Travel is like love, mostly because it’s a heightened state of awareness in which we are mindful, receptive, undimmed by familiarity, ready to be transformed. That is why the best trips, like the best love affairs, never really end.
– Pico Iyer
Architects, Designers and Artists love to travel to find inspiration in the built environment, the surrounding landscape, surrounding workshops and local culture.
I enjoy group trips because I often find my travel companions to be equally inspiring as the destination.
Without exception I can speak to both of my recent trips – The Kitchen and Bath Industry Show (KBIS) in Las Vegas with Modenus and Cevisama in Valenica, Spain with Tile of Spain.
On BlogTour KBIS I was with 24 other Design Bloggers. That’s an overwhelming number and it can be quite intimidating. Add in the professional accolades of many of these women and you could easily find yourself thinking you don’t work hard enough.
This photo is from our first night together. It was wonderful to finally meet many of the ladies I had previously only known online. The number one comment I got that night was that many expected me to be taller. This of course, made me chuckle.
The next day we toured the Wynn Las Vegas and the Encore Tower Suites. Immediately it became interesting to see where each member of our group was drawn. I knew no detail would go unnoticed with these designers and I took notice of design details I might otherwise have overlooked.
The high roller suites we looked at were incredible. It was like stepping into someone else’s life. Sorry, no photos were allowed but I can share this view from a luxury suite.
This was the largest Blogtour group Modenus has ever put together and it was the first all female group. I was a little worried going in that there may be some personalities that might not mesh well or that cliques would form from women who already knew each other prior to the trip.
The strength of the women in this group incredibly broke down many barriers and I saw myself and others getting out of our comfort zones to live in the moments that had been created.
We broke into groups to explore vendor booths. The smaller groups made it easier to get to know each other. Here we are on day two at Top Knobs.
I really dislike taking selfies but with some help I posted many to social media. I found that many of my followers at home really liked these pictures. Maybe one day I’ll get better at self promotion.
There were discussions about personal loss, business trials and tribulations and future plans. My favorite moment had nothing to do with design. It was learning a friend on the trip is cancer free. I think we all fear that we could one day face a debilitating health scare and possibly go through it alone – I know I do.
At the end of the day we may want to surround ourselves with pretty and luxurious objects but I’d rather have a group of friends I can strip down all the barriers with.
On our final day we had a Hammam Spa experience. It was terrific – better than terrific. Allowing myself to decompress made me realize I had been holding a lot in. In the quiet haze of the steam room, covered in clay; my body released the chemical toxins generated by the repression.
At that moment I didn’t need to “maintain control” and it made me more prepared to move forward.
Moving forward meant pushing through a cold to leave in a week for the Cevisama Tile Show in Spain with Tile of Spain.
As you can see, this group is half the size and more varied as it’s a mix of designers and editors.
This group bonded quickly and we were immediately protective of one another since so many of us were snapping pictures and taking notes and posting to social media while walking. We never lost a person. In fact, we even chose to spend our free time together.
I laughed so hard on this trip. It could have been the wine but I think I just felt really comfortable. There was so much bonding over food we instantly became like family.
I feel really fortunate to have met this group. Usually after a week together even family wants to get away from one another. Towards the end of our last Architectural tour I tried to take in as much of Valencia as I could. I knew I couldn’t stay transfixed forever. Soon I’d be back home with all too familiar routines and dinner for one.