How Traveling to Canada Enhanced My Spirituality & Growth as a Writer
I’m a Sagittarius. Which means I love to travel. I’m a wander-luster…wanderer…adventure seeker. SO when the website I’d been writing for invited me to a convention in Whistler, Canada, I jumped at the opportunity. The only time I’d been to Canada was as a child and it was a brief visit to Niagara Falls. I’d never been to the Pacific Northwest, nor to Whistler or Vancouver, Canada, so needless to say, I was pumped! Here was a chance to visit another country (a beautiful part of the world) AND network with other writers and publishers. The trip turned out to be a spiritually-enhancing experience, and helped me grow as a writer and a person.
First Moments in Vancouver
After only having a month to get my affairs in order, which included having my passport rushed to me after realizing my maiden name was still on it, I was thrilled to travel to Vancouver and then Whistler, my final destination. I traveled by way of plane through Denver and landed in Vancouver in the afternoon. Turned out the CEO of the company I wrote for was on my flight from Denver to Vancouver, he and his family. Surprisingly, they sat at the back of the plane.
When I arrived in Vancouver, after going through customs, I found the bus that would take me and other writers to the Whistler resort. The first woman I sat by on the bus would come to tell me she makes six figures from her blog. SIX FIGURES. We compared notes on monthly traffic, and she told me something shocking – “for the amount of traffic you’re getting to your articles, you should be making MUCH more than what you are.” It never occurred to me that what this company was paying me was not enough. It got my wheels turning for sure.
The Posh Resort & Convention (And My BLARING Intuition)
Arriving at the Whistler Blackcomb Resort, I was blown away by the level of flash the company had put into this writers’ convention. I had no clue they had enough money to afford this, but then again, they didn’t pay for the convention – a bigger company had. This bigger company had recently bought out the website I had been writing for for eight years. The whole mission of this new company was to bring a group of successful online writers together to pitch their writing platform. That being said, they put a LOT of money into this convention…to the tune of $380,000 I would later discover. Fancy meals, fancy rooms, fancy excursions (included in the trip for FREE for the invited writers), etc.
Now to the part where my intuition sounded off. So at this point, I’m enjoying my FREE trip to Whistler as much as possible but I am also obligated to attend some of the convention’s events/workshops/etc. The moment I met the new CEO and his family, I knew something wasn’t right. You ever meet someone and automatically know they’re evil? That’s the way I could describe this guy – slimy and surrounded in a darkness. This didn’t go well with my revelation that I might have been ripped off for the past eight years.
“A Colorful Business History”
The first night, while watching the shady CEO give a very vague speech to the crowd, a woman leaned over and whispered in my ear, “do you know who he is?” I shook my head and said yes he’s the CEO. She agreed but elaborated, “yes. And he has a VERY colorful business history. Look him up.” Hmm…interesting, I thought. Later, after a simple Google search on this man’s name and career, I discovered he DID have a colorful past in the business world, to say the least. He had recently been fired for hiding financials from the shareholders of his last web company. Then branched off and established the company that was now trying to get me to move my 500+ articles onto their “amazing” new writers’ network. Suspicious…indeed.
What I learned from My Canadian Adventure
Following a day and a half of convention workshops in which haughty CEOs and executives bashed FaceBook and Google and ultimately tried to get me to buy into their mediocre writing platform, I gave up on the convention and this company’s mission. I knew in my heart and in my body this company’s CEO was a slimeball and their goals were not in alignment with mine. Not to mention, I was almost 100% sure I was being underpaid for my years of hard work and creativity. SO what did I learn from this experience?
Discovering I was being underpaid (and then later confirming it), this trip gave me the information and the inspiration to go out on my own and build my own website. THIS website. When I branched out and began moving some of my content from their website onto my own website, I was told I wouldn’t succeed at generating as much traffic on my own. WELL, I haven’t reached the same traffic YET. But, my growth rate is increasing exponentially every month and I’m on track to getting the same traffic in the next year or two as on the old writing platform in which they were ripping me off for the gods know how long.
Cultural Enrichment & Spiritual Expansion
In addition to learning a valuable lesson as a writer and entrepreneur, the trip to Canada was filled with a cultural richness I hadn’t expected. I would venture to say EVERY Canadian I met on the trip was friendly and warm. The environment in Canada is well-cared for because the people who live there are environmentally conscious. The mountainous landscape bordered by the beautiful Pacific Ocean haunted my dreams…in a magical sort of way.
The city of Vancouver was my favorite – the food, the diversity of people, and the gorgeous sites were enough to say the trip was a success. BUT it didn’t stop there – my day on the slopes helped me connect with the unique landscape in Whistler and pushed my boundaries to a new level.
We even visited some friends of ours who lived in the city and spent hours chatting with them. Turns out, they were the kind of people who were MY people – intelligent, cultured, open-minded, and warm. To be honest, I didn’t want to leave Vancouver. And, if I learn as much as I did the first visit, I would ABSOLUTELY go back and hope to…one day. MINUS the slippery CEOs and pretentious convention workshops.