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Finding My Bliss at BlissDom Canada

Meaghan's Getaway Guide ~ November 1

I was all packed and ready to be on my way to BlissDom Canada, my first time ever attending a blogger conference. I probably checked the website 10 times that day to make sure I was going to the right conference. I kept hearing it being referred to as the place where ‘mommy bloggers' unite. I am not a mom nor am I a ‘mommy blogger', so I was getting Meaghan ConeybeareMeaghan Coneybearenervous that my wide awake, spit-up-free-shirt-self would stick out like a sore thumb. After a great chat with Julia, who assured me that this was an event not be missed, I decided that my extremely extroverted self could handle it.

Upon arrival to the Sheraton Hotel in downtown Toronto, I soon realized that I wasn't alone in my fears. But I also quickly came to realize that those labeled as ‘mommy bloggers' weren't any different than me.

Road rally bliss

Blissdom Road Rally by Chevrolet CanadaBlissdom Road Rally by Chevrolet CanadaBlissDom Canada kicked off Friday night with a road rally sponsored by Chevrolet Canada. I was the first to arrive for my team so I was awarded the title of captain for Team 8. The event was scheduled to begin at 6:30pm on a Friday in downtown Toronto. The height of rush hour.

The other teams began to load up and leave but my group was the last to leave. By then we figured we're probably not even a contender anymore so instead of racing through each challenge we focused on having a fun-filled night.

As we were dropped off at different locations and listed off each task that needed completion, we started to lose our nervousness. We began to emerge from our comfort zones. At one point, I even found myself yelling as loud as I could to more than 100 strangers in Dundas Square if any of them were on twitter. One brave teammate convinced a stranger on the street to buy her a hot dog.

Blissdom red carpetBlissdom red carpetAs we completed our list, we arrived second last at the Courthouse, our final destination and kick-off party location. We spent the rest of the evening reliving some of the outrageous moments we experienced on our journey. Each of us went away with some great laughs, fun memories and the confidence that it's okay to come out of our comfort zones from time to time.

A shock to all on my team, it was later announced that we won the challenge and our prize: free tickets to next year's event. It proved to me that it pays off to have fun and enjoy the ride.

Being inspired

Blissdom Canada 2012Blissdom Canada 2012The next morning, 7:30am came mighty fast after a fun-filled late night kicking off the weekend. The day began with a newcomer get-together for those new to BlissDom Canada and was followed by micro sessions lead by some top women and men in the social media, blogging and public relations industry. The room was filled with so much knowledge floating around.

I took a few seconds to observe the room, watching people at the 40 plus tables chattering away, almost seeing the eyes of those listening sparkle as absorb the priceless information being given out. The event had an assortment of sessions lead by some wonderful community leaders, including our very own Julia Rosien.

I found my passion for public relations was solidified, thanks to the wonderful Alison Burke, PR extraordinaire from Impressions PR. I learned great travel blogging tips from travel writer, Heather Greenwood-Davis as she talked about her amazing year-long journey traveling the world with her family in tow. I ended my sessions on a high note by listening to Haley Overland, writer/editor at TodaysParent.com and the award-winning blog Cheaty Monkey,  be completely honest and raw in her quest to write. She said that there's no such thing as ‘writer's block' and left me with a renewed confidence in my writing. Sometimes great ideas can push forward when you feel confidence wane.

Costumes, Karaoke & Andy Kim

Blissdom costume partyBlissdom costume partyWhy not end a fantastic day with a costume and karaoke party? I'm not a karaoke singer but I enjoy watching others' attempts at becoming the next Shania Twain or Prince. Upon arrival, I wished I had worked a little bit extra on my costume. The creativity in the room was inspiring. From one woman dressed as a book that she wrote to another as the Queen of Hearts, I loved seeing how passionate many were with their creative side.

In what I've now learned is true BlissDom Canada fashion, a celebrity guest made a surprise appearance. Canadian singer/song writer Andy Kim made his entrance singing his co-written Sugar Sugar to the crowd. As he scanned the crowd looking for a few lucky ladies to sing with, he set his eyes on me. But of course in true Meaghan fashion I completely sang the wrong line back. I'm pretty sure the videographers got that on tape somewhere.

Finding what makes you happy

Stranger buying us a hot dogStranger buying us a hot dogBy the end of Sunday's excursion, where I found myself behind the scenes of The Marilyn Denis Show learning tips from the PR pros, I knew I had found my bliss.

What I took away from my experience at BlissDom was that it's more than okay to be your authentic self - it should be celebrated. There's at least one other person who is either going through the same experiences or has been through it and can lend a handful of advice.

I have constantly been on a curvy path of finding myself and what makes me happy. Attending BlissDom made me face my happiness head on. I've always been passionate about getting the word out on sharing what's awesome in my life. I get excited when I have an opportunity to connect someone's bright, creative ideas to outlets like the media to get others to take notice. I have been doing something that I love without realizing it had a category and could lead to a career that I am passionate about.

Thank you, BlissDom Canada for bringing out my true self and helping me find my bliss.

What is your bliss? We would love to hear about it! Follow us on Twitter or like us on Facebook and let's start talking!

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I had SO much fun on the Road Rally with you, Lynn, and Darleen - and of COURSE, JP :-) Glad to have met you, and will be happy to see you again next year!

Nice wrap up of Blissdom, Meghan. It was great to meet you and get to know you. Enjoyed being on the road rally team with you. See you next year!

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