Five years ago i joined the Twitter craze. It took a couple of months to get the hang, but i quickly found people with similar interests and followed accounts of people and celebrities/journalists i respect and admire. Gone were the days of sitting down to watch the six o’clock news, this was my daily/hourly source of current affairs and news. Those early days were hilarious to say the least. A real, ‘you had to be there thing’, but here i am, five years later, still communicating with several original ‘tweeps’ and, loving it.
Back then, there were very few local Clare Valley people or businesses on twitter and instagram but there seemed to be a heck of a lot of other regions promoting themselves and people living in those regions happy to share the love as well. I searched around to see who was promoting Clare Valley as a region and there really wasn’t anyone. Pangkarra, Sevenhill Hotel, Jim Barry Wines and Naked Run Wines were about the only ones putting it out there and sharing their news.
So that was my cue. I started using #clarevalley on my tweets because i am damn proud of our region and the people who get involved with either running their own business or being proud to work for someone local. And there’s always so many events going on so why not share them and invite people to come and visit #ClareValley.
It’s been a fabulous journey and one that is still growing. Just last weekend i was contacted by a Melbourne based wine enthusiast to contribute to his wine magazine and promote Clare Valley. To say i am humbled and bursting with excitement at the same time is an understatement. Not sure how i’ll fit it in with fulltime work but i will because both are equally important to me. I genuinely love my fulltime work, it keeps one side of my brain active and busy and alive all at once! And this, my humble little hobby is what brings calm and peace, equilibrium, to the other side.
Earlier this year a social media friend encouraged me to start a facebook page for my hobby. I already had a blog, twitter and instagram so facebook was the next natural step. I was a little dubious but also carefree and determined. I am, afterall, doing something i love. And i have always been one to follow the beat of my own drum so i took the advice of my dear friend and set up Spruiking #ClareValley. And yes, i can so call her a good friend. We’ve been chatting, emailing, texting, for 5 years. It’s the modern day version of a penpal.
This weekend just gone we had several events as part of the Clare With Fresh Eyre collaboration. What a fab idea. Eyre Peninsula seafood paired with Clare Valley wine. Unless you break out in hives, you’d be an absolute mug to miss such an opportunity. I thoroughly enjoyed the events we went too and i might just make a mention here of my fabulous designated driver. Never complains and he is my #1 supporter. What a trooper. Is currently snoring on the lounge but for all husbands of the women reading this, i bet he is not alone!
I’ve had people ask why aren’t i working in tourism and if i’m remunerated for what i do. I answer that it doesn’t matter. If you find something you love and do it without expectation of anything other than positivity, you will be rewarded in many ways and most will surprise you. It doesn’t have to be monetary to be successful. Besides, if i joined the local Lions Club and (voluntarily) cooked a few snags on Saturday morning outside the butcher shop, no-one would bat an eyelid. It’s a hobby and for me it’s fun and easy.
I’m still hashtagging Clare Valley on all social media accounts and i am pleased to see it has caught on with other business owners and locals. My social media mates often send people my way for Clare Valley info about the region, where to eat and, where to stay. I am proud to say i have steered many a tourist in direction of several local businesses and it’s lovely to hear locals tell me they have attended events after reading my posts about what’s happening in the region.
So i sign off tonight with some affirmations, memes and just a touch of sarcasm, that makes me smile and reaffirms i love what i do. I also want to shout out out to a few (a lot of) people who have been on this ride with me, you know who you are, you continue to inspire, support and, encourage me to do something i love and do it without expectation.
Live your life, friends, and live it exactly the way you want too. The only person you have to answer to, is you.
As always, #ClareValley