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.


Danielle Ferries said...

I love planning and plotting my future travels :) I think that after writing and reading it's one of my favourite things to do.

glediar said...

My leave has been approved. Usually it takes ages for approval to come through but this was about a week. So everything's booked and the flights paid for. Now I just need a passport - mine expired years ago.

Jim Harris said...

That's fantastic. I think Singapore would be a great place to visit. I've never been out of the country. Whenever I think about travel I worry about the costs. I've gotten real tight with my money because I want to retire in the next few years. I've always wanted to go to a WorldCon, but every time I plan it, it comes down to spending $1500-2000 for a 5-day weekend. I'm just too cheap.

glediar said...

I'm the same, Jim. I can't justify spending money when I won't have anything concrete to show for it afterwards. The only reason I'm going to Singapore at all is because of Carol Kuhlthau. I'm beginning to panic about the rest of the money now. I have to pay for new brakes on my car, repairs to my house, uni fees and the rest of the trip to Singapore before the end of August.

Panic is trying very hard to set in and I'm trying just as hard to avoid it. I can't get a refund on the fares so I'm going and that's the end of it. I'll just have to work the rest out.

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