Where I, the founder of EL, write a few personal thoughts about Eternal Landscapes Mongolia. As requested by a few friends and colleagues. This is for them.
OK. A blog. If you run a business it is suggested that you also keep a blog. It helps drive traffic to your website. It helps establish authority. It gives your company a voice.
But. No-one tells you how personal should it be. Or how professional? What’s the magic balance? So, I typically err on the side of caution – more informative than personal.
But. I had lunch today with someone I met here in Ulaanbaatar on a recent research trip I took part in. I mentioned that I wrote personal notes about the business but didn’t think they were interesting enough to form part of the blog. Also, that although I am the founder of the business, Eternal Landscapes is very much about my Mongolian team (my Mongolian family as I call them). That’s why I typically write about ‘we’ rather than ‘I’. My lunch date told me that the ‘we’ makes Eternal Landscapes sound much bigger and impersonal than we (!) actually are. It also doesn’t convey who EL is or what the philosophy is that drives my belief in the business.
So. Because it was such a great lunch I feel that I owe a debt. Here is one of my first ‘Jess notes’ that I wrote about EL.
(If you read advice about writing a blog, it is suggested you keep your writing to around 400 words. Also, you use images to break up the text and to emphasis your subject. You’re also meant to consider SEO, link back to your website and finish with a call to action. Sod that. These are my personal thoughts rather than a ‘business blog post’. You can have one picture though, just so you know who is writing.)
Thoughts From Jess
Back in late winter, I travelled up to London for the Adventure Travel Conference. The main focus was ‘today’s adventure traveller – trends, challenges and opportunities.’
We were provided with a delegates list. When the sponsors were promoting their Andorra video to us, I was looking through the list. Most of the delegates were representatives from larger adventure travel companies sent to take notes and network.
I guess I did the same. I sent a representative (myself) and I networked although it appears I am diabolical at networking. Note to self, seriously need to work on the networking.
Lyn Hughes (co-founder and Editor In Chief of Wanderlust magazine) and Derek Moore (co-founder of Explore) both gave talks. I mentioned to my colleague Greg later that evening that I had found these talks motivational. Greg told me that my story was motivational. That someone would benefit from me writing this down. Personally, I am not convinced.
I’m English. I’m female. I’m from a small rural community. I come from a family that is not known for self promotion. That’s why it’s taken me so long to get business cards. At least I now take them with me. Next step? To remember to actually hand them out. I’m also just one of the 7 point something billion of the world’s population and what makes me more interesting that anyone else?
But. There I was heading back down to Devon on the 501 National Express (I am a firm believer in supporting public transport). I was somewhere south of Taunton. It was of course raining. Having read the Saturday paper and my SEO Audit and Action Plan, I needed something to do to help my slightly wired mind.
And here we are…
Why has it taken me this long to put it into digital form? For as many different reasons as you can think of. All coming back to the sentence above…’I’m also just one of the 7 point something billion of the world’s population and what makes me more interesting that anyone else?’
Where will it go? I don’t know. But, just as Greg has promised me to look at job prospects in Dubai and New York, so I said I would ‘try’ to put something into words.
Let’s be clear, I am certainly not writing this with the idea of becoming a travel writer (who can compete with Bruce Chatwin?), or an influential lifestyle blogger. It’s just a promise. If nothing else, it will help me put my thoughts into order and I can use it as a ‘reminder’, as an ‘alternative’ business plan for Eternal Landscapes.
If you pressed me about what would I like to see from it? That people see that my love for Mongolia is genuine rather than a business decision. Also, that my travelling responsibly philosophy is not a quickly joined on band wagon for ‘selling’ purposes, but a real belief that as travellers, we have to make bigger steps to make sure those steps have a positive impact. Not just on us doing the travelling but to the destinations and the people, environment, culture and traditions of those destinations. And to inspire my younger Mongolian female trip assistants that they can achieve their goals, dreams and desires.
That’s what’s worth writing for.
Thanks for listening. Love Jess x