Looking For Direction and How #TheNewKia Got Me There
Disclosure: This event was an all expense paid experience with Kia. All opinions are 100% my own.
I don’t quite often tell stories that have a moral to them, but this one does. So buckle up. One moral to this story coming your way!
I’ll start off by saying that sometimes in life you find yourself going down roads (literally) and you aren’t quite sure where those roads will lead you. This can be both exciting and frightening.
Looking for direction.
But that’s the great thing about life, right? We get to map it all out and chose our own paths.
U-turns acceptable. Detours as options. Tired of driving? Take the bus. Hitch a ride. Get there however you want or don’t get there at all. Right? Life really is about choosing paths and destinations but mostly, and trust me on this, it’s about the journey. The things, people and places that happen along the way. It’s about finding direction. Looking for the direction that works for YOU. In this case, ME.
I’ve worked a little with the folks from Kia (you might remember that we drove a Kia during our family trip to San Diego last year) but I hadn’t quite yet experienced the “Kia culture”, if you will. I knew that we were very impressed with the vehicles and the brand, but didn’t know much more.
Then last month I was invited to partner with Kia to experience and attend #TheNewKia event in San Diego, and I was a bit excited to find out more about this company. (Get a peek at my AHmazing room at the Hard Rock Hotel in San Diego) Little did I know upon accepting the invite, I was not only going to learn a lot about Kia, but would end up learning a lot about myself as well.
REVERSE. Back it up a little….
Throwing it in reverse (kind of like Steven Tyler in the Kia commercial) here real quick to give you a bit more history. Last summer I made some personal decisions regarding my blog and my work here online. Heading into my tenth (10th!!) year of blogging, I really wanted to be intentional about where I was spending my time (and yours!) and that included my relationships with brands. As you might know, I’m a brand loyalist through thick and thin and when I latch myself on to a brand, I’m pretty much a lifetime fan. For that reason, I’m also super picky about the brands that I work with and I am really committed to only sharing things that I truly love with all of you. As 2018 approached, I decided that the word INTENTION would be my “word” for the new year, and I have to say, it has served me well. Being intentional in my decision making, regardless of it being personal or business related, has been a game changer for me.
So, at the time that invitation arrived, I was already pretty committed to sticking to my goals for 2018. Any time away from my family needs to be time well spent. Kia is a brand that I really wanted to connect with, so I went into this with the intention of building a relationship, but it turned out to be so much more.
Meet the Kia Stinger
The Kia event centered around the Kia Stinger but also included some insight into the entire brand, past and present. We had the chance to interact with Kia team members and a host team of Kia Ambassadors who treated us like royalty. I mean, it’s not too hard to fall in love with a car when it looks like this.
The Kia brand story is actually a pretty fascinating and inspirational one. They admittedly made mistakes in the beginning but this is a brand that fought hard for respect and honors in the market place and the Kias that we see today rank high in both quality and performance.
The Kia Stinger definitely brings all that and more. It’s stunningly beautiful and it drives like a luxury car. So smooth and just love how comfortable it is. It’s also quite roomy! It seats 5 and has a large trunk for those family road trips or Costco store excursions. Even more impressive is the fact that this beauty has some serious street cred. It can go from 0-60 MPH in 4.7 seconds! All that and looks too, of course I wanted a selfie with this bad boy:
Mapping it all out. (outside my comfort zone)
Knowing that I might find myself outside of my comfort zone on this trip, I was committed (intentionally!) to be “all in”. That’s not always the easiest thing to do, especially in new territory. But again, true to my commitment to myself, I wanted to get the very most out of the opportunity.
We were put into groups of four and my team included Victoria from Simply Today Life, Kelly from Food Fun and Faraway Places and Ruth from Viva Veltoro. I couldn’t have selected a better group of ladies to spend the day with, we had a total blast and I could tell that each one of them was committed to the experience as well.
Our challenge was to not only test drive the car around San Diego for the day, but to also create a music video from the car. We had just a few hours so after cruising around a bit, we parked down by the bay and in just about 5 or 6 takes, we got it done. I think we nailed it!
Staying in my own lane. Kind of…
Wow. So I went out of my comfort zone and it didn’t kill me. In fact, I had a blast. Just because I’m a mom and I’m loaded with worries and responsibilities, that doesn’t mean that I can’t have fun, right!? That’s one thing that this experience taught me and I really want my kids to know this as well. It’s ok to have fun. In fact, it’s healthy! We laughed, we sang, we laughed some more and you know what… it was so refreshing to just let loose and get out of that serious lane for a change. So while I will probably stay in my lane most of the time, I’m thinking that a quick jump over to the passing lane for a change of pace won’t kill me either. It actually might make me better.
And it did make me better. The people on this trip made me better. I made so many new friends, while also strengthening old friendships. Sometimes experiences can be intimidating but they can also push us to grow and I think that because we were all in this together, we grew together. I honestly don’t know if Kia planned it this way, or if that’s just how something like this unfolds but the end result was some priceless connections and lifelong friendships, and I’m so thankful for that!
You GOT THIS girl. You CAN do hard things, remember?
Oh and the fun didn’t end there. After our day of driving, Kia hosted a fun Rock and Roll party themed night and speaking of being out of my comfort zone … guess what else? Karaoke! That’s right. What this experience made me realize is that stepping outside of my comfort zone can have great rewards: new people, places and experiences. I attended this event to learn more about the new Kia but ended up also learning a lot about myself in the process.
And you know what else I realized? I realized that I really DO have a little rock star in me and sometimes just getting up on stage is the very thing that you needed. What can I say? I’m a rock star. We all are!
Take the Trip. Do the Things. Life IS about the journey but it’s also about the people (and vehicles) that you encounter along the way.
Last car pun. My tank is full.
Thank you Kia for a memorable experience that I will never forget! Rock on.