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Life has Flown The Coop

November 9th, 2012
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It has been over a year since I’ve logged into DoingLifeBeingTiff, in which time I have been busy doing life in my ever changing world…

A move to Houston, Texas and establishing Flown The Coop in my new town has kept me very busy.  As with everything I “do”, I jumped into my new life with a single minded motivation to make it work.  I would not be honest if I were to say it has been easy.  Most days I just want to fly away to Easy Street!

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Well, I don’t live there.  I’m not sure I want to.  I’m happiest pursuing a dream or an adventure.

Flown The Coop

Similar to the themes I write about on DoingLifeBeingTiff, Flown the Coop has become my creative outlet to write about my travel adventures, my experiences in the field and pursuing a dream (aka fly free).  As chief junker at Flown The Coop, I sell reused, repurposed and unusual junque at Markets and at Chippendale Eastlake Antiques located in the funky shopping district of The Houston Heights.

It’s a lot of hard work…. but I LOVE it!

As the wind blows

I’m not sure what direction Flown The Coop will take in 2013.  This is a crazy world we live in.  I am counting on an adventure!  My plan is simple, press on.  I will continue to love my family, love God, pursue my dreams, travel, get things wrong, miss important details, love life, invest in friends, create some more Tiffisms (thanks Michele for that term), believe in opportunities, promote freedom, speak freeely with honesty, listen to others…. I’m sure you get the picture.  I will continue to Be Tiff and Do Life which ever way the wind blows.

So… Life is a journey, come travel with me!

I’d love to hear from you!  What adventures have you had in the pursuit of a dream?  I am thinking about compiling another Finding Your Muse series.  I think we need more “Stories From The Field” highlighting people flying free!  I’ll share what I learn here at DoingLifeBeingTiff.

Keep up with my Flown The Coop adventure by following the blog, like our Facebook Page, and follow our Pinterest Boards.  Stayed tuned, maybe this year I’ll make some more videos.

“And the birds fluttered around them writing YES in the sky!”


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3 things I’ve learned from my focus board

May 9th, 2011

I have created focus boards for years … you know the corny imagery that motivational gurus love to encourage?

Call me corny or a hopeless dreamer… I’m here to report that focus boards work!  For over ten years, my focus boards have pointed me in the direction of my dreams.  Recently I decided to create a new focus board, which inspired me to take a look at all my past boards to reminisce.  My corny motivational projects are now proof to me that dreams come true!

The Fall of 2000

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When Jeff and I were home educating our children,  we were hoping to inspire our children to dream big, have a thirst for learning and instill a wander lust for our big world.  Looking at this focus board makes me giggle.  I always thought the big house and fancy cars would make me happy.  Turns out that the trips we took and the memories created were more precious than any home we were working hard to provide.  I am grateful that we took the kids to the Caribbean, Washington DC, New York City, camping trips, trips to Texas and just about every museum in the state of Ohio.  Our daughter spent a summer in Panama.  Our son spent a summer in Italy and Spain.  These are unforgettable experiences for them!

Focus for a successful career

phpj16bgmpmWhen I was a Realtor, I had big dreams of building a team and being top in sales.  I loved looking at a picture of Stilletos propped up on a fancy desk and imagined a highly powerful career in real estate.  I did have some professional accomplishments to be proud of.  However, I am most thrilled about the experiences that my focus board motivated me to try.  Jeff and I had so much fun on a Harley Davidson we bought, putting 32,000 miles on the Harley in about a year!  I got in the best shape of my life and was running.  (that didn’t last)  For the first time I allowed myself to dream of traveling the world, with no idea how these journeys would ever take shape.  I just kept looking at images of all the exotic places I had in mind.  It’s amazing how many dreams have been realized from this one board.

Finding my “muse”

phpvbfwpmamWhen I left my career as a Realtor, I definitely needed motivation.  I read a lot of travel blogs at the time and knew I had to set out on an adventure.  One day I came across a quote by Rolf Potts, “travel isn’t expensive, maintaining stuff is.”   So I listed my car on Craig’s list and sold it within a week.  Using the money from my car, I started to plan an adventure.  I chose to go to Costa Rica on a RealGap trip to learn Spanish and live with a host family.  If you look closely at my real estate focus board, you’ll see a montage of pictures of a girl having an adventure in Costa Rica.  Funny!  This wasn’t planned when I did my focus board for my real estate office. Now I have a wonderful family in Costa Rica that I keep in touch with on Facebook.  I will always cherish that adventure!

What I needed most after returning from Costa Rica was quotes to assist in “Finding My Muse.”

“In every real person, the will for life is also the will for joy” ~ Kari Barth.

And one of my favorites:

“Figure out which direction you want to go, but don’t be afraid to be creative with that direction… you have to go with the flow because you never know where it will take you.  Just don’t expect things to happen overnight” ~ Anne Marie Craig.

Travel full time?

php5gar6uam1-150x1501The next focus board reflected a shift to pursuing travel full-time.  While travel is not a new pursuit, I decided to pursue a business in the travel industry.  Deep down I just knew it was the direction that I needed to point myself.  While I was pressing into the various travel related projects and working with social media, I looked at my focus board for inspiration.   I am very proud of the direction Weekend ReTweat is taking!  I believe success will eventually come from focusing on the direction I want to go and pressing into various opportunities that present themselves.

phptlytgdam1When I created my focus board for my real estate office, I couldn’t imagine ever realizing a dream trip to Italy.  After saving my money for a long time, Jeff and I finally took that dream trip!   I used to daydream about Europe while looking at a picture of a lady standing on a balcony overlooking an European city.  I had cut her out of a magazine and posted it to my focus board in the real estate office.  While in Naples, Jeff shot this picture me, yet another image of my focus board came to life… YEARS LATER.

Living the dream….

php80n6boam1Every once in a while I need a fresh outlook.  I decided to create a new focus board with a slight shift in focus.  I will inevitably be traveling.  I need to look and feel good for all my future travel adventures!  I have made several attempts at conquering my fitness without much success.  However, I’ve learned that if I keep focusing on my dreams I will eventually realize them.  Day in and day out I will be reminded of all the great adventures that lie ahead and the need to be fit while experiencing the joys of life!

Here’s a quote from my new board:

“Her favorite story is the one she’s living right now”

Lessons from the focus board….

  1. Dreams Come True!
  2. Images from a focus board come to life &  focusing on them gives direction to press into
  3. Don’t expect them to happen overnight… just keep pressing into opportunities that come your way!

Trust me!  Dreams do come true!!!  What’s on your focus board?  If you are inspired to create one… I’d love to see it when your done.  Please share a picture with me on my Facebook page and leave a comment here!!!!  Let’s inspire each other.

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I Don’t Believe In News Resolutions

December 31st, 2010

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2010 was a year to remember…. I really enjoyed finding my voice here at DoingLifeBeingTiff.  I regret that I neglected it for the past few months.  I’ve been busy working on Tiffany Eckhardt, Social Media PR Specialist. I took on my first seminar, Social Media Campaign Building and worked to develop social media platforms for several clients. I’ve learned a lot in 2010 as I stepped out into new ventures, but am ready to take on new challenges and welcome in a new year.

I don’t believe in New Year’s Resolutions… I don’t lay out the year in rigid goals and plans.  Who can predict what turns the journey will take along the way?   I believe in pressing into passions and dreams to discover where the journey leads.

2011 I Welcome You!

Every year I seem to be preoccupied by my weight issues and fitness goals.  It’s no wonder that loosing weight is the number one New Years Resolution for most people.  Oh…I am passionate about that illusive size 8.  I am amused by my tendency to take on this passion so publicly.   Last year I jumped into a fitness regime twice.  Each time I set out to blog and vlogg my progress. Both times I only blogged the first workout.  SO FUNNY! I am still working with Shan’s Fitness in exchange for helping her market her business.  My lack of progress is not her fault. Truth is life always gets in the way.  I am convinced that a lasting change has to be a lifestyle change. I was not willing to give up a few items in my diet and in the process lost my drive to work out a couple times.   However, I have not given up and thankfully Shannon hasn’t either.  This year I’ll realize my ideal weight.   I have to look good when I realize a travel dream this coming March.

I’m dreaming of travel ALWAYS.

March 2011 Jeff and I will be traveling to Italy, one of my lifetime dream destinations.  In preparation for this trip I have lost myself in travel guides, Italian lessons and researching couch surfers to stay with.  I want this trip to be a combination of planned tours and serendipitous wandering of the Tuscany countryside.  We plan on staying in hotels, a monastery and with couch surfing hosts.  I will be blogging, creating videos and sharing what I discover about Italian culture.  I am so excited!

I dream of traveling full time and hope to figure out how to do that financially.  This year I plan on working harder on Weekend Retweat.  I hope to discover more B&Bs and destinations for the ReTweaters to create a buzz about.  Jeff and I will travel to our yearly favorites.  Can you guess?  Yep, you know it…New Orleans and Memphis.  I hope to visit family in Florida and South Carolina.  The rest of my travel ambitions I surrender to whatever may happen along the journey.  Trust me… I am open to the possibilities!

The Business of Developing

This year I will continue to press into educating businesses on how to effectively use social media to promote their businesses.  I have discovered that I thoroughly enjoy organizing seminars.  I hope to jump into 2011 with a Facebook 101 class for area businesses.  I am excited about the prospects, but need to develop some skills.  In 2011 I hope to take on public speaking.  EEKS… I said it.  I will take some classes and hone the skill.  (another motivation to realize my weight and fitness dreams)

I don’t believe in New Year Resolutions

I believe in pressing into what it takes to achieve your dreams.  I believe in letting the world know what you want and putting yourself on the right path.  This is a journey!  I am excited about what 2011 will bring and love that it isn’t totally predictable.

Happy New Year!

What are your dreams and passions?  What will you be pressing into in 2011?  Share it with me in the comments section… we can all inspire and encourage each other’s journeys in 2011!

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Following Your Dreams & Passions!

October 1st, 2010

How do you travel so much?

Today I got up early and attended First Friday Coffee Hour, a monthly networking event hosted by the Champaing County Chamber of  Commerce. This is special to me because not long ago I was behind a desk wishing I could get out and socialize (network).  I even came equipped with my new business cards.  Finally, I have something to hand to people who ask that dreaded question, “What do you do?”

I’ve narrowed my “job” description to Social Media PR Specialist, event/travel planner

I was excited to announce my “job” title when it was my turn for round table introductions.  I am passionate about social media (crazy and obsessed) and proceeded to explain how I thought using social media for PR was a whole different monster than traditional marketing.  I have really enjoyed the opportunity to work with a few business owners one on one developing a social media campaign, teaching them the tools available and watching them take off with it.  I hope to reach out to more businesses to help them avoid the mistakes businesses are making using social media as if it were traditional marketing.

In addition to Social Media PR, part of my self designated “job” title is event, travel planner.  There is a special place in my heart for travel.  So, I threw into my introduction, “If anyone follows me, you will notice that I am also passionate about travel.”

Afterwards Mike Morris, the Champaign County Economic Developer approached me during the networking time.  He stopped me with, “Can I ask you a question?”  Sure!

“How do you travel so much?”

First thing that came to my mind is that I am lucky.  Trust me, I know that I am fortunate to travel so much.  I  have a fabulously supportive husband who encourages me to follow my dreams and passions.  (He says he doesn’t have a choice)  In reality, I work hard at finding the opportunities that allow me to pursue my passion for travel.  I have learned how to find cheap air fare, negotiate group deals on hotel rooms and organized  Weekend Retweat; a social networking group that promotes B&Bs and Inns.  The short answer is that I am lucky, but truth is I am continually pointing myself in the directions of my dreams.

I left the event thinking about the direction of my new business venture.  Honestly, I am still unclear how social media, events and travel will all connect.  I press on in the direction of my dreams and passions with a few lessons that have become crystal clear to me.

  • The only way an idea becomes clearer is to press forward
  • Opportunities come along to those who continually put themselves out in the arena

I’m glad I got up early to join the First Friday Coffee Hour and applied what I’ve learned.  Before 9am, I met a few business owners who are interested in help with their small businesses and connected with Paul Kurtz from Hemisphere Coffee Roasters about a potential coffee trip to Costa Rica. When I returned home, I found more travel opportunities to pursue while reading through all my social media networks.  It was a great start to my day and injected enthusiasm into my pursuit of my dreams!

I hope you are pressing forward and pointing yourself in the direction of your dreams!  Life is a journey, come travel with me!

I’d love to hear about journey!

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Traveling abroad…is there a “quick fix” for my wanderlust?

April 23rd, 2009

The options for travel seem to be endless and dreams don’t seem so far off!

 

 

For years I have been dreaming about traveling abroad.  After coming out of an extremely difficult season of my life, it is now time to pursue that dream.  I even sold my car and embraced minimalism in an effort to save money for trips.  Not exactly sure where I want to go or what I want to do while I am there, I went on search for a plan. 

 

I love Twitter!  Twitter has opened the world of real travel to me and has introduced me to numerous bloggers on the subject of travel.  There are blogs that alert me about the deals in the tourism industry.  Although I appreciate the information I have gained, those who are living “outside the box” intrigue me.  I have discovered that there are actually people who have decided to live nomadically, taking their businesses on the road and selling it all to travel full time.  One of my favorite bloggers on this subject is the Soultravelers3.  This family sold it all, moved to Europe and purchased a motor home to live nomadically for the past five years.  I also enjoy Vagabonish and Rolf Potts Vagabonding.  These bloggers have opened my eyes to the possibility of traveling frugally.  I am learning about Hostels and joined Couch Surfing, an organization that links fellow travelers all over the world that open up there homes and offer a couch to crash on.  I have a friend who traveled throughout Germany using Couch Surfing.  How fun is that?  I now understand that travel does not have to be expensive.

 

Still, in the vastness of our world…. where do I start?  My husband and I are about two years away from having the freedom for extended travel.  True to my nature, I want to take off now!  So, I keep watching twitter for inspiration. 

 

I received a Direct Message from @Real_Gap.  They happened to respond to a comment I made about checking out Argentina.  I love Twitter!  Real Gap for Grown Ups opened up another intriguing option.  What about volunteering, learning a skill or even work while living abroad?  I have taken short-term mission trips in the past.  Taking extended time off for “holiday” or taking a career gap seems so foreign to most Americans.  This organization offers opportunity for people to take a career gap, for as little as two weeks and up to a whole year.  I spent the day reading about all their trip options and am excited about possibly going to Costa Rica to learn Spanish, cooking and Latin Dancing.  I could go for two or four weeks and be immersed in their culture.  This could be a “quick fix” for my wanderlust.

 

Do you have wanderlust?  Do you think travel abroad is impossibly expensive?  Is time an obstacle for you?  I would love to open a discussion with fellow travelers…. we can all learn from each other!  The options for travel seem to be endless and dreams don’t seem so far off!

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