Diary of a Slow Traveler – Conference trip to California

This morning was our last coffee with our daughter before we depart for a quick trip to the USA.

I was successful in having the paper I wrote based on my Honours Thesis accepted into two conferences in California. I was so surprised as it never occurred to me that a paper based based on Honours Research would be accepted into a leading management conference. it made the time spent reformatting it whilst we were in Siracuse very worthwhile.

My desk - Siracuse, Sicily

My desk – Siracuse, Sicily





My research area was Small Family Wine Businesses, For some reason this was of interest to the organisers of 2 conferences and not just me, my long suffering supervisor and 2 very generous examiners! It gives me some hope that my PhD which I expect will extend this research may also be of interest to others.

In recent weeks the pressure has been on to get take my paper and convert its content into 2 short presentations. No easy feat I have to say and confirms one of my favourite quotes

I didn’t have time to write you a short letter, so I wrote you a long one instead     
– Mark Twain

My original thesis was about 20,000 words and the conference submission reduced this to 8000 and now my 2 presentationsare in one instance 10 minutes then a discussion and in the other a workshop of 40 minutes. This has meant distilling the content to about 15 – 20 slides.

Then of course there is the absolute certainty that at least one person in the room will be an expert on the topic and very keen to let me know! So no pressure.

I have come to the realisation that this trip will not fit into the concept of Slow Travel? We are away for just  14 days of which more than half are conference time. The first in San Diego and the second in Anaheim. Maybe there will be time for a day in Disneyland? This time without the children and definitely no visits to IHOP our children’s favourite spot to eat when we visited Anaheim in 1998.

On this trip we  will not be flying only in daylight, or leisurely making our way to our destination where we will then immerse ourselves in the culture. It will be get there as quick as we can, attend sessions, deliver my paper and then a couple of days to have a look around which includes a couple of days in the Napa Valley where I will be able to gather some preliminary data for my PhD research!

Planning has been very much dictated by the time constraints and the University’s requirements. I have realised how constricting it is to have  to use a Travel Agent. Over the last few years our travel has had minimal interaction with them. Last time it was just airfares. We certainly haven’t used them for accommodation. This time we have needed too, inorder to comply with the University’s requirements. No drooling over luxury accommodation on Tablet and then settling for the much lower price option, its been very functional.

Still I am sure it will be a great experience. My first academic conference as a presenter and hopefully some time for this …

Casual lunch - Siracuse

Casual lunch – Siracuse




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7 Responses to Diary of a Slow Traveler – Conference trip to California

  1. Clive says:

    Good luck! It may be a different kind of travelling but I’m sure you’ll find it valuable – and it’s good to have different experiences!

  2. KB garst says:

    I wish you the best on your presentation!

  3. Betty Louise says:

    Congratulations on going to the conference in California. Have fun and enjoy California.

  4. David Perry says:

    Congrats on your efforts leading you on to bigger and better things!

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