Barcelona from my home (and the moon setting in a very early spring morning)
So, you probably haven’t heard from me via email for a while. Most of you might know I have been travelling, and, scaling my business, Authenticitys. And maybe you have been following some of my adventures via social media.
Well….today is a bit different.
Today is a holiday in Barcelona, where I am at the moment, and I wanted to take a bit of time to share something more personal.
I was recently out with friends who are as passionate about experiences as I am. We not only like to ask each other “What are the best experiences in different places we travel to?”, but what actually makes for good experiences. And what this particular group of friends didn’t know (yet) is that for years for my birthday I have been designing experiences for myself, but that every year the stakes seem to be getting higher when I consider what the experiences for THAT day should actually be. This got me thinking about how I should share some of these experiences with you. You will see why as you read further.
All my closest friends know that I love to celebrate my birthday (September 19th) in a very experiential way. I always, always celebrate it…regardless of where I might be in the world, or who I am surrounded by. Some years I have celebrated it with complete strangers that then became friends.
I think of my birthday as a time of celebration, and also of pushing my boundaries a bit further, expanding and changing. I usually look at what I have experienced so far in life, and where I am at, personally and professionally. And then rather than make new goals, I seek to have an experience that might expand who I am. Some of my friends laugh with me and at me…but I think I get them to think about what experiences can help them grow too.
Here are just a few examples of past years for me:
• Sleeping out in the open in a mountain 6,000 kms from where I live.
• Walking +500 kms by myself in Camino de Santiago.
• Going into a retreat called “Radical Aliveness” where I lived every human emotion in one day (in a beautiful place though!).
• Flew to San Francisco to start a company (not terribly original, but it happened).
• Being in absolute silence for days.
• Deciding all the art pieces in my apartment would be made by me or people I know personally (they are not that scary, but definitely abstract!)
• Write another book
• Not plan my birthday or any weekend for a year
• Say “yes” to as many random things as possible that came my way (these have taken interesting directions!)
• Just “be” for the day
…and the list goes on.
Some were experiences that require time and effort, others were about slowing down, or doing something that scared me. The intention is to create something new, shifting things, so to speak.
Anyways, even though this year wasn’t a “big number” year
, it felt hugely different.
I’ve found myself that there had been an accumulation of small paradigm shifts happening in the way I experience life. No midlife crisis yet (and luckily no burnout since the last one 5 years ago!).
Maybe it’s everything that is going on in the world, the news, or the way I look at things…or maybe it’s just the spring…who knows!
You may be asking, “Elena, so why are you telling us this now?”
What I didn’t tell you before about my birthday experience this past year – it was with two close friends, inside an apartment on a rainy day, thinking about how we can serve better, how we can best invest our time, and our energy with everything going on now. It was about how we can show up for others! How I can show up for YOU!
As many of you have noticed, I have been investing in redoing and revamping the way I do business. From this +10 years doing what I am doing, the last years were the ones I did the most thinking, feeling and further investing into connecting the dots. In fact, I even went ahead and spent a LOT of money on high-level coaching and trainings that have led to a realisation of intense breakthroughs and AHAs that had been building up all this time. This sort of clarity has taken me to a new version of myself as an entrepreneur and experience designer. And I have been sharing these revelations through my live teaching and masterclasses, and for those people who I get to physically meet.
But…(the infamous “But”)…
There is one REALLY BIG request I have been getting so frequently and I’ve been holding back – despite many of you asking for it.
I’m contemplating doing something about it. But I’m nervous because it means sharing with you more of myself and my business than I have in the past.
And I’m also going to need your help.
Anyway, the REALLY BIG request is…(will share in the next post)
-Elena Rodríguez Blanco, the experiential travel human
P.S. I’ll be back with more details in a couple of days. But until then, share in the comments what are some incredible experiences you’ve had that changed you. Does anyone else do something crazy for his or her birthday or any other day?