How do I introduce @Sally_K? I have to use her Twitter handle, because that’s how I know her! Sally was one of the first local people I met on Twitter, over 3 years ago. Through TweetUps, which Sally organizes, we became friends IRL (in real life). In fact, we have quite a close-knit tribe of friends here in Marin County, and we all met because of Twitter and our TweetUps. I thought this would be a fun time to interview Sally because she recently went on an exciting whale-watching excursion with our friends @Charleegee and @Brainmaker. I’ll let Sally tell the story…
Bio: Besides blogging and organizing TweetUps, Sally Kuhlman is passionate about supporting local, independently owned business, spending time with her friends, hiking with her dog, and cooking healthy, tasty meals. Sally is also a big supporter of marriage-equality-for-all. Sally has been with her partner, Celia Graterol (www.graterolconsulting.com) since 1995 and they have recently survived raising 3 teenagers. In 2010, Sally went on a new adventure and took on a J.O.B. in the financial world of San Francisco. She now tweets from the bus while commuting to and from work over the Golden Gate Bridge. She also takes some really cool photos from the bus and considers herself an iPhone photographer.
Peggy: You recently went on a spontaneous trip to Mexico in a 4-seater plane to literally hug whales. How exciting was that?! How did it feel to touch a whale?
Sally: The trip was incredible! Touching a whale was a surreal and magical experience. I had no idea how loving, graceful and gentle those creatures are. They came right up to the boat and the boat didn’t even rock when they swam under and around it. [More info + pics on Sally’s blog.]
Sally: I go back and forth between being super practical to adventurous and impulsive. Some of the best and most memorable experiences in my life were when I said yes to things that were out of my comfort zone. Flying to Mexico, in a small 4 person 1968 Bonanza, with 2 people I met through Twitter, to go on a little boat and see whales, was definitely out of my comfort zone! I believe, if you want to have a great life you have to create it. I try to tell that to the young people in my life who seem to just be sitting around waiting for life to happen. I want to say, get out of the house (i.e. your comfort zone) and go make yourself a life! I also want to say that to all the older people in my life who are miserable and complain all the time. Isn’t the definition of insanity doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results? If you never get out of your comfort zone things probably are not going to change much.
Sally: I did not put a lot of thought in to it. The whole thing happened so fast, I didn’t have time to be hesitant. We did have very high winds in Mexicali but thanks to our expert pilot, @Charleegee, we had an exciting, yet smooth landing. I never once felt nervous flying with him.
Sally: Wow, I do not know where to start with answering that question. Twitter has brought so many great things in to my life: education on sustainable eating, amazing adventures, close friends and a community. Thanks to Twitter I have a tight community here in the Bay Area of people I can rely on in the good times and during the challenging ones. The people I have met on Twitter have also reawakened the creative side of me that was squashed in high school by a “bad” art teacher. I’m writing more and spending more time doing art. For instance this past weekend I went to a Vision Book Workshop led by Marilyn LoRusso at the Bean Up the Nose Art Studio of Tamara Holland; two amazing women I met on Twitter who have inspired and brought my creative side back to life.
Sally: Thank you. I would not have been so successful with the Marin TweetUp organizing if it wasn’t for you being adventuresome enough to be the first person to respond to my TweetUp idea back in 2009! I have always been a people connector. I love connecting people. People are what make the world go around. You never know who the person you meet may know. The person standing ahead of you in line at the grocery store might introduce you to your next client. The woman sitting next to you on the bus could be your next boss.
Sally: I started my first official blog in 2006, Virtual Simplicity for my Marketing & Social Media consulting business. Before that I was blogging on MySpace. (Don’t laugh!) I started Sally Around The Bay in 2009. Sally is actually a play on words. Besides being my name, sally means to go out on an adventure or excursion. This is why I started the blog. At the time, I was working from home and feeling fairly isolated. I started the blog to get myself out of the house. The original mission of my blog was to discover hidden gems around the Bay Area and to blog about them. I wrote restaurant reviews, interviewed local, independent shop owners, and blogged about hiking and biking places and other fun things to do around the Bay Area. In the last year or so since I have been working outside of the house in downtown San Francisco, my blog has turned more in to a place of Sally’s rambles and thoughts. I philosophize about life and share my adventures, such as hugging whales, with my readers.
Sally: I think I have always been a positive person. I remember in 5th grade getting ‘Student of the Month’ because of my smile. Probably what inspired my optimism most in life was a tragedy I had in high school when my boyfriend took his own life by suicide. It was a huge wake up call for me to not take people or life for granted. I learned at an early age that the person in front of you might not be there tomorrow.
Sally: When I am in a funk it probably means I am tired and need some quiet time. I can usually get out of a funk if I can get some down time. I enjoy putzing around the house, organizing my office and going on hikes with my partner and our dog. I also have a list of happy songs that I play when I need a pick me up. Of course, a nice chunk of dark chocolate always cheers me up.
Sally: I am definitely a morning person and I do NOT get enough sleep. In a perfect world I would get 8-9 hours of sleep. I generally get 6-7 hours.
Sally: Dark! My favorite chocolate ever was the dark chocolate truffles from Lyla’s Chocolates that used to be here in Mill Valley. Growing up, I loved Godiva. My sister introduced me to Godiva when I was a teenager so I always think of her when I am enjoying a piece of dark chocolate Godiva truffle heaven. I’m a member of the Godiva Chocolate of the Month club. Another favorite which I recently discovered thanks to you is TCHO Roasted Cocao Nibs!
Sally: I am eating Chuao dark chocolate Caracas bar with almonds, hazelnuts and pistachios while completing this interview. Thank you for interviewing me. It is truly an honor to be included on this blog with all these incredibly amazing and successful chocolate-loving women!