A travel paradox – interning with GoLearnTo.com

2549_10150329895249981_658822987_nThis internship made the world both larger and smaller to me.

I learned. From the travel industry to online marketing to life. Everyone was always ready to share. I was given responsibilities and projects of my own, with guidance always close at hand.

Four months ago, I never blogged, hardly used Twitter, thought Pinterest was just a pretty social media platform and didn’t even think about Google+ as all my friends were on Facebook. Four months later, I’ve written more than 50 blog posts, composed more than 1500 tweets, pinned more than 3000 pins on Pinterest and completed a Google Analytics course. I’ve learned how to engage communities on social media and how to monitor this engagement.

Four months ago, SEO sounded like a complicated techie thing. Now… it still IS a complicated techie thing. But I’ve learned some basics to make the complicated techie algorithms calculate in our favour.

Four months ago, I would have misheard thirty-Charlie as dirty Charlie or some other strange permutation like that. Today, when the airport check-in staff said thirty-Charlie on the phone, I knew that she meant seat 30C. I also knew that it was the one by the emergency exit, so I should protest because I’d rather have a proper in-flight entertainment screen firmly attached to the seat in front of me than all the extra leg room that I don’t need anyway.

My first attempts at social media marketing. My first glimpse of the workings behind the almighty Google search. My first insights to the travel industry. First email to journalists. First guest interview for a blog post. First experiences exhibiting at the 50+ Show and the OM Yoga Show. First time making tea with milk (ew. I still don’t like milk.) The more I learned, the more I wanted to know and the more there was to learn. The world became larger.

And I was accompanied by a group of wonderful people. Office (cup)cakes, croissants and conversations. After-work drinks. A kebab trip. A sushi feast. Goodbye was never so difficult. But I guess goodbye isn’t really goodbye if I keep whatsapping to ask for life advice and the latest goss! And maybe we’ll do that pub quiz next time I’m in the area. London seems much closer than before because I know a part of it so well. The world became smaller.

Four months ago, I flew from Singapore to London in anticipation of an amazing internship.  I got much more than that. You may think I’m crazy, flying all that way just for an internship when there are millions of options closer to home. But I had to. They were passionate in what they did and were interested in what I was interested in learning. Now, 40,000 feet in the air and heading in the opposite direction, I know that my very own learning holiday, complete with fulfilling experiences and lovely people, will last a lifetime.

The world became larger. The world became smaller. A travel paradox that made this internship experience all the richer.

Thanks everyone for everything!