Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Home from My Travels

I’m home from my travels and very happy about that. I won’t be traveling again until October other than to visit my parents (unless I have a whim about taking a summer vacation). I like seeing other places, but the process of travel is getting harder, and I’m really spoiled by my fancy bed so that I have a hard time sleeping even on a good hotel bed, since it’s flat. Maybe before my next trip, I’ll gradually adjust my bed closer to being flat so I can be used to it. Then again, I seem to remain much healthier sleeping on an incline, so I might want to be as healthy as possible before traveling.

On the other hand, there’s a lot I miss about hotel life. I love having a totally non-cluttered space. It’s very peaceful. To get that at home, I’m going to need to do a total possession purge, then do some organizing so that I have a place for everything and can get everything in its place. And then I need to form good habits and tidy up as I go. The daily housekeeping service does help, but the real key is that I like to have everything put away before the daily housekeeping service, so my room is reasonably neat even without the hotel maid. All I really need the maid to do is empty the trash and give me fresh coffee cups.

But enough about the process of travel. It was a really good conference. I went to this one looking at it as more of a professional development and networking event, and it didn’t disappoint on those terms, but I think it might also have given me more of a promotional boost than the more promotion-oriented conventions do. I came out of it with a bunch more Twitter followers and tweets/retweets, which broadened my name recognition more than I seem to get from other cons.

I went to a panel during each session of the con, took a lot of notes, and got a lot of ideas, both for writing and for general professional life. It may take me a little time to process it all. My brain is full.

I didn’t get a lot of sightseeing done, but we did do a group walk to the farmer’s market on the first day, so I was able to stock up on some good food to have in my room for snacks. On Sunday after the conference ended, I walked over to the incline railway across the river. It’s the kind of thing they have in Europe at ski resorts for getting up and down mountains. Here, it’s for ease of commuting. It was built in the 1870s and uses counterweights — two cars connected by a cable, and one car going down the mountain pulls the other one up. I’d just been researching this kind of thing for the book I’m working on (though with a cable car rather than on rails), so I took lots of pictures and some video. All this was happening on a rainy day during a playoff hockey game, so the town was very quiet. My hotel was across the street from the arena, so I timed my dinner in the hotel restaurant to end just as the game was ending. I managed to get out of there just as all the fans started swarming in. I watched the flood of people leaving the game from my hotel window.

The conference will be back there again next year, so maybe I’ll find other things to see, or maybe I’ll ride that railway on a clear day.

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