Five years ago, I was given the opportunity to combine two of my greatest passions, history, and travel. With 30 years of volunteering for our local historical society, 8 years of company travel and 19 years of local government experience in 2015, I became the first tourism director for the City of Perryville and Perry County, Missouri. Starting from scratch we created an office, an official tourism website, print brochures and maps highlighting our museums, cultural sites, and natural areas. Keeping up with the fast pace of society Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and Instagram accounts were created to help me reach travelers beyond our county line and to tell our story about what makes Perryville and Perry County such a special place to live, work and play. This baby boomer had things up and moving attracting new visitors, creating new trails, and growing our signature event the Christmas Country Church Tour. The more I grew in this new and rapidly evolving industry the more I quickly realized that I needed to gain a better understanding of all the social media platforms that I was using on a daily basis. Was I using them in the best possible way to help me do my job efficiently?  What are all these acronyms I was hearing from my colleagues during conversations like SEO, POE and KPI and how do they work? And undoubtably the most important challenge I had was how do I find and understand the analytics to all the content I worked so hard to create? Was it all really working? This is where the term “work smarter not harder” comes to mind and I was not sure that was what I was doing. When I was asked if I wanted to join like-minded people such as myself in the Udacity Digital Marketing Nanodegree Program, an online course for digital marketing, I jumped at the chance to get the help I needed. But not without reservations. Did I mention that I was a baby boomer? I am a “boots on the ground” kind of girl. So much in the tourism world revolves around the experience and the journey. What if I failed at navigating my way through an online program? So much tech can seem routine to a millennial, but it is intimidating to this boomer. So, I “did it afraid.” Most things in life that challenge us are scary. No one wants to fail. So, you find the confidence and drive to improve, learn and grow. I am doing just that, and I am getting it. I am learning and I am growing through the courses. I am finding my path and I am succeeding in this new media experience where I will ultimately reach new people wanting a new experience visiting a new place. Hey, have I told you about the Christmas Country Church Tour?