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August 2013

Thoughts on traveling, empowerment and adventures as I move to Vegas.

By Joy A. Kennelly

I have a lot of other articles I'm "supposed" to write, but life has been to crazy to sit and concentrate to write them up the way I like to cover things. So if you're waiting, I apologize. Your event is constantly on my mind and will be covered, just not right now.

That said, after listening to the "brain lady" speak the other night I realized I really just feel like writing my story to help sort out my thoughts and process what is happening right now.

I have a tendency to travel on rather short notice and couldn't figure out why that kept happening even though I know about events I want to attend weeks, if not months, in advance. Upon returning from my last, last-minute trip it hit me.

I do it to overcome the fear of going somewhere alone.

I remember when I was preparing to go away to school in Seattle and how afraid I was to leave CA and start fresh there. Friends and family all encouraged me and once I made the leap, I was fine. I became copy editor of our school yearbook, convinced the school to send me and our staff to DC to a huge journalism conference where we learned all about marketing, making our yearbook pop and when we returned, it was the first sold-out yearbook in years. 

When I was one of a hundred selected to attend Obama's first inauguration, I waited until the last minute to make all my travel arrangements there too. It turned out perfectly and I had a great time (even though I was probably one of the few conservatives attending. LOL)

My Mom and Dad plan everything down to a t, but for some reason I just find making things happen quickly works best for me. As a single woman traveling solo, safety is always in the back of my mind which is another reason I decided to start my travel company. It's not easy to find travel partners who have the same schedule or interests as you and if you want to take a big trip, often it's easier and more fun when you have a friend or travel partner to go with you.

Watching Jobs last night with Ashton Kutcher I really related to him, bad sides and all. When I'm focused on something, I'm laser focused and that doesn't leave much time for anything else. I also have really high standards of what I expect to happen which doesn't always sit well with people I work with and I'm working on it. That said, when I do create something it turns out well and I'm proud of it.

After college, I decided to volunteer with Hungarian Orphan children to give back before hitting the real world and ended up staying in Europe traveling around by myself for three months after that experience. I also ran a toy drive for them for three years afterward, but that's another story.

If you had told me I would have the courage, wherewithall, or whatever to do that before I left, I wouldn't have believed you. I was almost raped coming home late from catering one night just before graduating and it really did something to my psyche for a long time, but traveling restored my spirit and joie de vivre in ways no therapy ever did.

When you travel and you only have yourself and God to depend upon, you realize you have deeper resolve and wisdom than you will ever experience staying in your comfort zone.

That's why I love traveling. It's challenging, it's invigorating, it's stimulating, and it's fun. It can also be stressful, difficult, and scary, but the positives so far outweigh the negatives it's the main reason I decided to start my travel adventures for women.

Having run numerous empowerment groups for women where I taught them to set goals and actually achieve them and to see these same women blossom into powerful women who see themselves in whole new ways and accomplish things they never thought possible, it's another reason I see the value of what I'm creating.

We as women are judged by our age, our beauty, our weight, our social status, our cars, our clothes and so much more. But when you travel, it's the great equalizer and for once we're just people on a journey experiencing new opportunities, people and all the rest fades away.

Plus, it's fun! And I'm all about the fun.

I could go on and on about other last minute trips I've taken that turned out really well, but actually, I'm about to take another last minute trip to Vegas to start a new life there and really must get to packing.:) 

And yes, you read this right. I'm moving to Vegas.

It's been on my thoughts since January when I visited their tech scene then and this last trip mixing and mingling with the startup scene again through Startup Weekend and SXSWV2V only cemented my desire.

Plus, I have nothing really holding me here and am ready for a new adventure. I'm sure I'll have a lot of visitors too because everyone wants to come to Vegas!:) Another great reason to launch my travel business there!

So, best get back to packing. Say a prayer for me if you pray and stay in touch.

Love to see you there!



My interview with @LiveGrey Co-Founder and @thisismkg Founder, Maneesh Goyal -

By Joy A. Kennelly

Recently, I met with Maneesh K. Goyal, one of the Co-Founders of the cool new website,, also founder of MKG, an experiential brand marketing firm. We chatted over tea at the local King's Road Cafe and discovered we shared a lot in common.


He started MKG after pursuing life in a completely different career and subsequently has launched Live in the Grey this January with a partner named David Munczinski who was a fellow at Wharton Leadership.

Knowing since 2000, Gallup polls regularly indicate more than half of American workers are unhappy with their jobs, Maneesh and David decided to start a movement where success was redefined.

Where work was play and lives were changed.


Thus, Live in the Grey was born. 

To quote the official site: "Live in the Grey is a place on the web to experience this philosophy through simple interviews, stories and blog posts and a community of contributors."

(Having been an entreprenuer almost my entire life, I really resonanted with what he was saying, especially now as I prepare to launch Joy's Travel Adventures both as an online social community for women interested in travel and fashion, as well as, a travel web series.) 

Live in the Grey is a place for members to explore, take risks, find support and mentorship, learn from others who have gone before, and boasted 6,000 members nation-wide at the time of our tea.

What was encouraging to hear is that those who take the risk to pursue their life's passion generally discover 2 - 4 years after they make the switch, they look back and are happy they did it.


Maneesh said, "You can't look at success and fulfillment without looking at how your profession plays into it. You can't live in this realm by yourself."

He also shared people's biggest challenge to overcome was fear, but then reminded me, "Fear can be defeated."

He encourages every entreprenuer who is blocked by fear, or wanting to be around like-minded individuals, to consider joining Live in the Grey where you won't be alone and will have examples of other people who have done it too.

"The power of the fulfilled life is game changing!" Maneesh responded when asked what happens to people who make the leap.

Here's a little video that may help explain it better too:


If this is speaking to you, then you can sign up here:

And if you'd like to join me on my journey, then please consider signing up for Joy's Travel Adventure to stay in the loop here:

Thanks as always for popping by! Appreciate it!