Diane Peacock is a seize the day type of girl. Her positive energy and enthusiasm is contagious and her follow- your-dreams-and-make-it-happen mantra has led her to all 50 states and countless countries, connecting her to thousands of people. It’s impossible to label Diane with just one title. She’s a blogger, a road trip maven, a community activist and a small business champion. With a book collaboration and 50 state speaking engagement tour in the works, we are sure that list is about to get much, much longer. Read on to get to know Diane, hear about how she pays (and PLAYS) it forward and see what else 2013 has in store for her.
What inspired you to start bluelollipoproad.com?
After years of traveling, I started itching for a way to share my stories and adventures with more than just friends and family. I also wanted to inspire other people to just get up and go, to explore beyond everyday surroundings. I thought a blog would be perfect- so I just started writing. Thus, Blue Lollipop Road was born!
Tell us about your upcoming, second-annual BLR Play It Forward event. How can we get involved?
During my Honda sponsored road trip in the fall of 2011, I saw an old soccer teammate I hadn’t seen in years and she sprung on me: “We should have an alumni game Di! You have to plan it. It’d be great!” I was at the point where I’d traveled so much I was ready to “give back” and had thought about establishing a travel scholarship fund. That conversation led to a full-scale weekend long alumni event that Blue Lollipop Road hosts where my fellow soccer alumni and community members gather to reconnect, play soccer, honor lost friends, and have fun! The weekend kicks off with a Welcome Back Party on Friday night. Saturday includes the Strong Mojo Summit (where current female athletes meet alumni to discuss life experiences), a gifting of the Blue Lollipop Road Memorial scholarship, and an Alumni Soccer Game. On Saturday evening “Celebration Cocktails” wrap up the event. The event is a blast. The focus is on giving back to the community and encouraging everyone to maintain a healthy and active lifestyle. We give a local teen the opportunity to travel by awarding a scholarship in honor of my two friends that BLR is dedicated to. It’s pretty much my dream come true. Alumni can register to play in the game, or anyone can donate to BLR Play It Forward and the Blue Lollipop Road Memorial Fund by visiting: http://bluelollipoproad.com
What is a typical day like for you?
I wake up around 6:30am and check my phone responding to any quick important emails, then read the news. I’m out the door at 7am for a run (3-5 miles on weekdays, more on weekends.) I french press coffee as soon as I’m back from running. After that it’s straight to my laptop for emails, writing, editing, uploading photos, and social media. This time of year I spend a lot of time on BLR Play It Forward: recruiting alumni, meeting with press/media, and planning logistics from jerseys and posters to sponsors and food. If I’m not already at a coffee shop working, I usually come up for air in the afternoons when I get an itch- and go camp out at one.
What is your favorite travel destination thus far?
Ooh! This questions always gets me- so many places! In the US, all around favorite:
Beach: Outer Banks, NC
Secret spot of pure heaven: Finger Lakes, Upstate NY
Summer utopia: Anywhere in New England
Food, wine, and serenity: The Napa Valley
Country: Argentina. The people, landscape, food, wine, ahhh….
What sites and resources do you use to plan your trips?
None! I am a less planning, more doing kind of girl. I make sure my AAA card is current, oil is changed and my tank is full and I take off. That’s how the best experiences happen. I say, Always be prepared but don’t “plan.”
What entrepreneur resources have you found to be the most useful?
I’m not sure these would be considered “resources”, but I always like to check out what’s going on with the following organizations to stay inspired to follow my own road- like they do:
What is the best advice you have ever received?
1.) You’re not picky- you just know what you want.
2.) You promote what you tolerate
What do you do in your free time (or would you do if you had any :))?
I run, play soccer, and take classes like hip hop and yoga. I like to play outside as much as possible, and stay super active because I love scoping out delicious local eats and drinks wherever I am, so I’ve got to keep moving to stay healthy! I also just get in the car and drive a lot. On rainy days you can find me at a bookstore researching things such as small businesses, company culture, food and wine.
What else does 2013 have in store for you?
A home base set up in Charlotte in July! I’m very excited as this is the first time I will establish a home base in about 6 years. Also, working on a 50 state tour that will launch in spring 2014. Exciting times ahead!