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November 2016

in Adventure

The Bucket List Genie Completes the Petra Desert Marathon | 2014

I distinctly remember, four years ago, when I looked down at my fingers and watched as the sands of time slipped through them.  That moment was a 360 degree turning point for me, an epiphany and I haven’t looked back since.  With every adventure I’ve tackled since, the pre nerves, anxiety and suspense do not dissipate.  The challenges are very often far easier than what I put myself through before taking the plunge.  I’ve come to realise that fear and guilt are our greatest enemy as is this constant need to be & feel safe & comfortable, which numbs and stunts our growth.  Intentionally placing oneself in controlled moments of discomfort can accelerate emotional and mental fitness at an alarming rate.  I look forward to making fear my BFF.
The Petra Desert Marathon takes place in The Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan in the heart of The Middle East and leaves from the Ancient City of Petra.  The course is grueling and takes runners through the arid desert and lunar-like landscape surrounding the city.  This was indeed an adventure desert race of a lifetime.
The day after our desert adventure, we were given special access into Little Petra at night and were entertained like Kings and Queens of the desert.  We walked along a candlelit path through the Siqu to the Mausoleum where the Bedouins performed a traditional love song for us prior to our banquet dinner.

Odette Butcher

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The Bucket List Genie Completes the Great Wall Marathon 2015
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The Bucket List Genie Completes the Polar Circle Marathon | 2016
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The Bucket List Genie Completes the Great Wall Marathon 2015

ODETTE BUTCHERI’m still not sure which experience offered me more ‘character-building’ … running my business using Instant Messaging during my time in China (due to no internet access which I hadn’t planned for) or the Great Wall Marathon!  What I do know is that life definitely begins at the end of your comfort zone and the Great Wall in itself, offers a wonderful synergy for how one can live a joyous, successful life.  Each step to me presents taking one day at a time, taking baby steps or big steps slowly and consistently every day until you achieve your dreams.   Each brick that forms the mammoth Great Wall is an example to lay one or two bricks of progressive tasks completed onto your foundation daily so that eventually you have built a solid structure that is indestructible.   Having suffered with chronic back problems for much of my adulthood until 5 years ago, this challenge was a celebration of exceptional health because when we are healthy an entire world of possibilities opens up to us and we have the strength to deal with whatever crosses our path.  I also realised how important it is to face and embrace what is considered difficult, treacherous and a challenge.  The more you tackle it, the less intimidating the obstacle becomes.  Regardless of what everyone else is doing, run your own race, at your own pace and eventually you will be where you want to be smiling.

Related posts
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The Bucket List Genie Completes the Petra Desert Marathon | 2014
13th November 2016
in Adventure
The Bucket List Genie Completes the Polar Circle Marathon | 2016
13th November 2016
in Adventure

The Bucket List Genie Completes the Polar Circle Marathon | 2016

ODETTE BUTCHERIce cleats, gaiters, off-road snow running boots, balaclava and three layers from head to toe makes for a vacuum packed transformation from sun-baby to ice baby. These adventures are teaching me not to waste time overthinking them, because on race day nature decides which spontaneous curve balls she’ll throw my way. Wind chill on the ice-sheet reached -37 degrees to the extent that even my eyeballs froze (yes it’s possible). I did not take any no makeup selfies because my camera froze and so would my hands had I exposed them. I’ve realised how most of us give very little acknowledgement to the extreme adulting challenges that we all face daily and so perceived out of reach experiences are allot more doable and tangible than we may think. #IcicleOB

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The Bucket List Genie Completes the Petra Desert Marathon | 2014
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13th November 2016
ODETTE BUTCHER
in Articles

Bucket List Genie Takes to the Polar Circle in October 2016

Odette ButcherOn October 29, 2016, the Bucket List Genie will embark on her third international adventure marathon – The Polar Circle Marathon.

Following on from the Petra Marathon she completed in 2014 and the Great Wall Marathon she completed in 2015, the coolest (and only) Bucket List Genie will be taking part in the “coolest marathon on earth” in Greenland. Hopefully, after the recent Cape Town winter, she will be well prepared to traverse the vast sheet of ice, and still have enough time and energy to experience the magnificent polar landscapes. The marathon takes place in Kangerlussuaq, Greenland and takes runners past glacier tongues, over an ice cap and through the completely silent arctic desert.  petra-desert-marathon-2014_y2q3233

Of course, you can visit Greenland without having to torture yourself, but if you  know the Bucket List Genie, you know that she can’t go anywhere without turning it into an adventure. You can only admire her resolve!

What Makes the Bucket List Genie Tick?

In a word – ADVENTURE. Her blog, the Experience Report offers fantastic insights into some of the gift experiences that are available on her online shop – Celestial Gift Experiences. She combines her commitment to experience  everything on offer with a passion for adventure to ensure the best interests and safety of her clients. Site visits to allbucket list genie adventures give her an opportunity to inspect the quality of service, as well as the various safety aspects of an adventure prior to recommending it to her valued clients.

Clients always testify to the personalised service and high quality care they experience when they interact with Celestial Gift Experiences. The Bucket List Genie takes pride in helping to turn people’s wildest dreams into unforgettable experiences with memories to last a lifetime.

Wish the Bucket List Genie well on her Polar Circle Marathon, or sign up for news and announcements by following her on social media.

 

 

#BucketList #AdventureMarathon #GlobalAthlete

Source: http://www.onlinegiftshop.co/

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Experiences Can Stop Your Mind From Wandering

tubing_001Do you sometimes find your mind wandering?  Do you lie awake at night, thinking about things that happened long ago, and how tomorrow will unfold? Don’t feel alone.  Research has found that most of us experience that at some point. In fact, the average mind is wandering 47% of the time, including while you’re talking to other people, cooking dinner, reading, eating, watching television and when you’re having sex.

Matthew Killingsworth, former Harvard-trained psychologist believes that a wandering mind is an unhappy mind. To him, living in the moment is not a cliche, but a key to happiness. He believes that the constant obsession with past and contemplation about future events robs us of our ability to enjoy the current moment, especially since the mind tends to wander to the dark, unhappy places. However, Killingsworth recommends giving the mind sweet things to remember and exciting things to remember.

When you’re looking forward to an experience, more happiness is elicited, with none of the impatience that comes from waiting for a material possession. Remember the last time you were looking forward to a vacation or a concert? Now compare that to how you felt when you waited for a pre-ordered item to arrive. The reason is that we don’t measure the value of an experience by comparing it to that of possessions.

We are the Sum of Our Experiencescouples_spa

Researchers agree that our experiences are associated with social behavior, connection and identity, which is why experiences make us happier. And of course, when it comes to experiences, there are no cracked screens, out-of-warranty issues and other issues to cloud our appreciation as time goes on. Once an experience is captured, it won’t deteriorate – it remains the same, never becoming obsolete.

Perhaps it is the fleetingness of experiences that makes them so special. They are only around long enough to remain perfect. However, they leave sweet memories and stories that help us relive them over and over again. Often, even experiences that were not that great at the time, become good stories of survival, endurance and overcoming the odds.

In comments, please tell us your best experience story. We’d love to hear about it!

#FunExperienceGifts #ExperienceVouchers #ExperienceDays

Source: http://www.onlinegiftshop.co/

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How to Use Rewards and Incentives to Lure Large Purchases

Apart from the leisure and recreation industry that appeals to the affluent market, companies have difficulty in closing profitable deals. While clients recognise their need for a product or service, they often have difficulty making the shift from browsing to buying. That’s where an incentive comes in.

fotolia_83285352_subscription_monthly_mBy targeting your effort, you can stimulate more business during slow periods. As such, it makes sense to target your effort to meet your business goals, whether it is increased sales, a greater sales volume, expanded offerings, luring new customers, reviving lapsed customers, or boosting business during low seasons.

Once you have defined the change you wish to drive, it’s time to plan a properly targeted promotion.

Planning Rewards and Incentives

Carefully planned rewards and incentives will prompt your (past, future and existing) customers to take action. Incentives and rewards may include price savings, trials, samples, events or experiences.

Why are we drawn to experiences? Because they last longer and are perceived to be more valuable. Your customers may not want to invest in an experience out-of-pocket, but they will gladly take you up on an offer which includes a free experience gift.

Benefits of Experience Rewards and Incentives

One of the main benefits of experience or event rewards and incentives, is that it creates hype, excitement and an exuberant atmosphere. However, be sure to publicise it well.hot_pilot

Experience rewards in return for client loyalty or employee reward solutions or winner and prize fulfilment work wonders when participants require a bit of a jolt to encourage them to take action. However, in order to ensure the success of your client loyalty program, you must be clear on your goals and targets. You must be aware of the bottom-line impact in order to allocate the appropriate resources, budget and staff to the initiative.

Celestial Gift Experiences has worked with various South African corporations in creating rewards and incentives for both client loyalty and staff recognition as well as winner and prize fulfilment. Speak to the Bucket List Genie today about rewards and incentives for your unique circumstances and budget.

#ExperienceRewards #IncentiveGifts #LoyaltyGifts

Source: http://www.onlinegiftshop.co/

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5 Steps to More Meaningful Gifts

Gift buying started out as a thoughtful gesture, but these days, we constantly ask “what to buy someone who has everything?”  The joy of giving img_6799disappeared with the custom of rushing into a store for another fragrance gift or soap on a rope. Bored, rushed and uninspired, we stick with the safe bets, rather than giving something spectacular. However, science has come up with some ways in which you can make your gifts more meaningful, so that both you and the recipient can take more joy from it. Here’s how:

1. Know What They Want

One of the best ways to give the best gifts, is to really know the person you’re gifting. When you really care about someone, you’re more likely to know what they like, and that will make it easier to choose the right item. Recipients usually prefer simpler but practical gifts to desirable options that are less practical. In other words, don’t give what you want to give, but rather what they would like to receive.

2. Give on Their Behalf

A great way to give to someone who has it all, is to donate money or time in their name. Next time you give, do something in your loved one’s name to a charity that is close to his or her heart.

3. Handmade With Love

A March 2015 study found that people were willing to pay 17% more for homemade items than for commercial items. Homemade items are simply more special, since they are made with love – the exact feeling we want to express to the recipient.

Another special gift, is a family heirloom.

4. Something to Help Them Fit In

While adults are more sophisticated in what constitutes a special gift, children want what others have. It has an intense social component which helps them connect with their peers. Indulge a little, but if you can’t afford the hottest toys, don’t fret. Kids are very resilient and find ways to engage one way or another.

5. Give an Experience

We spend months fretting about Christmas menus and seating arrangements, because we want to ensure the best possible experience. And in order not to offend anyone, we buy “appropriate” gifts for everyone. fotolia_67542805_subscription_monthly_xlThis year, instead of overworking yourself, have a simple braai and instead of boring, predictable parcels with bows, give experience gifts.

Research has shown that people appreciate experience gifts much more than they do material gifts. An experience gift is a safe bet, especially for kids. Experiences create lasting memories, and will never disappoint.

#GiftExperiences #GreatExperienceGifts #ExperienceGiftsSouthAfrica

Source: http://www.onlinegiftshop.co/

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Choosing the Right Client Loyalty and Staff Recognition Awards

With so many corporate gifting companies out there, clients and employees have started betting on what they will receive as their next client loyalty and staff recognition awards. Will it be a branded umbrella, a watch or a travel mug? The fact that it is branded means that they can’t even regift it to someone special, which takes the last bit of fun out of standardised employee reward solutions.

Forget About Corporate Gifts – Choose Innovative Employee Reward Solutions

cruiseNext time you’re faced with choosing rewards and incentives, ask a few questions – of yourself, your staff and your clients:

What is our company all about?

Your company culture plays such a huge role in the success of your organisation, which is why you should use that as a guide to choosing the perfect client loyalty and staff recognition awards. Choose something that is somewhat related to your unique selling proposition or company culture. Is adventure a part of the package? Then consider giving away vouchers for adventure experiences, such as skydiving, ziplining or adventure cruises.

What will make your employees feel special?

When it comes to employee reward solutions, weigh up your company culture, as well as the message you want to send to your employees. You obviously want to show them that they are valued, but consider what will make them feel special. Want to thank them for reaching higher targets? Treat them to breakfast in the sky, or perhaps an aerial tour.

img_2041If you have an upmarket company, treat your employees to a style consulting session, or consultation with a professional tailor to have their garments tailor-made.

Want to wind down at the end of the year? Rent a farmhouse on the river and supply awesome food and beverages, and allow them to let their hair down.

What do your clients want?

Experts recommend staying away from corporate gifts, and instead choosing personalised gifts based on the client. That requires building strong relationships and really getting to know them. If that’s not practical, you could make your job easier by giving them gift vouchers and allowing them to choose exactly what they want.

Celestial Gifts offers a wide range of adventure experiences as well as innovative lifestyle products. Next time you want to give a meaningful client loyalty or staff recognition gift, stop by Celestial Gifts.

#StaffRecognition #ClientLoyalty #EmployeeRewardSolutions

Source: http://www.onlinegiftshop.co/

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Competitions & Prizes: Right Prizes for Online or Offline Contest

One of the biggest mistakes a company can make in terms of competitions and prizes, is choosing the wrong rewards or incentives. In this post, we will show you how to pick the right prize for your contest.

1. Don’t be Boring

Most competitions online are giving away phones, cameras or cash. When you upgrade your phone contract and decide to give the new one away as a prize, it doesn’t cost you anything. That seems like an innovative idea! While there’s nothing wrong with it in principle, it can be boring. Phones are easily accessible, and not everyone wants a camera. helicopter_flightWhen it comes to winner and prize fulfilment, it’s better to choose something that’s harder for them to lay their hands on, something unique, such as beer brewing lessons, a sightseeing tour complete with paparazzi, or a helicopter trip with picnic on a plateau.

2. Try Make It Relevant

When arranging competitions and prizes, it is important to try make it relevant to your business. You could give away everything you make, like GoPro does, or a premium product from your range.

3. Budget

It goes without saying, but we’re saying it anyway. Bear in mind your budget. Consider your aim with the competition, and set a target. Find the best way to achieve your target, and brainstorm a way in which your clients can help you achieve that target. Best case scenario, you need to ensure that the competitions and prizes pay for itself. Worst case scenario, you need to budget for the risk of paying out on winner and prize fulfilment even if the competition fails.

4. The Value of Experience

I’m going to let you in on a little secret: Everyone loves a good adventure, but few people know how to find opportunities to make it happen. Imagine driving a Ferrari racecar around the track, going on a giraffe_and_zebrassunset champagne cruise, gliding around Table Mountain on a segway, sleeping in a truly unusual place, flying a microlight into a game reserve… Few people know that these experiences are truly available to the average person, so giving it away as rewards and incentives for winner and prize fulfilment may well make people’s wildest dreams come true.

Get in touch with the Bucket List Genie to learn how you can can rock at winner and prize fulfillment.

#Winner #PrizeFulfillment #Competitions

Source: http://www.onlinegiftshop.co/

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6 Gifts That Won’t End Up Gathering Dust

If you ever find it hard to choose great gifts for friends or family, you may want to consider to experience gifts. Likewise, experience gifts can take corporate gifts from a level of mundane, to insane. Whether it’s for a birthday, anniversary, achievement, or client recognition, there’s an experience gift waiting to be unleashed.

Research has shown that people appreciate and remember experiences for much longer than material gifts. Experiences shared result in lifelong memories, and a special connection with the giver.

Here are some of the most meaningful experience gifts you can give:

1. Franschhoek Wine Tram Tour

Treat the wine lovers in your life to a wine tram tour of either boutique and local wine estates in the mountains, or international wine estates in the valley, complete with complimentary wine tastings and discounts.

2. Perfume Workshopfotolia_25025082_subscription_monthly_xl

During this two-hour experience, attendees will have the opportunity to attend a perfume workshop where they will learn about perfumes, enjoy hot drinks, and visit the Exclusive Perfume Museum. Best of all, they will go home with a self-created concentrated perfume, oil and perfumed body cream.

3. Gyrocopter Flight

Adventure lovers will be thrilled at the opportunity of a gyrocopter flight from the Benoni airfield to Suikerbosrand Nature Reserve near Heidelberg with a bird’s-eye view of Gauteng as it unfolds below the closed cockpit gyro. experience-1545416Don’t forget your camera, because you will want to capture the memories and breath-taking sights of wooded gorges, acacia woodlands, grasslands and marshlands forever.

4. Author Experience

Everyone has a story to tell, and some are committed enough to actually put pen to paper. Help them turn their dreams into a reality with an aspiring author experience that can help them publish their books online and to join the ranks of best-selling authors who are reaching millions of readers for a fraction of the cost of traditional print publishing.

5. Give Them Wings

Enjoy a scenic flight over Johannesburg, Cape Town or Durban as you cruise at a comfortable altitude, low enough to identify famous landmarks and enjoyable signs from your seat in the sky.

6. Wet and Wild

Both adventure seekers and the faint hearted will enjoy an Xtreme water tube ride on Hartbeespoort Dam. Choose from a variety of tubes to suit your skills and preferences, and take home a DVD with photos of this exciting experience.jet_boat_ride_001

There you have it! Six fantastic experience gifts that won’t be regifted or left to gather dust. Instead, they will create lasting memories and birth a sense of lifelong adventure.

#ExperienceGifts #GreatExperienceGifts #ActivityGiftVouchers

Source: http://www.onlinegiftshop.co/

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