I arrived in LA at 7am and the following week was a blur of amazing creative women (and a variety of alcoholic beverages). It was exciting to meeting some talented ladies I'd met online including Elana Schlenker, Tuesday Bassen, and Grace Danico - who all (of course) turned out to be just a great as I'd made them out to be in my head.
While in LA I stayed with Leanne Ford - who turns out in addition to being the sweetest most wonderful creative woman also has the most dreamy house in all of Venice Beach. I mean I could eat this just up the street. One night I grabbed dinner with Adi Goodrich and Elizabeth Weinberg to talk about exciting ideas, on another I got to hang out with Michael and his adorable girls (his eldest daughter was in her girl guide uniform and told me the pledge!), and for another I got to hang out Leanne's amazing friends at their favourite Venice spots.
I drove out to the airport on my third day and picked up three delightful strangers (Christa, Emily, and Pamela) to drive out together out to Palm Springs for Designer Vaca - luckily they were all relatively sane and had a great time.
Designer Vaca was an experience. I met some rad women including Kelsey Dake, Jessica Hische, and Meg Lewis whom I'd spoken with online, and some other winners like Angela, or Kelly and Rachel who took a drive out to Salvation Mountain with me and saved a puppy from the side of the road. Elle Luna spoke eloquently about the crossroads of should and must, and it might have been the combination of all those female hormones in one room - but there wasn't a dry eye in the house - even the most cynical red-haired Australian ones. Jessica Hische chatted on the final morning about how motherhood has shifted her career and helped her prioritise her time in the studio, and some practical considerations to keep in mind when returning to work. All up it was a great few days spent in the desert with people who - prior to this week - were complete strangers.
I boarded my place back to Sydney and fell asleep as we took off - I'd just been having too much fun to rest. It is so important to talk with people on similar paths to your own - and this week was the perfect antidote to the isolation I sometimes feel in Sydney. Now I need an Australian week of badass women. Any takers?