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AUSTIN, TEXAS & SXSW 2017

30.03.2017
"And then I realized, adventures are the best ways to learn."

This March, I had the greatest honor to visit SXSW Festival in Austin. Thanks to my work at the University, Fontys school of ICT. I could not be more grateful for an opportunity like this. And getting to share it with my best work-buddy and friend; it made this trip an unforgettable one. Only writing this makes me want to go back instantly!

Interactive Festival
During the first few days of SXSW, we visited the Interactive festival. It was a whirlwind of inspiration, it was literally everywhere. From panel sessions with the biggest brands, workshops, featured speaker talks and interactive keynotes. Receiving insights on social media from National Geographic or the biggest influencers on Snapchat. A/B testing experiences shared by Netflix.. Design classes by Adobe and and discussing future technologies. Inspiring talks with Marc Jacobs, WWE Superstar John Cena or AR experiences with NASA? Yes even that’s possible. Just check out our space outfits right here!  Anything goes at SXSW! We travelled from one venue to another for every session and it was a great way to see the city this way. And another big plus? The venues were awesome: most of them were located at fancy hotels like Marriott, Hyatt and Hilton! If you want to know more about these keynotes, SXSW posted a lot of sessions on their Youtube channel, all free to watch. Keynotes included!
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Film & Music Festival at night
During daytime we were packed with back to back sessions. But always off after 6! So we had plenty of time to sightsee the city and see what’s out there during nightlife. We enjoyed 6th Street a lot. This whole street was one big party! The roads around this area were blocked so the whole street was easily accessible by foot. The Eastside was incredibly crowded but fun, packed with bars and clubs, live music on every corner, food-trucks and creativity all over. The Westside was more relaxed. We spent a lot of time here too, eating or enjoying some live country music or a cool rockband. On other nights we enjoyed movie premieres from the Film Festival (at the iconic Paramount Theatre and Alamo Drafthouse for example). We even spotted celebrities in real life while we were in Austin, like Adrien Grenier (The Devil Wears Prada and Entourage), Jake Johnson (New Girl) and yes, Mr. RYAN GOSLING! *Insert heart-eyes emoji* 

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The food
Where to start? Luckily my pal had the same hearty appetite like mine! So we enjoyed every lunch-hour and dinnerdate to it’s maximum. We wanted to explore this incredible Texan cuisine and we obviously loved it (we’re meatlovers like that!). Smoked ribs, brisket, steak tacos, you name it! Here’s a little post on all my food-favourites in Austin.

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A few days off
On our days off we enjoyed the city, the hot weather, the park, the Texas History Museum, the river, the mall for shopping and we even did some awesome roadtrips. We did a lovely hike at Mount Bonnell and enjoyed this view so much. There wasn’t a minute that went by that I wasn’t thankful for these moments. Constant smiley faces!

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The adventure
I’ve learned so much. Seen so much. I’ve been writing reports and editing my photos for a few nights in a row now and I can’t believe how much new insights I’ve gained. I can’t wait for the SXSW session we are going to give our colleagues at work in two weeks. I can’t wait to put all this knowledge into practice in my daily work!

The magic that is SXSW
While I’m wrapping up..  I just want to close with this. A thank you. For the words received at every lecture or person I’ve met. The images on the streets, the sound in bars or in film, the movement. The knowledge, the vibe, the energy and inspiration, this city and these beautiful people. Everything. Having the opportunity to learn so many new insights on a level like this is the best. A festival packed with creative, wonderful and unique minds. Each with their own awesome talent and treasures. Learning has never been so much fun and exciting at the same time.

These memories will always hold a special place in my heart. I told my boyfriend I’m going to bring him to this magical place that is Austin, that is SXSW. One day.

One day.
I can’t wait. 

Photo credits: by Audrey Victoria
Gopro shots: by Maartje van Hees
Instagram: Still curious for more footage?
I’ve also posted a lot of images and illustrations of this trip on my Instagram account!