Sunday, March 04, 2012

Why I'm Going to Australia on Tuesday

Ashton and I along with my Power of Moms partner, April, and her daughter Alia leave on Tuesday for Australia where we'll be conducting two Retreats - one near Gold Coast and one in Sydney.

Here's where we get to hold our Gold Coast Retreat. Nice huh?

And here's where we'll be spending a little down time:

I can't believe this is really happening!

Here's the story:

Back in August of 2009, I this email from a "mum" in Australia:
Hi Saren,

I'd love to get some Learning Circles or Retreats going here. I was so excited when I read your email [about what Power of Moms offers], I almost cancelled my booking at the gym to start organising immediately. But as I sat at the computer my 18-month-old started stomping on the keys and I knew it would have to wait :)

I feel SO excited about this! I'm sure I ran WAY faster at the gym today as I thought about implementing things and how great it could be!

Thanks again and I look forward to hearing from you!

Best Regards, 
Felicity Aston  
Power of Moms was in its infancy in 2009 and I was so excited to see that we had people in all the way in Australian who were excited about The Power of Moms - I forwarded Felicity's email to April and we were both thrilled about it.

Felicity kept doing what she could do to support the mums around her and thinking about how to bring more of what The Power of Moms offers to Australia. She entered some beautiful photos in our photo contest, spread the word about The Power of Moms on her blog (Felicity's Bits and Pieces) and wrote a great article for us (Find You, Be You). She mentioned the idea of doing a Retreat in Australia in emails a few times - and then she got serious about the idea.

In January 2011, we got this email:


Saren and April:
I have been wanting to send you another email for a while about holding a Retreat here in Australia, but I always think you must be SO busy then I decide to put it off for a bit longer :) 

I mentioned previously that Naomi (from www.sevencherubs.com ) and I have been talking about the possibility of putting a retreat together over here.We would love to get information on 'where to start', how you run the retreats and what classes you offer so we can do something similar. Of course we'd really love it if you just flew on over here for it, but we realise that may not be possible and we would love to organise one for sometime this year if we can do that with your help from afar. 

Any advise and or training(?) would be wonderful. 

Looking forward to hearing from you!

Love Felicity


I replied with:

Felicity:
If you could get a large group of moms together for a Retreat and/or conference, it would be financially feasible to do a Retreat in Australia and we'd be over there in a heartbeat!  It's just so darn expensive and time-consuming to get there that we'd need a lot of moms' participation to get enough funding together.  Maybe if we could do a couple big one-day conferences in different areas there plus a 2-day traditional weekend Retreat, we could make it financially feasible.

If you don't think you could get a largish group together for Retreats and/or conferences quite yet, we can do an online training via our Trainer Manual and emails to get you up and running as a trainer so you can set up great workshops and Retreats in Australia.  It's SO much better for everyone when you can experience one of our Retreats in person - but the best case scenario is not always possible.

Let me know your further thoughts and let's get some great stuff going in Australia!

Saren


Then Felicity replied with:

Hi Saren:
Oh the thought of you coming over is VERY exciting :) We feel really confident that we could absolutely get a 'large' group of women together for conferences and retreats......what kind of numbers would we need? Also what kind of costs would be involved? Even just approximate amounts would be great so we could start generating interest and getting an idea of just how many people are interested. We would LOVE it if Power of Moms were able to come and present it personally here :) that's a whole lot cheaper than us flying to the states to attend :)

Let us know the numbers and we'll get back to you asap!!

Felicity
And that was the beginning of about 1000 emails back and forth with Felicity over the past year. Felicity and other great mums, true to their word, have gathered about 120 mums to attend two Retreats in Australia. Felicity has found generous families who've agreed to host the Retreats in their gorgeous large homes,  arranged all the catering, chair rental and countless other details, set up our flights, helped us figure out what site seeing we should cram in on our non-Retreat days, etc. And in a few days, I finally get to meet this wonderful friend I feel like I've known forever thanks to all the emails!

I'm so glad that April and I decided to bring our 12-year-olds with us. They both do a lot of data entry and behind-the-scenes work for Power of Moms and this will be a great chance for them to see the more exciting parts of Power of Moms while hopefully having some bonding experiences with their moms that they'll never forget. Plus they'll be able to work together on the Power of Kids blog that they've been running with their younger siblings for a while now. Ashton's worked really hard to raise the $500 he had to put towards the trip plus his spending money.

We've got our Retreat agenda all squared away and have coordinated with Felicity on countless details but we haven't had much time to think about what sights we should try to see on our days off. Anyone have suggestions of must-see's near Gold Coast/Brisbane or in Sydney? We won't have long but we'd love to pack in what we can. Mostly, though, I'm so excited to meet so many great Australian mums and learn from each other.

***There are a few spots left if you know anyone in Australia that should know about this! And while we're on Retreats, we just launched Retreats in April in Vegas and Palo Alto. For details on all upcoming events, click HERE.

7 comments:

Eli said...

Have fun Sar and Ash! What a fun opportunity! Can't wait to hear about it. Thanks for all you are doing for moms around the world!

Jonah and Aja said...

We are all so excited for you!

You simple must go to the Australia Zoo (rest in peace, Steve the crocodile Hunter) on the Sunshine Coast (north of Brisbane). It was fantastic. You get to pet the kangaroo, hold koalas, and learn lots about Australia's habitats without having to drive to far up into the bush. Watch all the shows if you can. Plus, the Sunshine Coast is a mini, less-touristy version of the Gold Coast.

On the other hand, the Gold Coast beaches are gorgeous and worth a day of just sun bathing.

We haven't been to Sydney, but you are going to have loads to see while you are there anyway.

I advise that you drink loads of ginger beer and eat heaps of Australian licorice as well.

If you need help figuring out accommodations, we have some good places we always recommend.

Also, the op shops (charity shops) are great places to get gifts for your kids back home.

Have so much fun! Can't wait to hear all about it! YAY!
-Aja

Rachelle said...

Have so much fun! What a great memory to share with your oldest too!

Anonymous said...

I'm so excited about conference this weekend - thanks for coming all this way!!! :) :)

Heather said...

Hi I’m Heather! Please email me when you get a chance! HeatherVonsj(at)gmail(dot)com

Jo Guy said...

I am soooooooooooo excited you are coming to australia!!! I can't wait to meet you all at the gold coast retreat!!
Felicity truly is a wonderful woman, mother and friend (she is one of my nearest and dearest, she was even my bridesmade!!) She is such an inspiration to me and I think once you meet her in person you will never forget her.
see you on friday!!!
Jo

Jo Guy said...

I am soooooooooooo excited you are coming to australia!!! I can't wait to meet you all at the gold coast retreat!!
Felicity truly is a wonderful woman, mother and friend (she is one of my nearest and dearest, she was even my bridesmaid!!) She is such an inspiration to me and I think once you meet her in person you will never forget her.
see you on friday!!!
Jo

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