Two weeks ago I was sitting in Coach by my lonesome on my way back to Charles De Gaulle Airport (“Chuck D” as I like to refer to it as) in Paris en route to Milano, Italy (to see my beloved) for the second time in 2 months when it hit me….by the end of this trip, I will have been on 19 air planes since mid-November; 25 planes in the past year…
But who’s counting?
When I broke it down it didn’t sound as exciting…I’d only been on 7 trips in the past year. Seven. Then again, maybe that was exciting. No. Yes. It was. I’ve never traveled this much in my life actually.
I can’t take credit for all of this travel. It was right time right place kind of stuff. It started with the Sundance Film Festival last year. Thanks to Girl Power Hour, I was able to score myself an all expenses paid trip to the Sundance Film Festival courtesy o f Stella Artois. We gave away a trip for two to (now blogger), Shauna Nuckles because her super creative video got the most likes (read about her trip to Sundance and her encounter with James Franco here). I didn’t post a video, but they took care of me too (being Founder and all), and everything else from air travel to hotel stays with heated floors to films to night life and most of all…to endless pints Stella Artois.
Aweek later I was off to NYC for a ten day trip that would eventually take me to London and back. As one of 250 winners from around the country, I descended upon the big apple for the elaborate fodder of the British Airways Face of Opportunity conference held in Times Square. The initial 2-day conference was a star stuffed affair showcasing the likes of Barbara Corcoran from the Shark Tank, Bill Rancic from The Apprentice, reality star turned multi-million dollar business women Bethenny Frankle, other lesser known (but not less important) leaders in social media, finance, business affairs and…a heck of lot of champagne. And that was just the beginning….
After an intense yet exciting conference and a few lavish cocktails parties, all 250 of us were bused to JFK at 6am for open bar and breakfast in the British Airways Lounge before boarding our very own chartered British Airways jet for a first-class flight to London.
It was networking at 38,000 feet with entrepreneurs and endless champagne.
I found myself wondering how much they must have spent on champagne alone but that wasn’t the half of it. Each of us was awarded 1 round trip ticket anywhere in the world that BA flew. Huh!? Pinch me.
But first…Heathrow airport in London with NO WAIT.
We were ushered in and out like VIP’s before settling into our very own rooms at the very high-tech and ultra convenient Sofitel Hotel located at Terminal 5. We had 1 hour to freshen up before yet another cocktail party with our peers, execs from BA, pilots of the plane and even more champagne. (Would it ever end?) By this point I had made some cool contacts and even met some winners from Seattle, unexpectedly enough (Kelly Su from Shi Golf and Odette D’Aneillo from Celebrity Cake Studio).
The next day we engaged in another conference and more networking before we were let loose. It had been 12 years since I went to school at the American Intercontinental University in London,England in 1998. I spent the next two days exploring my former stomping ground with new friends before heading back to Seattle by way of NYC for a few days.
Montreal, Canada was up next. Stay tuned…
Follow Darnell on Twitter @darnellsue and on Tumbler.
Darnell is the founder of Girl Power Hour, with which she strives to empower, celebrate and inspire women. She has a BA in Business Administration with an emphasis in Marketing and International Business and has worked in TV, radio, print media and event planning over the last 15 years. She is passionate about helping and connecting women to brands and other women. She enjoys traveling the world, tweeting and staying connected. @darnellsue @GirlPowerHour #whatsnext
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