Archive for the ‘Life Stories’ Category

If you haven’t noticed, Tourism Land has a new look…and name…and URL. While the design is not really finished yet, I wanted to update you on this change.

I finally replaced my FrontPage/hasn’t-been-updated-since-2009 website with WordPress last week. If want to know more about this delightful process, check out How to migrate your blog.

  • If you’re a life-long fan — and really, who isn’t?! (read with sarcasm) — then please follow me at annehornyak.com.
  • If you previously signed up with your Google Reader, the old RSS feed will still work.
  • If you previously signed up via email, please enter your email address again. I don’t believe the old email subscriptions transferred. If you’ve already received an email for my How to migrate your blog post (Sept 2), you don’t need to sign up again.

Thanks for your continued support!


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I like vintage postcards. Not just for their images but for the stories they tell. And I believe that postcard writing is truly and art form. A lost art at that.

Sheri, a twitter friend, tweeted The lost art of postcard writing earlier this month and we began talking about postcards over twitter. She set up a PO Box so her Facebook friends could send postcards to her kids and I thought that was a wonderful idea!

I asked her for her PO Box address so I could also send them one. Well suburbia isn’t the easiest place to pick up a postcard so it took me a few weeks to find postcards. But I finally found some at the Indiana Welcome Center in Hammond, IN. By the way, if you’re looking for The Christmas Story memorabilia, go to their gift shop.

The plan is to regularly mail postcards to Sheri’s kids. Hopefully I’ll be able to travel more so the postcards won’t all be of Indiana or Chicago but I stocked up at the Welcome Center just in case. If you’re interested in sending them a postcard, please message me for their address. (more…)

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Reflections of cloudsThere’s something amazing about twitter. It’s so easy to find and connect with people who share similar interests with you. And every once in a while, you’ll create lifelong friendships and find everyday heroes too. A few new names were added to my list of heroes this weekend.

Betsy Decillis and I went on #geekcation this past weekend. We had our first #geekcation, May 2010, in Chicago when we worked on acquiring Foursquare badges. This #geekcation was a little different as it was based on a visit to AJ Bombers, a mecca for social media geeks. (more…)

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The days are getting shorter, kids are going back to school and some trees are beginning to drop leaves…summer is definitely on the way out. Take time in the next few weekends to celebrate the end of summer by doing what we do best – traveling!

Road Trip!1. Be a tourist in your town: We live here but we always travel somewhere else for fun. When’s the last time you explored your town as tourists do? Whether it’s going to the downtown shops, a farmers market or a local restaurant, take time to enjoy what you have right here.

2. Take a road trip: Even if it’s just for part of the day, get in your car and DRIVE! There’s no better way to explore our country than to see it first hand on a road trip.

3. Capture your travels on film: Start creating photo and video memories. If you don’t have a camera, just use your phone. Anything is better than nothing. But don’t just collect the memories – share them on Facebook, Flickr and YouTube!

This weekend I’m taking my own advice with a road trip to Milwaukee. But it’s much more than just a road trip. It’s a #geekcation with Betsy Decillis. Yes, we’re tourism geeks and we use hashtags when we travel. Don’t you??

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Chip was brought into the Illinois Birddog Rescue at 1 week old with 5 littermates and his mom. Two of his sisters are very birdy (will point at birds, as English Setters should) but for some reason Chip isn’t interested in birds. He used to beautifully point and flush out Daisy a few years ago but other than that, no real pointing.

But all hope is not lost. He’s been perfecting his Owling stance!

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I didn’t think it was possible to fit this much awesomeness into one month but I have been lucky enough to coordinate schedules with three fantastic tourism professionals (and incredible friends) this month. All IRL. In Real Life.

The series of meet-ups begin with Vicky Soderberg. Her twitter bio states “Creative collaboration with communities to preserve sense of place, strengthen tourism & enhance economic development” but as if that wasn’t enough, Vicky is also social media rockstar and a great friend. I can’t wait to meet her for the first time!

Mid-August is a meet-up with Katie Cook, an amazing friend and super savvy tourism geek. Need html help? Katie’s got you covered. Need to complain about geeky stuff? Katie again. I’m privileged to work with Katie professionally and even though we joke about it, I actually do miss her when one of us is out of the office for a few days.

And at the end of the month will be an epic tourism tweet-up at AJ Bombers with Betsy Decillis. Especially with all of our similarities, it’s almost incomprehensible that Betsy and I have only met up twice before. We’re #tourismchat partners in crime and constantly tease about our #catholicguilt, which is always in the form of a hashtag. Even when not on twitter. Only on rare occasions do we not communicate daily in some fashion. It’s been mentioned that we share the same brain but even more importantly, according to this amazing infographic Betsy found, we both have geeky grins. And that says it all. (more…)

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It’s been brought to my attention that some people don’t think I can be mean. And while that’s probably a good thing, sometimes I’ll go out of my way to be nice and end up sacrificing things I want to keep others happy. If you’re also like this, take a vow to change with me. From this point forward, we will be more like the Honey Badger, the most fearless animal in all of the animal kingdom.

Warning: video contains offensive language.

Honey Badger don’t care.

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