A Wanderful Week


I am one of nearly 100 people taking part in our Winter Wander-land experiment that started on December 1 and unfolds in 25 daily tweets until Christmas. Ok, as program designer, I had a pretty good idea of what was coming, but every time the phone pinged me a Street Tweet, the instruction and clue word actually took me by surprise. It’s funny – even for people very involved in Street Wisdom – how easy it is to forget that every street holds secrets – and you can find inspiration in any corner of the city if that’s your intention.

Saturday, though, was a problem. I was told to look out for my special animal. (There are some shamanic principles woven into Street Wisdom’s design – and no shamanic journey is complete without an animal spirit to guide you.)

On Saturday I looked and looked but didn’t really connect with the pigeons or crows, cats or dogs I saw. Other wanderers were having luck. My co-founder, Chris texted me to say he’d just been taught a lesson by his dog Sparky. It was a bit disappointing but I basically gave up and went off to the cinema with my family. Halfway through my wife pointed to the screen. “There’s your animal”, she said. And I think she was right…


What animal did you see? What was it like to complement a stranger? Have you been enjoying the music of the city? When you smiled, how many smiled back?

Please leave your comments below. And enjoy next week!

3 thoughts on “A Wanderful Week

  1. I am really loving this experiment! Some more result-ful than others – only one out of four people smiled back at me : ( But great insights with the animal, and city soundscape, and especially navigation days: I got totally lost in public transport! But (unusually for me) stayed cool and thought through the problems without stress. That alone makes this worthwhile. Thanks for running this wanderful experience. Only quibble, I’d like messages a bit earlier in the day, before I start out for work.

  2. Am loving the prompts. Today I am Erin Brockovic and have done my bit to fight the good fight. On Friday I kept complementing strangers and got lots of positive reactions. My tube rides were much more fun. Thanks for give me such nice contexts for the day.

  3. Yesterday at the train station, on my way to London, I felt slightly daunted by the task of asking a stranger for advice. My question was about freelance working, managing the booms and busts and how to network.
    I’d been on the lookout for the right kind of stranger to ask this question of, but up to this point, no one had appeared to fit the bill.
    Then, while I had 15 minutes or so before my train, I spotted an approachable looking guy, about my age, sitting alone on a bench. I explained that I’d been instructed to ask a stranger for advice, and he said he’d help if he could.
    As it happened, this man (whose name I never discovered) runs a PR company, although also worked freelance for many years, so had a number of very useful insights and tips to offer me. For example – Look for new business, but also develop more business from existing clients. Find a CRM app which will help you keep notes on the contacts you’re building. Stay in touch and stay ‘front of mind’ with clients. Keep up to date with what’s happening in the industry (live events) by reading trade magazines. Try to grow a thicker skin when cold-calling. Also, in order to avoid the problem of being too busy or not busy enough – think about pricing your services higher – which will result in a better use of your time. These are some of the key points I noted, but we also talked more generally about what employers want from freelancers and how to meet their needs.
    Really great quality advice, distilled into about 12 minutes of intensive consultancy, which left me feeling highly energised and positive about the New Year and opportunities arising.

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