee lead me here to Delikatessan, a Scandinavian deli specialising in ‘Smorrebrod’ or open sandwiches & breakfast platters – a welcome reprieve from the stock standard touristy cafes and restaurants which currently populate Surfers Paradise. Chef Chris Howard is bringing his own brand of Danish culture to Australia by reinventing the Smorrebrod – traditionally heavy on fats and oils, into a lighter, fresher version which is a visually spectacular feast for the eyes served upon a wooden board.
Unfortunately I already had breakfast plans in Brisbane later that morning but I certainly enjoyed my coffee ! Next time, Delikatessan is firmly on my ever growing hit list!
Until next time!