I just landed back on U.S. soil after three and a half weeks down under and boy, do I have a lot to share with you!
My main reason for traveling to Australia and New Zealand was to teach four Blogcademy classes alongside Kat and Gala. Our first of the bunch took place in Brisbane. We’d spent a full week leading up to the class exploring Queensland as guests of the tourism and events board and I’ll be honest — after cuddling koalas, ziplining through the rain forest and taking a helicopter ride over the great barrier reef, I was struggling to switch back into work mode. But after arriving at Bleeding Heart, an art gallery by day, I settled in and the excitement of kicking off our first Australian class ever began to build.
I’d designed these totes the month before while sitting on a friend’s couch in LA. A color-blocked kangaroo just seemed like the right fit at the time. Little did I know that I’d come face-to-face with a pack of them on my first full day in Australia!
Inside their goodie bags, each attendee received our 50 page workbook covering key learnings along with bonus articles.
As we made our way through the crowd during our afternoon activities, I spotted this awesome illustration of Gala by artist Jane Davenport!
During an interview with a magazine a few nights ago, I was asked what stood out the most about teaching classes in Australia. After spending the year traveling the world, I noticed something noticeably different about this crowd — there was a sense of pure excitement when it came to blogging.
Sure, the money component came up at some points but I felt that the audiences put more value on self-expression than earning an income. Blogging in Australia hasn’t hit its peak yet like it has in the U.S. and seeing these women getting fired up about the potential their blogs held really inspired me to remember why I started blogging in the first place.
Our Brisbabes were a colorful bunch and rocked fuzzy koala ears courtesy of the Tourism and Events Queensland — I’d like to think they were an homage to our little friend Brandy.
Our scholarship winner Gabriella was a total sweetheart and won us over with handmade jewelry she gifted us featuring our pets. I can’t wait to start wearing my Rocky necklace.
I especially loved our prize selection this time around because we bought everything from the Bleeding Heart shop featuring local artisans.
Our Australian sponsors killed it with an awesome mix of well-designed goodies. Bite Me delivered a tasty batch of perfectly branded cupcakes!
The ladies loved these adorable origami earrings by Imogen Wilson.
Crown and Glory made sure we were covered in the sparkly ears department.
Mi Goals provided our class with notebooks to scribble down all their notes. Their practical, minimal designs immediately won me over.
I loved the mix of necklaces Art School Dropout sent along.
Our class loved the mix of scents by Sacred Self.
Twinkie Chan’s coffee cozies are always a hit — a lucky contest winner grabbed one of her hand-knitted creations.
A Koala-inspired Class Photo
A class photo taken while decked out in fuzzy koala ears suited our Brisbabes quite well. What a stylish bunch!
Ha, look at those faces! What a weekend. It’s so funny to think back now…Australia was a place I never thought I’d have the opportunity to visit. To say my time down under was life changing is a huge understatement. I’m already jonesin’ for our trip next year covering Melbourne, Sydney and Auckland.
If you’d like to join us for a Blogcademy workshop in 2014, you can sign up right here. I hope to see you on the road!
All photos by Janneke Storm.