This year I wasn't able to attend BlogHer.  It was in New York City again, so I was sort of sad to miss it.  It is a whirlwind 3 day conference that includes seminars, , social media, networking and conversations with lots of like minded women, parties, dancing, fancy drinks, dressing up (for parties with fancy drinks), sponsors, swag, etc.

I ended up doing the opposite instead. Not by design.  But when I look back my weekend was about as different than BlogHer as I could have possibly gone.  I went camping in the Alberta mountains with family, friends and 7 boys age 10 and under (we actually had 8 at one point).    So...

  • instead of seminars which expanded my learning and inspired me to new ideas, I sat and stared at the fire or the trees depending on the time of day.
  • instead of an estrogen filled weekend my sister-in-law and I sat and watched in awe as 7 boys chased each other through the trees for hours on end.
  • instead of constant online connection to friends worldwide, I had NO cell signal and no contact with the outside world.  Unless we drove 5 minutes to the pay phone.
  • instead of parties and fancy drinks I made smores by the fire and dunked them into my Bailey's (served in a fancy camping cup).
  • instead of dancing all night with friends, I did the "pee as quick as you can" in the smelly outhouse or "balance yourself in the bushes" dances.
  • instead of dressing up I wore pretty much the same (mosquito repellant, fire and sun screen smelling) clothing for 3 days.
  • instead of wandering by sponsor exhibits at a safe 3 feet distance (perfect to browse and still have an optimal escape route), I saw a mama grizzly and her 3 cubs from the comfort of my car.   From about that same 3 foot distance.  This one gave new meaning to "escape route".  And gave my son a story to tell for years.

There was a couple of similarities though. I discovered that a picture of me on a 3rd day without a shower is not that dis-similar to one taken at 3am after several hours of dancing and cocktails.  And yes, that is my fancy Addition Elle teal bra peeking out.  Just because I'm out in the bush doesn't mean I can't bring a little fancy with me.

Me after 3 days of camping in my favourite Smoking Lily tank, Addition Elle bra and hot pink sunglasses I got at last year's Blogher.


Blogher and camping are also similar in that you always need to plan your bathroom trips.  At Blogher you rush over between breaks and when you happen to be on the same side of the building as a bathroom.  While camping you plan trips to the playground, which happens to be next to the flush toilets, at the right times of the day. And you ensure you only have to visit the outhouse first thing in the morning - NEVER in the mid day heat.

I also came home from both exhausted, but fresh with new ideas.  Sometimes doing nothing can provide as much inspiration as a busy conference weekend.