Sliding into 2017 with a hygge retreat

Happy New Year! We just got back from family parties in Los Angeles, followed by a snowy retreat in the beautiful Sierra National Park where we practiced the Danish art of hygge – slowing down, getting cosy, and enjoying winter with like-minded people. Our holidays were filled with sledding adventures, board games by the fire, and hiking among the giant Sequoias. Oh – and a distinct lack of Internet access.

That last quality was a BIG challenge for us (me especially) but it gave us a much-needed break from the always-on distractions of social media and email. We were forced to go outside, explore the world, and connect with the people around us – and each other. I played more games with my family this past week than I have in the last year – and got the chance to do some longer-term thinking & writing as well. A wonderful and much-needed retreat – and pontent reminder to put more hygge into our lives.

Blessedly, on this vacation everything went smoothly, with no hitches – thanks to several online services that I’ve come to rely on without even realizing it.

NextDoor is a neighborhood-focused service with verified identity – not just anyone can join, and you need to prove you actually live in the neighborhood. I use NextDoor during holidays & vacations to find someone to care for our 3 beloved cats.  This year, we found a wonderful local family with 2 cat-crazy kids who wanted to earn money over vacation. They took great care of our cats, sending me updates and leaving us a thank-you note.I LOVE giving neighborhood kids their first paid gig – and NextDoor’s verified identify system allows me to feel comfortable letting a stranger into my house.

Thumbtack is a service for hiring a freelancer or contractor that I’ve come to rely on.  It’s great for finding local help – and GENIUS when you’re traveling.

This holiday, we had a family mini-reunion in LA, complete with 4 generations of Kims. I used Thumbtack to find a local photographer who could meet us in my mother-in-laws backyard during a 1-hour window of opportunity. It worked great – the photographer was prompt & professional and the photos came out great.

During this trip, we booked a mountain lodge for snowy fun – and used TripAdvisor to research and choose our vacation digs. For longer stays we use AirBnB and HomeAway – but when I want someone else to make breakfast and worry about meals, finding a great price on a hotel that’s just right for us is a wonderful service. We also used Tripadvisor to book a quick 1-night hotel room in LA when the guest room wasn’t available – and again, it worked out great and was perfect for us.

For the drive to and from Montecito-Sequoia, we used Kayak to find a 4-wheel drive vehicle with snow tires, which weren’t that easy to find.  Now, I’m not an expert snow driver – and the car we rented was GREAT – it got us out of numerous slippery situations during our time in the mountains. I found exactly the features I needed and a great price through kayak – and frugal person that I am, I LOVE knowing that I’m getting a great deal.

I appreciate that power of verified identity, search-friendly reviews and socially-sourced recommendations — that’s what helped us zero-in on what works for our particular family and situation. In the coming years, I think we’ll see more systems with these properties – especially as big data and machine learning leverage the growing body of social knowledge that we’re all generating every day, with our digital footprints & activities.

Until then – enjoy your Winter & get your hygge on! 🙂

The post Sliding into 2017 with a hygge retreat appeared first on Amy Jo Kim.

Author: Amy Jo Kim
Source: http://amyjokim.com/blog/2017/01/10/sliding-2017-hygge-retreat/

Written By juliooliveira

I’m from Sao Paulo / Brazil, married with a incredible woman called Francine and I have two lovely children: Sarah (8 years old) and Nicolas (2 years old). Currently enrolled at the master degree program (MSc) in Information Systems Management at the University of Liverpool (UK). Holder of the credentials PMP and PMI-ACP of the Project Management Institute (PMI).

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