I delivered a keynote at a conference just before Christmas. The conference was all about destination branding and marketing. Tom Buncle presented before me and discussed the case of Colombia. So, what comes to mind when you think about Colombia? Interestingly, in recent times, they have done great things with their tourism economy and I chuckled when we were told about the brand campaign they had been running.
Colombia. The only thing you need worry about is not wanting to leave.
Especially because I am going there on Saturday to spend two weeks paragliding between Medellin and a place called Cali which is about 430km further south. Yes, Pablo Escobar is all I know of Medellin too!
So, I am going to be somewhat ‘off grid’. From what I understand where we are going really is an area of outstandingly bad mobile reception. Please bear with me. Of course, having the opportunity to pursue my passion and take a break means I will return to work re-energised and with a bunch of fresh ideas. That’s good for me as well as the clients I work with.
I will try and post on twitter and Instagram when connectivity allows. If you are interested, you can also follow my progress on a map via SPOT Satellite Messaging and Tracking. If you see a SOS message you’ll know, at least in my case, Colombia’s brand campaign wasn’t true!
Tags: nice stuff, Our News, paragliding
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I’ve been on holidays. A three-week holiday in fact. For the most part I didn’t try and check in with the office, keep tabs on email or maintain a blog. Because what I really needed above all else was a proper break. Sure I spent the best part of three months preparing things for my departure, tying things up and handing things over … but guess what … it was worth it.
Paragliding is one of my passions and one that I have somewhat neglected since the arrival of young Tom 627 days ago. But on this trip I managed a handful of really good days flying, amongst stunning glaciers and 4,000m peaks in Switzerland and some ‘chocolate box’ flying around Lake Annecy in France. Paragliding might be boring, dangerous and expensive but for me it represents one of the few times in our day to day lives when you really are, once stepping off that hill, responsible for your own destiny. It’s pure. It’s liberating. It’s reviving.
It’s good for the soul
There’s a lot of waiting around involved but more often than not you are in a stunning, or at least interesting place. That’s good in itself. Once you do step of the hill it’s the simplicity, independence and focused nature of free flying that really works for me. You can’t step off or take a break. You have to deal with what happens there and then. Feedback and results are immediate. It’s a great antidote to the sometimes complex world of work.
It’s good for the mind
A break from work helps you find perspective. Something else to focus your attention on speeds up that process. It’s a kind of disk defrag for the mind. It’s a way of rewiring the neural pathways you develop when working too hard for too long. What’s more that helps great ideas come to light. Like it or not back in the office things won’t change or happen without them.
And it’s often about the people
I have lived, visited and flown in over ten different countries. Many of the people I have met along the way I am either still in touch with, or for the brief time I spent with them, they have often inspired me or at the very least brought a different perspective on things. Mad Dog Chris who I flew with last week for example, who lives in Hawaii and works in a restaurant but spends more time flying, kiting and surfing than waiting tables. These people help remind you there is a whole world out there and there is more than one way to skin a cat.
So armed with a better state of mind, some fresh ideas and maybe a different approach to things I am returning to the office. And that’s good for business.
So take a break and pursue your passion.
And if you want to learn to fly you could do a lot worse than go visit my good friends Rob and Nic at Fly Spain in Andalucía. You won’t regret it.
Tags: holidays, nice stuff, paragliding
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My friend and much valued colleague Bryn always tells me to blog about non-work related stuff. Today is Saturday. I love Saturdays. It’s the one day of the week when I try to do absolutely nothing work related. Today I went flying.
So why flying, or more accurately paragliding? Amongst other things I think it is the simplicity and self sufficiency of it all that makes it such a good antidote to work and our day to day lives. You really are pulling the strings. You can’t jump off, take a break or rely on anyone else. You have to deal with what is thrown at you. Right there. Right then.
So why the blog title? A long time ago I worked with the guys at Wings and Waves in New Zealand. We had this printed on our t-shirts. Most of the time not. But some of the time yes. You don’t always get to the hill and find it flyable. You can spend a lot of time and effort getting to that point. Sometimes things can and do go wrong.
If I haven’t put you off go check out Jérôme Maupoint’s photos and be inspired further. If you want to learn to do something boring, dangerous and expensive the British Hang Gliding and Paragliding Association can help point you in the right direction. It’s worth it.
Tags: nice stuff, paragliding