I spent the past weekend on a quick cross-country trip to Washington, DC. There was a 2-day convention for points and miles junkie frequent fliers and I somehow convinced a couple friends and my Sister to join me.
I know lots of people who go to events and conventions for their hobbies …. comics, knitting, gardening, etc, but as my Sister pointed out – it’s a pretty rare thing to voluntarily sit in learning sessions with notepad and pen on a Saturday and Sunday all the way across the country by choice.
I didn’t have expectations that I would learn a ton of new things; I’m good about keeping up via the blogosphere, but rumor had it that many secret tips and tricks were shared in person. Previous attendees also said you would end up creating great relationships that might become good resources later.
Unfortunately, there were a lot of cliques and more than anything, I overheard a lot of people just parroting things they had read before. Lots of organizational things were poorly planned (don’t visit a conference with a trade show planner! and I missed out on a couple sessions I was interested in. Even worse, I heard some attendees presenting themselves as “experts” and trying to tell newbies how to work the system. Sounded okay, unless you knew what cautions they left out and how their advice might really cost someone down the line – not great.
It was still a great trip and I got some quality time with my Sister, Emily and Michelle. Plus the trip gave me some perspective about what is possible in terms of traveling the world for free! [yep, totally doable] The question is: can I make a living helping other people travel the world for free?