I’ve experienced quite a bit of change in the past year.
I lived in Oklahoma for six-weeks, producing a movie.
My ten-year relationship ended.
I started working in an office again.
I stopped and decided to go back to my running my own agency.
But most importantly, in that whole mess of change, I stopped being the truest version of my charismatic, motivated self. And that right there could quite possibly be the hardest loss of them all. I used to be exceptionally active here on the site and across the web on various social media platforms (Twitter being my fave. Follow me there. If you dare.). I suppose I figured that a new me didn’t deserve to be the old me. The one who fought for tomorrow was absolutely, unequivocally not allowed to be any part of the old me.
Then I was invited to step outside of this new normal (what is normal anyway) and step back into the influencer universe with my friends at Kia.
They’ve welcomed me into the #KiaFamily a few times before, exploring ocean caves in Santa Barbara and becoming a roadie as we followed music from one iconic city to another.
This time it was a quick trip to San Diego to explore #TheNewKia. Of course, the entire trip was riddled with rock and roll. We stayed at the fabulous Hard Rock Hotel in San Diego’s Gaslamp District. There were delicious foods to eat, tasty beverages to drink and a camaraderie like you’ve never known.
We had the opportunity to explore the greater San Diego area in the new Kia Stinger.
photo by Jon Bailey of 2 Dads with Baggage
Each group was tasked with creating a quick music video in the span of a few hours and we, The Hitchhikers, had a blast putting it together.
Admittedly, I walked into this event more anxious than I’ve ever been in the near eleven years I’ve been online. It was as if I was walking into school on the first day after I’d been shipped off to boarding school for the year prior.
Would anyone remember me?
Would anyone know me?
Would I “still have it”?
It was a new experience, sure. But it was truly a familiar one all the same.
it me and Jon Bailey of 2 Dads with Baggage
There were faces I hadn’t seen in a while and some I’d never seen at all. Everyone was warm and welcoming and reminiscent and willing to create new memories and that’s precisely the definition of family one might expect from a program designed and executed by a company like Kia. A company whose goal is to share in everyone’s individual story. It’s why I love that I have the opportunity to work with them so closely. The people that the community of supporters, on both sides, are humans first and brands second.
Because honestly, if I’ve learned anything in my long, long, loooooong time in the marketing space, it’s that there is no success of the latter without the former.