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My name is Jeannie Mark

I’m a mid-lifer who quit a growing corporate career to reawaken my passions — and forge a life set by my own rules.

Blogstock: The World’s First Blogging Festival

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“Welcome, do you want a black wristband?”

I stumbled on that question, because isn’t this a blogging conference?? Not a music festival fuelled by alcohol and screaming music indie fans?

Yes and no. In front of me was a large field in Elstree, UK littered with teepees, tents and barefooted bloggers tugging at the grass with their toes.

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Directly behind me were rows of erected tents, fresh from the box, ready to be invaded by threadbare sleeping bags and world weary backpacks.

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Where the hell was I?

Silly woman, the world’s first blogging festival.

Costa Rica is Next & Why I Need It

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My time in Europe has wound down and part of me is sad, but relieved.

I know, a strange feeling to court, but this past summer was filled with back room dramas that I’m too exhausted to get into here.

Two consistent things occur to me when ever I’m in Europe — how beautiful it is and how much bad karma it brings me.

The other consistent thing is that no matter how foul my mood is, I always return to the beauty. I promise to provide some evidence of this beauty at a later date.

I just finished a weekend at Blogstock. You might have read I was going and speaking about how to market a creative brand (oh, and make money on it). These things are always a whirlwind, but overall it was a great experience. I enjoyed the mix of bloggers from different sectors, whether fashion or food, and the overall community atmosphere. I’d much rather work with people, instead of against them.

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Speaking at Blogstock

I also promise to publish my slides and the talk on Slideshare at a later date.

Tonight is about preparation. I’m packing my bags once more, sweeping away the metaphorical cobwebs and tomorrow I will be flying across bodies of water again, this time my destination is Costa Rica.

Book of the Month: Women on the Road

Do it while you’re young. Not IT. But it. Travel.

I’ve come across a plethora of travel sites or news feeds devoted to this mantra. This really angers me. If I had believed that, I would of given up before I started.

That’s why I was a happy chick when I got my hands on Women on the Road.

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Written by Leyla Giray Alyanak, this book speaks directly to women who don’t want to be quiet and demure after age 40.

Via Rail Best Photos: Jasper

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Alberta is called the Land of the Endless Horizon and it’s supremely true.

I grew up in Alberta and often caught myself staring at the sky as it melted into the earth, so long and so hard that my eyes watered. My thoughts at the time were of staring into a void — at essentially nothing.

Living there made me restless, because seeing nothing disturbed me. I wanted to see something, or at least experience whatever my greedy hands could grab.

I never appreciated what I saw everyday and when my Via Rail trek across Canada finally made it over the Alberta border, it became clear those endless skies were a summation of everything. Love, loss, joy, the sureness that we are tiny dots in a whirling universe.

It was there — in front of me — for the entire span of my childhood. I just had to stop staring and actually see.

This is Blogstock

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Don’t you love summer?

It’s the season of barbecues, sticky skin from slathered sunscreen and condensation sliding down a beer bottle.

It’s also the time of year to go camping.

I personally haven’t camped in quite a while, but come August I’ll get my chance.

From August 8th to 9th , 2014, I will be speaking once again (remember the first two occasions?) at the world’s first blogging festival!

Brussels: Where I Slept & What I Ate

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Where I Slept

Alone.

I sleep alone right now and it’s best that way. I snort loudly sometimes, often hogging the covers. My left hand has the tendency to curl up into a ball and stay in that state until I rouse. Weird, I know.

In case you were thinking of dating me, isn’t it best to be honest now?

When it came to sleeping in Brussels the emergence of theme hotels is at an all time high. I certainly don’t mean a gaudy, monstrous slab of architecture à la Las Vegas style, but something inherently European.

Eating was another matter, I ate food interlaced with a strong history. Some of it wild and wholly unexpected, others a pure pleasure to familiarize myself with.