Each year, I take time to reflect on the wins, choices, decisions, flops, missteps and adjustments. 2022 had ALL of them and I plan to use them for learning, growth and change.
Well, 129 Strolls & 1105 guests is a big reason for gratitude, joy and the need for rest… and to catch my breath! 129 strolls is just over double the number we hosted in 2021. 1105 guests is 3.5x more than 2021!!
As the world re-opened more completely in 2022, things were far from normal in the tourism and travel industry. I just didn’t know what to expect from the year. So, I gave myself permission to experiment and try EVERYTHING to see what worked, what didn’t, what patterns emerged, etc, etc, etc. It felt like the first year of business all over again.
EXPERIMENT – 2022 word of the year!
Now, it’s time to reflect on those experiments.
When I look back on the past year, here’s what stands out the most… YOU!
You and your support, curiosity, questions, feedback, reviews, collaborations, connections and referrals! Honestly, Stroll couldn’t be what it is without you!!
Here’s my Top Ten list of amazing Stroll adventures from 2022 (in no particular order)
- Obviously, working with five incredibly brilliant guides who hosted all these tours with me – Mary Sehl, Peggy Plet, Wayne Miedema, Glenn Smith & Todd Bowman
- Launched THREE new walking tours!! (what was I thinking?)
- It’s an understatement to say that launching Black Presence in Berlin was a wild ride. We had SIX sold out walking tours in February…. FEBRUARY!?!?… demonstrating a strong appetite for learning about Black history in Waterloo Region. This walk kept us hopping all year long and we were overwhelmed in the best way.
- Presented five community speaking engagements (Rotary Club of Cambridge, Renison College & Waterloo Public Library, KW Society of Artists, and THEMUSEUM & Caribbean Canadian Association of Waterloo Region with Peggy Plet
- Gave a dozen media interviews for CBC KW, CityNews, CTV News, and The Record
- Hosted 9 free walking tours with 185 guests in less than 24 hours during the Downtown Kitchener Summer Kick Off weekend (again, what was I thinking!?) But so much fun!
- Solved a mural mystery that I’ve been digging at for 10+ years!! I’ve been searching for the artist of these two murals for a long time & the answer just dropped in my lap one day!
- Noticed a mosaic mural in Downtown Kitchener that I had never spotted before. Even someone who pays very close attention while walking misses things, sometimes for years 😉
- Stroll was featured in The Collective, a Downtwon Kitchener publication and Power Your Platform, an online publication
- Developed Stroll’s Dog Friendly policies and hosted several dog-friendly walking tour dates
- Received my Rainbow Registered business accreditation from the Canadian LGBTQ Chamber of Commerce
A few more 2022 reflections
Ok, okay… that’s more than 10, I know, but there were so many wonderful moments that I could easily do a Top 22 list! I’ll add just a few more.
- Partnered with KWFamous, Dog Friendly KW and Downtown Cambridge BIA to host some special edition walking tours during their festivals
- Peggy Plet & Stroll Walking Tours were nominated for a Public Education & Engagement, Heritage Award, by the Architectural Conservancy of Ontario. We didn’t win – there was worthy competition! – but it was truly an honour to have the work recognized & shared widely.
- Disappointed the guests from Berlin, Germany who booked tickets on our Black Presence in Berlin walking tour! 😆 (I’ve always known that having ‘Berlin’ in several walking tour titles is a marketing risk, but it’s one that I’m willing to accept, for the same of historical accuracy!)
- Sewed my own dress in celebration of Stroll’s two-year business anniversary! In teal, of course, always on brand!
- Contributed 10% of revenue from our Black Presence in Berlin walking tour to the Caribbean Canadian Association of Waterloo Region Scholarship Fund, African Caribbean Black Waterloo Region Network, Kind Minds Family Wellness and Inside Waterloo (BIPOC media group).
- LOVED the person who brought their own reference book on the Mount Hope Cemetery walking tour, which inspired others so much that they went out & bought their own copy of the book!
All this to say, THANK YOU for being such amazing guests and participants on our 129 walking tours this year. I can’t wait to host you all again in 2023.