I officially said “Yes” to my first speaking engagement at the THRIVE Conference in Madrid on November 5th. At the top of the year I read Year of Yes by Shonda Rhimes and this opportunity came right on time, just before 2016 closes out.
When Sienna Brown, the founder of Las Morenas de Espana, reached out to me over the summer about speaking at THRIVE, I was thrilled but nervous. However, I knew I had to say yes despite my feelings of doubt. She had in mind a session about moving abroad after 30 and wanted me to facilitate a discussion surrounding the stigma of making such a leap. More importantly, how to make the most of your time while abroad.
Thankfully, unlike any other meeting I’ve had to facilitate, this type of topic and discussion comes naturally to me. After all, I’m living in this reality of being 30+ and living abroad and I know exactly what works and doesn’t work for me. I have first-hand experience that may inspire others with their journeys as well and so I was honored to share my story.
Fast-forward to November 5th and I am happy to report that THRIVE was a successful, incredible gathering of so many creative & ambitious ex-pats. It’s been a while since I have found myself with so many like-minded individuals and I was bursting with inspiration the entire day! There were a variety of sessions for attendees like “Honing Creativity Through Travel, “How to Start a Purposeful Business”, “Instagram & Authenticity: How to Grow an Engaged Community”, “Self-love & Representation Online”, and “Cultural Immersion Through the Kitchen” just to name a few(these are the ones I got the chance to attend). The other speakers were talented entrepreneurs, activists, and creatives that have successfully built wonderful lives abroad and eager to teach others how to do the same.
So how did my session entitled, “Making the Leap: Making the Most of Living Abroad in Your 30s” turn out you ask? IT WAS AMAZING! And after a minute, can you believe I wasn’t even nervous? Yes, me. The self-proclaimed introvert. I know, I know – being an introvert doesn’t mean that I am shy or can’t speak in front of people. However, you know us introverts would rather be the observers and listeners most of the time. One of the attendees of my session even commented afterwards saying, “I can’t believe you are an introvert!”.
It was incredibly comforting to meet other 30-somethings in my session living their best lives abroad and who could relate to my experience.
It’s safe to say that I hope this is just the beginning of opportunities in which I can speak in front of my peers in the name of inspiration and going after your dreams.
Thank you Las Morenas de Espana(Hey Sienna & Danni!) for giving me the opportunity to hopefully inspire, be inspired, and most importantly, THRIVE. In addition, allowing me to connect with new friends & fellow ex-pats. The work that you do is appreciated and admired by many, especially by me.