Greetings from, well, home. I’m just back from Family Travel in Real Life 6 (!) and want to share a quick FT4RL recap- well, more of some general lessons learned and thoughts I’m taking home. I’m also sharing a brief life recap as well since posting has been a bit light of late.
FT4RL Recap and general thoughts
People are starting to catch on.
Let me state for the record: I am NOT anti-Hyatt. I am anti-THOUGHTLESS Hyatt. I am anti-thoughtless anything. The good news is that I think people are finally stepping off the status hamster wheel. With airlines it’s easy: they’ve pretty much let us know where they stand! With hotels it’s harder. Hotels have mastered the ego massage- exclusive access here, special amenity there, pretty soon you think they actually care about you. They don’t. You’re not special, you’re a dollar sign. Use that to your advantage, not theirs.
Rotating speakers and topics matters.
The reason is partly selfish- I have to go to every FT4RL and I don’t want to get bored! But all of us raise our game when we hear from new voices and about new stuff. Each speaker taught me something I’ll put to immediate use.
Blogging carries responsibility.
The entire concept of Vendoming came from the fact that I couldn’t stand the “bloggers’ circuit” and the FOMO (fear of missing out) it created. For a long while it was if you “weren’t doing it right” if you hadn’t visited the Maldives, flown first on a middle eastern airline and yes stayed the Park Hyatt Vendome in Paris. What bothered me wasn’t that bloggers were writing it, but that readers were accepting it as gospel.
Fast forward three years and my little corner of the internet is a bit larger than it used to be. That means my words carry responsibility, too. I heard from more than a few of you (at FT4RL and online) about plans you had made based on my recommendation. It’s a fact I don’t take lightly.
It’s also why I’m very conservative on giving credit card advice. To this point I’ve resisted selling credit cards on the blog. The money certainly is tempting but the idea of even one person going into a debt spiral based on my advice is not one I’ve reconciled yet.
Y’all are fun!
As the party “host” it’s my job to make sure everyone has a good time. In the planning weeds I often forget the actual event is fun for me, too! After six we’ve self-selected just a cool bunch of people. I love giving us an excuse to get together. We had a lot of newbies this time and I was glad to see how quickly they blended right in. While each individual event size stays about the same (by my choice) our alumni network gets bigger and bigger.
I was in Orlando for two weeks and see some progress on the remodel upon return. I’m still pretty convinced workers will be here into the summer. Deal Dad and I have a bet whether or not they’ll be done by Camp Mom in July. I still feel good about my odds on that one.
I’ve still only planned the first three days of five weeks of our Chile/Argentina adventure. I’ve mentally filled in about two of the five weeks but need to get booking! That’s my next big project as we leave in seven weeks.
Between catching up here at home, getting camp mom booked and meeting Traveling Mom deadlines things may be a big quiet over here for a few more days. I have lots to share and will try to carve out time as often as I can.
If you came to FT4RL, what did you take away? Any suggestions for next time? Please share in the comments.
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