LC Travels: Year 2

1,000 Miles? More Like 72,000

The day has finally come… I have officially completed my two years serving as a Leadership Consultant for Alpha Gamma Delta. I turned in my computer, my hotspot and even my beloved credit card yesterday, and somehow it still hasn’t hit me that I’m actually done. It’s difficult to find a job where you are truly in your “element” the majority of the time, and when you’re not, it’s a learning experience you will always look back on fondly. This experience has been one of the best of my life and I wouldn’t trade it for the world.

22 chapters, 30 airports, 43 reports, 71 email folders, thousands of emails, and over 72,000 miles flown, all to serve the organization that has made such a large impact on me. I would definitely say I’ve been living the dream. I traveled everywhere from Hawaii to New Jersey, Washington and Georgia, and even Vancouver, Canada. I visited the largest public university in the country (ASU), the two oldest (Rutgers and UGA), and even one of the smallest, with only 900 students (Georgetown College). I helped start brand new chapters (App State, Coe College Cal Poly SLO, and Rutgers), and worked with chapters established as early as 1917, built strong relationships with women at SDSU, USC and UCLA while working with them long-term, and even sat in on a class at USC. I tasted incredible food, went on countless campus tours, and went sightseeing in places I never imagined I’d visit. From zip lining in the Appalachian Mountains to hiking Diamond Head on Oahu, I’ve had some incredible opportunities thanks to Alpha Gam.

Through this journey, I have learned more about my leadership style and unique talents, gained confidence in areas I never thought I’d excel in, learned from mistakes, helped chapters make incredible progress, and gained professional experience that I will take with me for the rest of my life. Not to mention meeting thousands of women across North America! I could not be any more grateful for this opportunity Alpha Gam has given me; it says something about the power of this organization if I am still as passionate about it now as I was in college. I remember talking with a few members of our team this week in Indianapolis about the chapter I had just visited, and realized that I am just as invested in my work now as I was the day I hit the road two years ago. Pretty powerful!

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Though my journey as an LC has come to an end, I look forward to continuing to volunteer for Alpha Gam (once I settle down somewhere :)). Until then, I will be living it up enjoying what I’m sure will be the most fun summer of my life! Here’s what’s coming up for me:

April 25-27: visiting grandparents in San Jose

April 29: Friends from England are coming to stay with me! Can’t wait to show them around Orange County since they’ve never been to the U.S. 🙂

April 30-May 3: Vegas with Daniella for her 25th birthday!

May 4-7: Austin, Tx (checking it out to see if I want to move there!)

May 8-14: Maui with Lauren on a trip she won through her work for being an incredible sales rep!

May 14-21: San Francisco for Bridget and Alexis’ graduations! Bridget is the valedictorian and commencement speaker for USF and will be graduating with her Master’s in Public Affairs. Alexis will be graduating from UC Hastings Law School before heading to San Diego- such amazing accomplishments! Yay for smart friends :).

May 21: Thailand!! I will be spending the first two weeks with Lauren in Thailand, then traveling solo to explore all over Southeast Asia! No return ticket booked, so I have no idea when I’ll be back… !

Clearly, it’s going to be a crazy few months for me! I am so thankful to have such supportive family and friends who are always encouraging and let me crash on their couches/beds. I try to appreciate all the things I have going for me as they happen, because too often we take our lives for granted, and I know how lucky I am in so many ways. Some people might call me crazy for living this kind of lifestyle, and some even say to me “I wish I could do that!”, but my response is always that YOU CAN! I am a true believer in living the life you’d imagine for yourself and making changes that lead to your happiness. If you want to do something or go somewhere, find a way to make it happen- anything is possible! Thanks for reading and wish me luck that my tight schedule works out for the next month! And no, I do not plan on getting kidnapped in Asia :).

Have a wonderful day!

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Vegas-Phx-SLO-LA Update

The other side of Vegas: delicious food, upscale gated communities, less crowds, and a beautiful campus! As many times as I’ve been to Las Vegas, I hadn’t been to UNLV until my recent visit to our Delta Omicron Chapter. After a long travel day from Oahu, I arrived to campus at approximately 2:00 a.m., and after traveling full time for two years, mishaps like this almost no longer faze me. I had a fun and productive week with our chapter at UNLV, discussing new ideas, providing training and education, and meeting with officers and advisors.

Delta Omicron does a fun PR event every spring, called “Bring in the Spring”, when the chapter gives out free baked goods on campus to promote positivity. Throughout the week, they had sisterhood events to bake desserts and make posters together, which was half of the fun! Here are some pictures of the amazing wooden letters they decorated for the event, as well as their booth on campus:

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Note to self: don’t attempt to casually walk down the strip on St. Patrick’s Day. You WILL become engulfed in a sea of green and very drunk people. It was entertaining to pass through to say the least, although I stuck out like a sore thumb wearing business attire!

After my visit at UNLV, I flew to Phoenix for the weekend to facilitate a recruitment training event for our Delta Xi Chapter at ASU. This chapter holds a special place in my heart because I have worked with them longer than any other chapter- my full two years! Though I have only visited five times, I keep in touch with many of the members and advisors, so I feel like I know them very well :). Recruitment Training School was a success and I loved getting to visit ASU one last time.

After a short check-in visit at USC, I got to go home for Easter weekend! It was great to see my family and I absolutely LOVED seeing my sister’s new house in Newport Beach. She lives about 20 steps from the sand right on the peninsula and can see the beach from one window and the bay from another window in the house. She loves her roommates and I am so happy for her :). Erica has wanted to move to the beach since as long as I can remember, and she is now living her dream! Throughout the weekend, I squeezed in some beach time with my/Erica’s friend, Katie, went wine tasting in Laguna Beach, took my mom to dinner for her birthday, went to church with my dad, stepmom and grandma, and had a fun Easter dinner with my mom, John, Erica, and her roommates. It’s crazy to think that the next time I’m home I will no longer be a Leadership Consultant! Here are some pictures from my weekend in Irvine:

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I really lucked out with my schedule this semester and got to go back to San Luis Obispo for a few days! A few consultants and I recruited for our new chapter at Cal Poly for the week, which was fun as always. My favorite event we had was our bonfire with our founding members and potential new members at a hotel in Pismo Beach. We watched an amazing sunset, made s’mores, and drank hot chocolate together. A funny story from the week was when we got our car stuck in the sand at Pismo Beach while attempting to scope out a bonfire spot. I cannot remember the last time I laughed that hard! We actually had to PUSH the giant SUV in 20 mph winds and very cold temperatures, which I will never forget. Being able to drive on the sand is only nice if you know how… lesson learned! Here are some pictures from my week in SLO:

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Now for the sad part: I had my last visits at USC and UCLA these past two weeks. I have worked with our Delta Alpha Chapter at USC for the past year and a half and our Delta Epsilon Chapter at UCLA for the past year, spending a TON of time at both campuses. I have gotten to know each of the members on a deeper level and feel like I am somewhat a part of their chapters now. I had a great transition visit at USC with Sam, the consultant who will be supporting both chapters next year, and am wrapping up my last visit at UCLA tomorrow. I have learned so much from both of these chapters and have built strong relationships that I know will last long past my time as an LC. I have laughed with them, cried with them, made it through recruitment with them, and supported them through some of the biggest growth periods these chapters have seen. I’m not sure if any members from DA or DE read my blog, but if you’re reading this, I will miss you!

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The USC Cinema School is amazing! I got to see the USC campus one last time when I gave Sam a tour during our visit.

COR event with mocktails and cheesecake at UCLA!

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Santa Monica has the best food- I present you Pono Burger’s fig burger with bacon, baked brie, arugula, hazelnuts, and balsamic:

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While in LA, I actually got to see my Alpha Gam “little” and good friend from college, Carly, and her roommate, which was awesome! They just moved to Hollywood, so I loved checking out the area with them while I was in town.

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I’m off to my last visit EVER tomorrow at Washington State, then I will head to Indianapolis on Monday for our spring debrief with the other Leadership Consultants. In 11 short days, I will officially be UNEMPLOYED! Then onto the next adventure…. 🙂

 

A Taste of Paradise!

If you didn’t already see my posts on social media this week, I had an incredible week in HAWAII! Honestly, what kind of job actually pays you to spend a week in paradise? Mine does! I spent the week meeting with officers and advisors from our Delta Sigma Chapter at the University of Hawaii at Manoa, located in the heart of Honolulu. Outside of working 12+ hour days most days and having close to no down time, I was able to squeeze in lots of fun activities. The chapter was SO welcoming and I appreciate them so much for showing me around the island. I grew up going to Maui and Kauai, but I hadn’t visited Oahu before, so it was extra exciting! Here are some pictures from the week:

Yes, I was welcomed at the airport with a lei and a gift basket.. they are too much!

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I couldn’t go to Oahu without an early morning hike to Diamond Head! Diamond Head is a volcanic crater, which you can hike up the edge of and see incredible views of the island and Waikiki. Exhibit A:

On Friday, two of the members took me to the famous Lanikai beach on the east side of the island. It did not disappoint! Unfortunately, it was super windy so we left a bit early to avoid eating an excessive amount of sand :).

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After leaving the beach and grabbing lunch, we spontaneously decided to hike to a nearby waterfall, Lulumahu Falls. Let me tell you, there is NOTHING like taking a shower under a 100 ft. waterfall. #purebliss. You would never guess a random weed-covered gate and a 45 minute hike up the river would lead to this:

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Mind you, we hiked this in FLIP FLOPS. It’s never a good sign when everyone on the trail is wearing hiking boots or tennis shoes… but we made it! I am actually glad I wore sandals because I washed all the mud right off :).

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The timing of my visit was impeccable. My last full day on the island landed on the day of the chapter’s sisterhood retreat, which was at the water park!!!! Anyone who knows me knows how much I LOVE water parks and live for the sun and water slides. After getting kicked out of the rather lame water park in Indianapolis last summer due to a thunder storm, this was a much better alternative. My water park dreams have been fulfilled!

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It was only right that my last meal in Hawaii was local food. Kalua Pig, potato mac salad, sweet potatoes, rice and a coconut dessert:  IMG_8917

Before I left, one of the very talented members gave me an INCREDIBLE gift. I will always remember my Delta Sigma visit by this carved wooden sign she made:

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The gifts were truly never ending… I traveled with SIX boxes of Hawaiian Host chocolate covered macadamia nuts. It was truly NUTS. (I gave one to the Chapter Advisor and to the flight attendants!)

Mahalo, Delta Sigma Chapter! It’s been a blast! Would you look at that view on my way out….FullSizeRender (31)

The price I pay for paradise: a 3 hour delay at SFO (the worst airport ever), which is where I currently am. Praying my flight doesn’t get canceled!

Next stop: Las Vegas! I am so excited to visit Delta Omicron Chapter this week at UNLV! Then I will head to Phoenix for Delta Xi’s Recruitment Training School this weekend at ASU. Can’t wait :). Ta-ta for now!