I have always considered my 20 years as a self-employed marketer and branding expert as one big field trip. Working with clients in health care, packaging, law, insurance, steel fabrication, curated sex toys (really) and more has made for one interesting career. Which is why my recent 3,700-mile quest for new business didn’t seem odd to me at all.

ZacharyVisitorCase in point, last Tuesday my colleague Rob Theodorow of Stormfront Productions and I toured Zachary Confections’ plant in Logansport, Indiana. Although it’s the middle of winter, they were busily making chocolate-coated marshmallow Easter eggs. EasterEggsIn another part of the plant, they were dipping peanuts in chocolate and then polishing them. Yes, they polish chocolate peanuts. And yogurt-dipped raisins. And chocolate almonds. It also turns out that Zachary Confections is the last U.S. candy maker that makes candy corn. Who knew? Because of this field trip, I am fully prepared to tell the Zachary story on their new website and social media.

The next leg of my journey (Indiana to South Carolina) was long. And dull. Or so I thought. While cruising through Kentucky, I saw a sign for the “Historic Bourbon Trail.” I took the first exit I saw and starting winding my way through the back roads in search of whiskey.

And there it was, the Buffalo Trace Distillery. So I stopped and went into the visitor’s center. Although it was just 11 a.m., I was enticed by the sampling bar. The rule is two samples per customer plus a nip of their Buffalo Trace Bourbon Cream dessert beverage.

BourbonThat sounded reasonable. Until my host poured a full shot of bourbon. My response? I threw it down. Savored the burn. When he poured a shot of the second bourbon, I took a lady-like sip and mumbled about having to drive to South Carolina….a wise decision.

Now, I didn’t get a client out of Buffalo Trace, but I did get an unexpected field trip during my road trip. (Not to mention a bottle of bourbon and a t-shirt.)

People always say to choose a job you love. I can honestly say I love what I do—probably because of the daily field trips.