Wedding Guest: Elisa from Globetrotting in Heels {Winter Wedding Special}

island of sardinia

Today I want you to meet Elisa from Globetrotting in Heels. She is last one of my virtual wedding guests. But I’ve also met Elisa in May last year during The Hive. And just for meeting her it was all worth it. She is truly a person who’s seen the world. Or better – lived all over the world, in so many countries and is still hungry for more. I am so happy she is sharing her most favorite place today. 

If I had to use one word to describe myself, I would probably say vagabond.

I realize that this specific word has a negative connotation, but hear me out: where one may think of a vagrant who leads such an instable existence that he doesn’t have any ties to any specific place, I see a soul who has such a strong wish for freedom and adventure that one beautiful place is just not enough, for so many more are out there calling their name. Where one may see someone who chooses a life of loneliness and isolation with no place to call home, I see someone who wants to make friends everywhere, whose family isn’t limited to blood relations, who has not one but many homes, because home is where your heart is, and I have left a bit of my heart in every place I have visited or where I have lived.

So, vagabond  it is, then. If it was up to me, I would be constantly on the go, always flying, walking, driving, riding somewhere. My life would literally be a constant journey, each destination just a stop on the way to the next one.

And yet of all the beautiful places I can think of, there is one that I cannot imagine not returning to on a regular basis: my home island of Sardinia, in the middle of the Mediterranean Sea.

island of sardinia

When I think of Sardinia, three words come to mind: Wild. Beautiful. Warm.

WILD. This is a land of lush, savage vegetation, sharp cliffs that dive into the emerald-blue sea; a land where often locations can only be reached by boat or by driving on unpaved country roads so bumpy you might wish you had rented a jeep, and often wonder if you took a wrong turn somewhere, until you get to the place and you’re all ah, that’s what all the fuss was about! Totally worth it.

island of sardinia

BEAUTIFUL. This isn’t something that anyone who has ever been to Sardinia will argue with – for how can you argue about the beauty of the white sandy beaches, of water so transparent that you can see people swimming in it even while you are standing at the top of a cliff, of the many colors clashing and marrying in nature, from the yellow of the Spanish Broom flowers to the dark green of the bushes, to the pale beige of the sand, to the blue-green of the water?

island of sardinia

WARM. Sardinia isn’t the land of eternal summer, but from where I am standing, in chilly mountainous Switzerland, it may as well be. Three full months of hot summer, warm spring and fall, and mild winters. And in any season, you can go for a walk on the beach, hear the waves crashing on the shore, smell the sea and breathe that fresh, wonderful, revitalizing sea air. I just love it.

island of sardinia

Is it because it’s home, or is it because it’s awesome? Either way, as favorite places go, it’ll do nicely, won’t it?

island of sardinia

Wow. I am enchanted. I do think I really really need to set foot on this island. It is definitely coming on my want-to-visit list. Thank you Elisa for being my guest. I am really honored.
All pictures are © by Elisa www.globetrottinginheels.com and may not be used without her permission.

Ideas, Inspiration and a To-Do List {The HIVE 2013 Part II}

The Hive 2013 in Berlin The buzz is this way

Hey there,

want to read more about my last weekend at The Hive conference in Berlin where bloggers from Europe met for a busy buzzing weekend. Also read my recap of Saturday.

The Hive 2013 in Berlin, honey comb decoration, green stairs

On Sunday there were fewer sessions but just as interesting:

Blogger networks by Kristen Jassies
→ I didn’t really know what to expect at this keynote so I was positively surprised. Kristen believes that networks will be the bloggers future. They might not even own a blog but blog as authors on plattforms. There is a lot happening there and that’s where you could make money. Networks can increase your site traffic and exposure. And they connect you with other bloggers. Networks provide expert knowledge you can use (contacts to PR agencies, SEO knowledge, etc.) Résumé: Very interesting, some possibilities to grow faster and maybe even make money – unless you don’t want this.

SEO beginners & advanced by George Seebode
→ For me this was the workshop I learned the most. George made a rather uninteresting topic fun and understandable. SEO (search engine optimization) helps you to increase traffic on your blog. Pro: it doesn’t cost a thing! Con: very time consuming. I could write an entire post on this topic. Are you interested?
Résumé: Lot of input, better understanding of topic, basics learned, list of things to-do. Most valuable for me this entire weekend.

SEO Keynote The Hive 2013 in Berlin

Pretty up your blogposts by Janna Krupinski
→ Janna seems a very nice and creative lady. Her key point was that our visual habit has changed and it is not enough anymore to post a picture. You rather need to make it look even better by integrating nice typo, frames or icons. She mentioned a few websites to do this online and which are for free: pixlr or picmonkey.
Résumé: Might need to invest time to pretty up my post. Need to learn more about graphic programs.

Turn your blog into a brand by Kai Petermann
→ Think! Burn! Keep calm! that is how you build a brand according to Kai. Have a concept! Burn for your passion – be brave, be unique, be yourself. Have patience while it grows.
Résumé: One of the weaker keynotes. Summed up the weekend.

The Hive 2013 in Berlin, busines cards on european map
All bloggers could hang their business cards on a sewn burlap map of Europe. Germany was quite crowded.

So you see it was work I did. There were a few keynotes I missed because I was focusing on serious topics to get me started but I really wished I could have listened to Luisa’s keynote on “how to organize your on and offline life” or Jenni’s presentation about “niche blogging”. I missed my mini group with Emily on “how to find great and innovative content”. Did anyone go there? Was it good? There are presentations for download. Some speakers put them on their blog so you might wanna check it out.

The Hive 2013 in Berlin with my cute masking tape notebook

As I have mentioned in my first post about The Hive I was a little concerned about getting to know other people. There are moments where I just feel lost and wonder if anyone wants to talk to me. My concerns were so stupid. I met some nice girls and you really should be checking out their blogs:

♥ Andreea from Stylish Dreams
♥ Bronwyn from Simply for Flying her flight log book was in our goodie bags
♥ Danielle from Danielle abroad
♥ Elise from Globetrotting in Heels
♥ Lauren from Folies du Bonheur who has made the honeycomb decorations
♥ Sharon from Travel meets Food

I guess I was intimidated so I didn’t talk to anyone who’s blog I already read. Well besides Danny from Cozy and Cuddly – I had lunch with her. There will always be next year to connect with more bloggers…

Have a great weekend. I need to relax. Cheers Tobia

 

Ideas, Inspiration and a To-Do List {The HIVE 2013 Part I}

the hive 2013 berlin decoration

Well, here I am. Reading all the blog post of bloggers around Europe and how they experienced The HIVE 2013. By now I wonder if I have anything new to say but you know what, it is MY blog and I feel like writing it down so I can go back and remember all the things I’ve learned. You know, my mind is like swiss cheese….

I have been tiptoeing around The HIVE website for a couple months always one click away from buying a ticket. Then I read they were sold out. So I was too late. However I ended up getting a ticket through the waiting list one week prior to the event. YEAH ME!

It was a weird feeling. I am very new to blogging (5 months) and I didn’t know anyone. So I figured who is interested in my story? Who will want to talk to me? Will I have the guts to talk to people who’ve been in the blogging business for ages?! Well the answer is yes and no.

the hive 2013 berlin the buzz is this way

Despite some conference reviews I’ve read (from rather experienced bloggers) I have learned a lot. For me as a total beginner the conference gave me some direction, maybe even a guideline. It was totally worth it and I am glad I spend that money.

the hive 2013 berlin decoration
Speakers at The HIVE 2013 in Berlin @betahaus

So here are my keynotes and workshops I’ve visited:

How to make a kick ass media kit by Hauptstadtmutti
→ This keynote gave an overview on how to create a media kit. Most things for me were common sense like include all statistics, short blog description, have a great layout, indicate ad possibilities, have regular posts, etc. However I thought it interesting that from their experience it took about 1,5 year until the blog was interesting for sponsors at all. I also thought it was a good tip to talk to other blogs in your field and know about prices. Further they are also approaching companies proactively.
Résumé: Not relevant for me right now, but good to know the basics in case I’ll need it later on.

Blogging for the fun of it by Tina Fussel
→ Wonderful and inspiring lady with typically American motivational spirit: “blogging is a journey” or “your blog is your artwork and a piece of you” also “your blog is your portfolio” Tina suggest “promote artists you like without wanting something back” and her advice “take e-vacations”
Résumé: I left this keynote motivated and enthusiastic about my blogging endeavor. 
I believe for some experienced bloggers this could have been eye-opening. It was a great keynote however it didn’t give me as much as others. 

Blogging for your business by Eleanor Mayrhofer
 This keynote was about how a blog can support your business. Eleanor is a wonderful speaker and I could have listened for hours. She was very enthusiastic about her work. Her #1 tip: find the right keywords for your business. When you have a reader don’t let them leave (shut the door behind them) and funnel them deeper into your blog, don’t have links to partners etc. to distract your readers. Be personal, tell stories, provide transparency and have content. Her 2 T = traffic & trust.
Résumé: It was a great keynote however I wasn’t the target group. I don’t have a business. But you never know when those tips come in helpful in my day job ;-)

Social Media – how to use it and how not to use it! by we are social
→ Well, lets say it was a great company presentation if I would have been a client with a social media budget. Only real thing I learned – a give-away increases your blog traffic but you most likely will not draw loyal readers.
Résumé: Second weakest presentation this entire weekend. Too bad I really hoped I hear something about the relevance of the different social media channels.

Google Analytics by Patrick Singer (Google)
→ Patrick gave an overview on Google Analytics and tried to explain how it works. As in real life set goals – otherwise you can valuate the data you receive. He also explained that the 80% bounce rate on a blog post page is not bad at all (lot of people get there through a reader) however a 80% bounce rate on your home page should make you think. He recommends to change one thing at a time and check the effects.
Résumé: I need to take a deeper look into Google Analytics, set goals and work with it. And I realized it will be a lot of work and effort. 

Color Trends by Pantone
→ Honestly, I don’t really know what to tell you about this keynote. No notes in my book.
Résumé: I was really hoping to learn something or get an insight – nothing. Worst keynote and really a waste of time.

the hive 2013 berlin keynotes
Keynotes at THE HIVE 2013

German Law by Dr. Ina Kaulen
→ This was the only speaker who has been at The Hive 2012. Therefore she didn’t go into detail about imprint and such. Ina pointed out that using a quote on a blog can be very tricky. Officially you always need an ok by the author (so called Zitatschranke UrhG §5). She also indicated that pinterest is somewhat a grey area. However when repining there shouldn’t be a problem since the pictures are still on the original site.
Résumé: Even though the very basics a blog needs to meet in German law where missing I learned something.

Design for mankind by Erin Loechner
 Erin has been blogging for 12 years and made a business out of it 7 years ago. She was at the conference via google hangout. Like Tina, Erin believes that blogging is a journey and telling where you are in life.
Résumé: This was probably one of the funnest and most motivational keynotes I attended. I will write a separate post about Erin’s guideline to successful blogging.

E-mags by Marlous Snijder
 Marlous became editor of her own e-mag after loosing her job in 2009. Friends of her encouraged her to start and pursue her dream. So no surprise her strongest recommendation is “make it public – make it happen”. Her advice: throw a launch party when finishing such a project. I also liked her last sentence: “Give it time to grow”.
Résumé: Very inspirational, makes you wanna start your own mag right away. At the same time showing realistically how much hard work and time you need to sacrifice.

the hive 2013 berlin decoration

This was my Saturday. Exhausted? Yeah me too. There was a BBQ scheduled for the evening. Due to rain and cold lousy weather it was held inside. After feeling a little lost in the beginning I ended up having a wonderful great time. Coming home Mr. ♥ had to listen to my babble until I was too tired to talk.

Well I need to go to bed. I hope Sunday’s story will be online during the week.

Take care

Tobia

 

SPARKLE BLUE to calm my mind {color me happy}

sparkling blue styrofoam balls

Coming back from THE HIVE (europeans blogger conference in Berlin) I’m still totally flashed. I hear blue is good to calm your mind. So while I sort my thoughts and impression I show a few SPARKling BLUE pictures.

sparkling blue styrofoam balls

I plan on turning them into some jewelry so stay around to see the result.

sparkling blue styrofoam balls

You might wanna stroll over to Bine and Andrea to check out the other contributions to this month’s color me happy SPARKLE BLUE.

I’ll be back with some more insights on the conference.
Love Tobia

I’m going to THE HIVE – Meine erste Blogger Konferenz AHHHH

Huhu ihr lieben,

nachdem ich letzte Woche aus Zeitgründen den FFF aussetzen musste, wollt ich mich diese Woche wieder daran beteiligen. Eigentlich. Denn ich finde die dies-wöchigen Fragen sehr ähm bäähhh. Also wieder nix hier.

Ist aber auch ok. Dann kann ich mich noch ein bisschen auf mein Wochenende vorbereiten.

I’m going to THE HIVE!!!!!

I_am_going_to_The_Hive_2

Ich habe ganz furchtbar kurzfristig noch ein Ticket ergattern können und habe dann ohne lange nachzudenken ja gesagt. Und nun sitz ICH auf einer Blogger Konferenz. Ahhhhaaaa wo ich doch gerade mal 5 Monate dabei bin. Keine Ahnung habe was ich hier tue, viele Sachen die ich gern hätte nicht umsetzen kann, bei manchen Worten nur Bahnhof verstehe und doch alles SO spannend finde. Ja, ich geh dahin. Und werde wahrscheinlich mit einem völligen Overload an Ideen, Inspirationen und To-Do unf Must-Dos und Want-Tos zurückkehren.

Aber vorher mache ich heute noch einen Abstecher in diesen Laden. Huii bin ich gespannt.
Und dann bastle ich noch ein paar Visitenkarten…

Bei mir also ein ereignisreiches Wochenende in Sicht. Und bei euch so? Treff ich jemanden in Berlin? Das wäre ja toll.

Liebe Grüße, Tobia