PANGEA DREAMS ALUMNI BLOG
WITH JENNA MIECH
NICARAGUA EDITION – JUNE 2017
Why did you decide to join us on a retreat? What excited you most about the retreat?
Tracy initially tagged me in the retreat post on IG, and after sending me all the information and with the general idea that I’d like to share my travel photography and stories better I decided to join. I was really excited to meet other like-minded ladies, and to see if I could improve on my direction, aesthetic and photography skills.
How did your life change after the retreat?
After sharing my travel experiences with the girls at the retreat I had a lot of questions and comments about the off-the-beaten-track locations or hidden gems I’d found, rather than all of the major tourist sights. While I do love being a tourist occasionally (who doesn’t want to explore the Venetian canals or wander the streets of Oia Village?!), I found that it was those different experiences or perspectives that people were more interested in. So that is what I’m focusing on now, I really want to show girls that they can travel to less touristic or less explored locations solo and safely – from Honduran chicken buses to hitch hiking in Albania and everything in between. I’ve also turned myself into more of a morning person – better lighting and less crowds!
Did Pangea dreams set you up for success? What skills did you take away from the retreat?
Beyond a doubt!! Manual photography and editing skills were probably the biggest help, but the Instagram engagement and collaboration workshops gave me so many great skills that have helped immensely! Now that I’ve improved my aesthetic using Tracy’s tips I feel more confident to reach out to brands and accommodation providers to collaborate. I also loved Reese Evan’s from Yes Supply workshop, because she taught some really valuable techniques for breaking down barriers to achieving your goals and some amazing self-motivation and self-improvement skills.
Which workshop was your fav and why?
I loved them all but if I had to narrow it down it would be either Tracy’s engagement workshop or Mel’s Lightroom skills and impromptu manual photography workshop. I loved Tracy’s engagement workshop because there were so many little tips and tricks that you’ll never find in the generic ‘How to be Successful on Instagram’ workshops that people market, and because she tailored it to help each of our profiles. Mel’s Lightroom workshop I loved because although I’d had basic photography lessons I wasn’t confident at all with manual, and I’d never used an editing program before. Now I set everything myself, shoot every picture in manual mode and RAW format, and edit using Lightroom. Bonus tip – for those of you getting started Mel Vandersluis preset’s from https://presetsbymel.com are great for those just starting out.
Outline your fav day from the retreat. What did it consist of? Why was it your fav?
My favourite day was the day of the catamaran cruise – sailing the Nicaraguan coast, visiting deserted beaches with great tunes, ceviche and drinks – what more could you ask for? Except this day was my birthday, and while I didn’t say much as soon as all the girls found out they went to extra lengths to make it special for me, from helping create the perfect birthday mermaid photo to saving me the last brownie and finding a candle (harder than you think) to sing happy birthday. And I love that I have so many photos from this day, where Tracy and Kat managed to capture how blissfully happy I was. It definitely showed me how special, thoughtful and kind Tracy and all the girls were.
How did it feel to be surrounded by other likeminded women? How did that motivate you?
I didn’t have any support from my friends back home, so to be surrounded by a group of ladies that were instantly interested in my experiences, thoughts and hopes was beyond wonderful. Everyone took the time to think about my ideas and barriers, gave positive or constructive feedback and solutions, and pushed me to work towards what was originally the vague idea that I’d like to share some of my travel stories. Also listening to everyone’s stories was very inspiring, motivating and has pushed me to turn my ideas into a reality and make these women proud!!
Did the retreat live up to your expectations? Would you recommend the retreat to a friend or someone who is interested in joining us on a retreat?
YES and YES!!!