This is a good time to ask, because international travel
barriers are falling fast. Overseas speaking opportunities
are more abundant, due to the
increase in multinational organizations. Language barriers are falling
away, too, thanks to instantaneous
translation apps. This could be the
chance you’ve been waiting for to
expand your brand.
I’ve been waiting for permission
. . . waiting for ideal conditions,
Waiting for the stars . . .
to line up in my heart,
Waiting for the day . . .
when I don’t feel afraid,
But when my life is said and done . . . what if that day
never comes? —From “George Bailey” by Jana Stanfield
the suppOrt Might surprise yOu
My mom’s macular degeneration,
which has been causing her to lose her
sight, was actually why she was sup-
portive. “Honey, we’re all getting
older,” she said. “When your eyes
can’t see the Taj Majal, and your legs
can’t climb Machu Picchu anymore,
I don’t want you to regret the things
you didn’t do.”
Now that I’m back from the gap
year that turned into a gap decade
(my “10-Year Personal Peace Corps Pilgrimage”), I want all
my speaking colleagues to know that global adventures are
more accessible—and affordable—than you ever dreamed.
Here are some easy ways you can experience extended
adventures, while staying connected with your business,
family and clients.
the Cheapest Way tO play:
extend yOur stay
It makes me sad when I hear “I flew to
South Africa, did the speech and flew
back the same night.” Well, first jealous,
then mad, then sad. Your client paid the
most expensive part: the flight. Catch an
Uber to a cheaper hotel, or a cheap flight
to a nearby island before going home.
Remind yourself of this truism: “Travel is
the only thing you can buy that makes
Even one extra day of seeing your life
and work through the lens of another
culture can transform the way you
think, speak and live.
Hopping a cheap flight to Bali after a Singapore speaking engagement led to a new avocation for me
and gave NSA’s Holly Stiel, MEd, a career-affirming connection on what we called “The Jana-Holly-Bali-Loo-yah.”
Since Holly’s expertise is in the hotel business, she wanted
to stay at Bali’s Four Seasons Hotel. To accommodate my
budget, we canceled, stayed someplace cheaper and hiked
up to the Four Seasons for lunch.
When our waiter recognized Holly
(because when we booked, the staff
got her photo and bio), he asked if
he could get his manager. Soon, a shy,
“I am first female hotel manager of
Four Seasons Bali, because of your book,
madam,” she said in broken English.
“When I first see textbook you write,
I borrow and make copy of every page.
I study every night, do what you say, every
day. When I become manager, I dream to meet you one day,
and now you here, at my hotel!”
Bali made Holly happy, and made
me rich. Changing $100 into local cur-
rency gives you 1 million rupiah in bills.
With a million bucks in your pocket,
you recall the times you said, “If I had
a million dollars . . .” I kept thinking,
Which is the illusion? What would
I do if I were a millionaire?”
Left: Stanfield speaking at TEDx
in Channai, India.
Below: A typical street scene
in Northern Vietnam.
A trio of Vietnamese women
squat near a waterway.