Learn, teach, network, and have fun! Those are my goals at a blog conference like Hispanicize Texas. Houston was the place to be for Texas-area Latino/Hispanic bloggers and influencers this summer. We were there! In addition to joining my tribe as a blogger, I took the opportunity to bring my friend Melissa and her daughter along for a quick road trip. Road trips are great bonding times and a fun adventure for the kids! Thanks to our friends at Chevy, we were able to drive the 2018 Chevy Equinox from San Antonio to Houston for this experience.
Lonestar Latinas: Leading, Independence, and Cultura
While I love to attend conferences to network with new friends and visit with long-time ones, I also really enjoy speaking at conferences. I had the honor to sit on stage with five other powerful Tejanas – Robyn Moreno, Latina Magazine; Yvonne Guidry, Spoiled Latina; Ingrid Quiroz, Soy Texas; Marissa Rodriguez, Modern Tejana; and Wendy Perez, Hey Wendy Vanessa. We talked all things blogging, culture, accomplishments, fears, and, of course, Texas!
Here are a few the points that I shared in our candid conversation:
- To get started blogging, just start! There will never be a perfect time to do it so you might as well do it now. Logos, website themes, photos can all be added or edited as you go along.
- Show up to a blog conference not just to learn but to network! So much of my own success is because I attend conferences and make it a point to meet new people. Follow up and stay in touch. That’s how you begin professional relationships.
- Stay true to your own voice. Even if that means you have to go back and revisit your reason for starting. We all get off track and that’s okay. Check yourself and get back to the basics.
- It’s always the right time to do the right thing. In today’s political climate, we may have all kinds of feelings about what’s okay to say and what’s not okay. If you know it’s the right thing to do, then do it – speak up, stop and listen, stand up for someone, whatever.
Photo courtesy of Stephanie Guerra
My son joined me at the conference and I was so proud to have him watch me on stage. However, he learned lessons of his own. He attended the Gen Z Track hosted by one of my favorite groups, Latinitas. I’m so glad that they were there to teach and guide your young ones about how and why to use social media. He came away with some tricks but more importantly, he came away with more self-confidence. Having him with me for this experience is one of the best memories we could make together.
READ MORE: Find Your Voice to Make a Difference at Hispanicize 2017 – I’m a Tecla Award Finalist
Road Tripping with Friends to a Blog Conference
I was so happy to have our friends join us for this adventure. Not only did we get to bond during the drive time but Hispanicize Texas was the first blog conference and a new experience for both Melissa and her daughter. They both had their own great takeaways from it all.
A good road trip wouldn’t be complete without an unexpected adventure. Ours started out with one. As Melissa was arriving at my house early in the morning, I was frantically packing at the last-minute because that’s what I do. Sure enough, I couldn’t find the key to the Equinox. Since it’s on loan for a week, it is not on my regular key chain. We thought we looked ‘everywhere’. My husband went to the Equinox, peaked in the window, and spotted the bag that I had last left the key fob. I had locked the key in the car. We were set to leave in 15 minutes to make it on time.
Luckily, my husband reminded me that the Equinox was equipped with OnStar. So, I called the number, gave them the pertinent information, and they were able to unlock the car! Yay! That would have been the best if the key were in the bag in the car. It wasn’t. The sweat from embarrassment begins as I think about how I had invited my friend to take a road trip in this fancy new Equinox and now have to tell her the change of plans. Just before I step out the door to do so, my husband surprises me by pulling the key fob out of my backpack … that I had already checked … and so did my son. Phew! At least we could still make it on time.
2018 Chevrolet Equinox FWD LT
In the car, we enjoyed the WiFi hotspot! My son could connect to his mobile device and play games and stream his own music. When he and Melissa’s daughter wanted to, they could watch together and when they needed their own space, there was plenty of that for them to do their own thing. Houston is only a three-hour drive from San Antonio. It was a good time to get to know one another.
As the driver, I appreciated the Side Blind Zone Alert to let me know when or if a car was in my blind spot and the Rear Cross Traffic Alert to let me know if anyone was behind me when I was in reverse. I also enjoyed Apple CarPlay. All I had to do was connect my phone to the Equinox and I had text messages by voice, all my contacts, all my music, and my maps for directions. I have no photos to share because I had my hands on the wheel since I didn’t have to pick up my phone to look at it. It is awesome!
One safety feature that is available on the 2018 Chevy Equinox is the Rear Seat Reminder (see video below min. 2:08). My kids are big enough now that if I left them in the backseat, they could get themselves out. However, as a parent, I’m so glad this feature exists and is on many Chevy vehicles. If you complete a ride where the back door was opened and closed, the Equinox will alert you with a reminder to check the back seat. There is not a sensor to detect if there is a child back there. So, even if you just put your purse in the back seat, you’ll still receive the alert. The goal is to help parents and caretakers remember to check their back seats for children and prevent any harm or deaths to children left in hot cars. It’s a good move.
WATCH our Chevy Equinox Road Trip to Hispanicize Texas Recap Video
After cruising around in the 2018 Equinox for a week, it’s not hard to understand why it is Chevy’s second-best selling vehicle. This 2018 Equinox FWD LT drives smoothly with the 2.0L Turbo 4-cylinder engine and 9-speed automatic transmission. I don’t get deep into the specifics on my blog but I’ll add that I forgot that it was a 4-cylinder when I was driving it. Overall, I thought it was a solid small SUV and 25 MPG isn’t too shabby either. You can learn more about the 2018 Chevy Equinox online.
Queridos, have you ever taken a road trip to a blog conference? Tell me about it in the comments or on social media @QueMeansWhat.