Can you believe that I have been involved with Girl Gone International for almost five years now!?
How did this happen? I remember all those years ago, when I was living in Seoul and first found the Facebook group and read issue 1 of their digital magazine. I was blown away.
Finally, a group of women who related to my weird life abroad.
I immediately contacted the founder, Anne Scott, and she asked me to write a supplement for Seoul. I agreed enthusiastically and got to work. Not long after, I started the very first community in Asia.
At that time, there were only about 15 cities and all based in Europe so it was exciting to be at the forefront of this new community, especially in Asia.
It was difficult at first, finding venues (with my butchered ass Korean), negotiating a good deal, making flyers (god they were ugly) and trying my hand at Facebook promotion.
It was funny actually but difficult, very difficult.
Then came the hosting, and explaining to the community what GGI represented. I was always a little event planner when I was younger but I never thought it would be something I would get so deeply involved with that it would become a part of the fabric that makes me me.
Now, five years later, I sit here thinking wow, I have helped build the GGI community in Asia to over 20 cities!
I have helped start and support most of the cities, and in my free time!! I have supported the managers every step of the way, guided them, and helped however I could to make sure that they enjoyed their rides as a community manager for the global community. Now, GGI is at well over 140 cities and we keep growing faster than any of us can keep up.
It hasn't been easy, managing cross-border volunteer teams, managing strong personalities, and social media disasters and oh so much more but I have learned so much!
A few months after starting the community in Seoul, I moved to Europe for a bit and Anne and I became buddies, and I promised her to help develop Asia upon my return but this time I moved to Shanghai! The best city in the world.
I love that GGI Shanghai just celebrated its 3-year anniversary in style. I love that now we have five cities in China and are growing fast!
My team here in Shanghai is phenomenal! Janet is my rock, my best friend, the reason that GGI doesn't keep me up at night with stress. Rebecca is my consistent, smart, and kind book club manager who doesn't skip a beat, and has the patience of an angel. Rachel and Vy have been so supportive with the website and articles and soon Rachel will take over as fitness manager when Janet leaves. Laura is my arts manager who I can always count on to join all GGI events and makes sure she includes her group in what kind of things they would like to do monthly. The team will continue to grow too and I am excited to see what the future holds.
The 3-year party was FUNNNN. Exhausting but fun. We planned for a solid month for this thing. The theme was 1920s Shanghai which was perfect for the venue, Lychee in the Former French Concession. It's an old refurbished colonial mansion that was just perfectly glamorous. We had such a great turnout too, lots of giveaways, danced, drank, took silly photos and just had a ball. By the time it was over, I could barely formulate a sentence. Go team. Go GGI.