#Myaltadventure - Part 2

Hello, friends. I hope you're all well. I've been back from SLC for a couple of days now, but I've been fighting the jet lag and getting my mess in order. A lot of washing, plus a healthy stack of business cards and one too many treats bought from US stores are all in need of some attention. If you follow me on Instagram, you'll probably have gathered what an immense time I had at Alt Summit {#myaltadventure}, which was held in Salt Lake City last week. I won a ticket via this {hard to write but honest} post on motherhood, and my husband B was super encouraging about me going, despite the trip costing a fair bit by way of hotels and flights.

For the uninitiated, Alt is a gathering of design, lifestyle and other ace bloggers to learn, share and generally be super inspired about blogging. It's held in Salt Lake City, and the January Alts usually host around 700 bloggers. Yikes. This Alt was the first to be held in SLC in the summer, and it was on the smaller scale, with around 300-400 bloggers, still pretty sizeable and more than enough for an introvert like me to handle! Having joined in the Blogtacular fun in London a short while ago, I was intrigued to see how blogging conferences worked in the US. I'd seen and heard such a lot about Alt online, especially about the fashion and business cards, so I couldn't wait to step into it to see it all first hand.

With sessions on everything from working with brands to getting your editorial schedule in order, there was something for every level of blogger - from rookie to pro. I lapped up all the advice and inspiration, although it'll take me some time to wade through my notes and scribbles. {My handwriting sure does leave a lot to be desired...} But aside from all the round tables, design camps and talks there was lots of time to chat and network with other bloggers and sponsors. Networking tends to leave me a little cold, as I'm pretty much terrified of striking up conversation with folk I don't know, but having flown all the way to SLC I knew I had to step out of my comfort zone. For the most part what I found was a wonderful group of women {and some men}, who were up for chatting, sharing ideas and generally having fun. Sure there was a bit of the 'my blog is bigger than yours' type stuff going on, but it wasn't really apparent to me - everyone I met was super lovely and friendly. A big shout out must also go to my roomie, Celine Navarro. We met on the Alt facebook group, but ended up sharing a room and I am so glad we did. Celine is a seriously talented crafter, scrapbooker, magazine editor and is such fun. Having a blogging BFF for Alt definitely made me so much happier. Thanks, Celine! xo

I feel like there are a million posts in me, post Alt - but I thought it would be good to limit it to four key topics:

1) What I learnt

2) The all-important business card round up

3) Alt for outsiders {read, non-US folk}

4) Tips to have a good Alt

I hope that sounds good to you! So, crashing onto my first topic: what I learnt...

1) I'm more social than I thought

Despite being a confirmed introvert {who much prefers a quiet night in to massive social gatherings}, I surprised myself at how social I was. I didn't want to let up on this amazing opportunity and I didn't want to regret wussing out on chatting to people I was keen to meet. So, on several occasions I did the 'Hi, I'm Ruth' thing - and guess what? The world didn't end. I must do more of this pushing myself to be social malarkey. It's great.

2) I'm full of creative ideas, and I need to 'just start'

Like many people I doubt myself. A lot. I doubt my skills. I doubt my dreams. I doubt what I should be doing in life. But you know what? Those negative voices need to be shushed. I may not have aced art in school, but that doesn't mean I'm not creative. I have big dreams and rather than sitting around leaving them in the air, I'm going to make little goals to achieve them. Watch this space!

3) A British accent is most welcome in the US

As soon as I opened my mouth to talk, it was fairly obvious that  I was different. But I was welcomed so warmly, and so many people I spoke to ended up sharing their stories of trips to London and the UK; it was brilliant. I think coming to Alt from the UK made a bit of a statement, in so much as, 'I'm here and I mean business!' There's a whole post in learning about the pros and cons of attending a blog conference abroad, but I loved being a bit different - it gave me something to talk about with others, and hopefully made me a little bit more memorable!

4) Bloggers are pretty ace

Ok, I knew this already really but it bears repeating. Bloggers work hard and they are brilliant at what they do. I met so many different types of bloggers, but what united everyone was a real hard working ethic, a commitment to innovation and new ideas and a passion for pursuing their dreams. Being around people like this was so inspiring.

5) Making new friends is brilliant

As much as I'm an introvert, I do love making new friends. While it was pretty impossible to meet everyone, I did connect with a handful of friendly and talented ladies who I look forward to continuing a friendship with post Alt, and who knows - possibly some blog collaborations too! Extra props go to my fun friends: Celine, Tan, Sara and Kristan who all look super cool in our Bing lounge photo. What fun!

And one quote, taken from my class right at the start of Alt stayed with me the whole time:

"Don't compare your beginning with someone else's middle." 

Amen to that!

So, those were just some of the things I've brought home with me from SLC. {Along with a lot of peanut butter based products...} There was too much ace stuff to share it all - but I definitely think it has lit a spark in me to really go after my goals more seriously in the coming weeks and months.

I'll be back soon with the all-important business card round-up!