I’ve been away a lot these last two months, some of it has been for work and some for pleasure (an entrepreneur has got to have fun, right?!). Perhaps one of the most fun moments that I’ve had this year happened a couple weeks ago in France.
You see, my lovely friend Haleigh who’s a Paris based, super talented creative entrepreneur turned 30 last month, a milestone, and she decided to celebrate it in the most fun way: getting all of her dearest friends together for an unforgettable weekend in the countryside of France.
As entrepreneurs, we often put ourselves last on the list, preoccupied with meeting deadlines for clients, making money to live while working unorthodox schedules, which sometimes leaves very little time to get together with friends and family.
If you have an important milestone or life event coming up, here are some essential elements I learned from Haleigh’s 30th birthday festivities that will make your next celebration an unforgettable one!
Location, Location, Location
Haleigh is an American entrepreneur based in Paris. France has some of the most breathtaking landscape as well as architecture I’ve ever seen. With that in mind, Haleigh had the brilliant idea of renting a castle in the Loire region in France for her birthday festivities. Not only was the castle breathtaking, but it took us all away from our day to day urban hustle into the French countryside, how cool is that?
You may not live in a country that has castles, but I’m pretty sure wherever you are, there’s a dope location or unique spot that speaks to you. It could be a beautiful outdoor park for a BBQ or perhaps, you live in a country with beaches, whatever it is, put your sauce on it. Haleigh is a very talented photographer and videographer, and most of her friends are creatives too, so she really chose a place that spoke to her as well as to all of us in terms of beauty and scenery of the place and location.
Vibes to me are created by the people you have around you. A lot of us didn’t know each other and met at Château Chastain (that’s what we called the castle) for the first time. Some were already great friends. As the host, you sort of don’t really know how people are going to get on but a great way to get the ball going is with good food and good drinks, which there were plentiful at Chateau Chastain. During the entire weekend, different groups cooked for all us (30 + people!), while others set the tables while others did the dishes. We also ate together, which gave us the opportunity to get to know one another. The point is, when people do things collectively, it gives them the opportunity to speak and to get to know each other. That sets the vibe for a joyous time.
Thankfully, there was something for everyone at Chateau Chastain, from tennis to ping pong to playing cards against humanity as a group and laughing our heads off or even having photoshoots (I mean, who wouldn’t with that scenic setting!) make sure you have things ready so that people are entertained. You don’t need to be in charge of it, you just need to have it handy.
Friendship & Community
This is a big one for me and perhaps the most important: the opportunity to make new friends and build a community around the world. I knew just a couple of people via Haleigh prior to the weekend, but I can say that by the end of the weekend, I made some new incredible friends as well as possible collaborators for my work projects. You never know the impact of putting on a celebration until the aftermath and see how conversations continue or new friendships are formed afterwards. In this lonely world of entrepreneurship, it’s so refreshing to meet like-minded people with whom I can share and learn from in a casual environment where nothing feels forced and then boom, magic happens!
Are you planning a celebration over the summer? Do tell!