Sunday, September 18, 2011

Exploring North Carolina: Coloring Outside the Lines at Brunswick Nature...

I've always been drawn to adventure and, as a writer, I'm fortunate enough to be able to get paid (a little) to do what I love. My monthly Adventure Blog for Bald Head Island really allow me to get out, do something amazing and write about it. Other assignments for North Brunswick Magazine have sent me on a half-day kayak with an upstart outfitter in the area or down to Silver Coast Winery to enjoy wine and dessert pairings. I get to meet amazing people, like Ashley Chapman, a world-record holding freediver - she dove to 190 feet on a single breath this summer - who had me doing breathing exercises on her couch while she and her husband coached me to hold my breath for two minutes (I didn't make it, but I got closer than I thought I would), or Hank Brown, a Colonial-America Reenactor I met on assignment for Our State Magazine.

As time has gone on, I've come to love writing travel pieces about things to do, places to eat and drink, and the right people to talk to once you're there. Over the last couple of months Lauren and I have been talking about ways to get in front of bigger clients, maybe even write for the North Carolina Visitors Guide.

Then I was invited to a meeting of the Wilmington Area Hospitality Association where Margo, the Public Relations Manager at the NC Division of Tourism, spoke and let us know about their plan to hire Adventure Experts to film videos and help pitch activities in the state.

I jumped at the chance and filled out the forms and made a video to show the Division and their people how I was on camera. Lauren and I grabbed the camera, grabbed a kayak and headed to Brunswick Nature Park to start shooting. We came up with the video below.

Two weeks later at a meeting with the Division of Tourism to review the state of travel and tourism so far this year we knew we'd hear an answer because the Division's PR person would be there and I could ask her directly about their decision.

My stomach was in knots while Lauren and I mingled, waiting for the presentation to begin. I was talking to Andy Levine, President and Chief Creative Officer of DCI, a company specializing in destination marketing (they were just hired to work on promoting NC) when I saw Margo and a woman I didn't know walk up. They started talking to Lauren.

This is what I heard:

"zubba zubba zubba Adventure Expert mmmmnnnnnanana." (I don't hear well when I'm in the middle of a talkative crowd and am trying to hold a conversation while listening to another.)

I was dying to find out and at the first break in the conversation, did.

"We've hired our Adventure Expert, three actually - one for the mountains, one piedmont and a coastal expert," Margo said. "We'd like you to our coastal Adventure Expert."

The weeks of sitting on this, trying not to get my hopes up too far, wondering who else applied for the position finally fell away.

So now I'm one of three North Carolina Adventure Experts. We'll act as spokespeople for the state, filming adventures and using the videos as pitch material to media. I'm excited to see where this goes and I can't wait to get started. When I do, I'll keep you posted.

1 comment:

  1. That is super exciting!! I'll definitely be following your adventures.