Wednesday, May 26, 2010

A reason to travel

I've thought about travelling overseas for years. I even made a list of must-see places. Antarctica, Nova Scotia, Hadrian's Wall, Tintagel Castle and Marakesh are all on that list. I've planned itineraries and chosen hotels, picked the best time of year to go and checked that I have enough leave accrued to do it. But, except for a week in Fiji in 1993, I've never actually gone anywhere. I look at the cost and decide I have a better way to spend that money - a way that would leave me something concrete to show for it at the end of it.

Last week that all changed. I finally found a reason to travel. I found the one thing that has spurred me into applying for the leave, although I haven't actually booked flights yet. I've seen my boss and have tacit approval for the leave and I've told my colleagues and students to expect me to be away at that time. I'm going. It's decided.

And I'm going to a place I've never had the slightest interest in even visiting. Singapore.

Sure Singapore is an interesting place, if for no other reason than Changi prison is there, but I don't like crowds and have never wanted to travel in Asia or anywhere else that's crowded - think of the population of Antarctica, my number one place to visit. So what is it about Singapore that has me almost on the plane right now? Sad to say, it's a conference. I know, my students have already told me I'm more than a little strange. But the keynote speakers are the 'bees knees' in their field, I've read a lot of their work and I desperately need to hear them speak.

Who is it? No one any of my friends would know, but that's just because they're all in different fields to me. Professor Carol Kuhlthau and Associate Professor Ross Todd. Yes, it's them; world leaders in the field of information literacy and guided inquiry learning. I'm so excited I can't sleep, and the conference isn't until November.