IMG_4390I’ve just return from a two-and-a-half week belated honeymoon to Europe (it’s hard to believe I was in Paris Monday and am somehow in Connecticut today). I’m sure you’re thinking that what I took away from the trip was an amazing dinner cruise on the Seine in Paris, an exhausting but incredible visit to Vatican City in Rome and more pasta and pizza than I can count.

And that’s all true.

But I’ve also come back refreshed, invigorated and bustling with new content marketing ideas. Yes, let’s face it, as a content marketer we can never turn it off, even when we are traipsing across Rome, Florence, the Italian Riviera and Paris.

Here are three lessons Europe taught me about content marketing:

  • Stop and Reflect: I’m a New Yorker through and through. I walk with purpose, have no patience for slow talkers and believe that life should move at lightning speed. In Europe, I was a fish out of water. Time just seems to slow down there. People walk slower; they dine longer; they seem to appreciate more. But in those quiet moments—sitting and people watching at dinner or reclining on a park bench—I was reminded of how much we can take in when we pause and reflect. Imagine how much more creative we could be as content marketers if we pushed the “pause” button every so often. So moving forward, carve out at least one day a month (let’s start small) to give yourself a creative day. Work off-site for the day, push emails to the side and really reflect on how you can take your content marketing efforts to new heights.
  • Embrace New Ideas: Being in another country is a great way to step out of your comfort zone. It forces you to open your eyes to new foods, art, language and culture. So embrace the concept of “new” when it comes to your content marketing efforts. Maybe November will be the month you take a whirl at podcasting. Perhaps 2015 will be all about getting your C-suite to blog. Find comfort in an uncomfortable place and be willing to try all content marketing avenues that could maximize revenue. After all, you wouldn’t pass on the duck in Paris would you?
  • Keep Going: For some, going to Europe can be relaxing. You can choose one activity a day; take taxis to all your destinations; and carve out critical time each day to sit at cafes and people watch. My trip to Europe was anything but relaxing, and I wouldn’t have it any other way. My husband and I jammed as much as we could into every day, often waking up at 6:30 a.m., going to three museums in one day and grabbing lunch on the go. We also choose to walk everywhere, even if our destination was a 45-minute walk away. Needless to say, we were exhausted. As a content marketer you probably feel the same. But in your case your hands hurt more than your feet and your brain hurts more than legs. In Europe, I learned to push past the fatigue. It’s OK to be drained, especially if greatness is around the corner. So don’t fret when you have those 12-hour work days; accept you will have sleepless nights. Exhaustion often leads to greatness.

Where have your travels taken you this year? Have you picked up on any pearls of content marketing wisdom across your voyage?