It’s true.  For the next two weeks I’ll be in Europe as part of my scientist duties.  I’ll be meeting with 7 researchers in 3 countries over 11 days (including travel).  It’s really a traveler’s nightmare, because we’ll be using some major form of transportation (plane or train) nearly every day of the trip in order to see everyone.  So there really won’t be much free time, if any, to see the sights, unless you count looking out the train window (I do) or eating in Pubs (yes, definitely).

Then, in October, I’m heading to Las Vegas for BlogWorld.  This was a difficult decision, believe it or not, because I wasn’t sure what I’d get out of attending.  In one sense, I’m excited to attend a conference in my new profession as a blogger.  I still have trouble saying that to people: I’m a blogger.  Maybe because among the people I know in “real life,” most of them don’t read blogs.  But I am a blogger, I enjoy it immensely, and I think attending the conference helps to make this whole transition feel real.

On the other hand, I’ve mentioned before that I’m naturally introverted.  Put me in a room full of strangers and I get very uncomfortable.  I’ve never attend a networking “event,” but I imagine it’s a lot like speed dating.  Not my thing.  I normally prefer to develop relationships slowly, to actually become friends.  I mean, if you don’t like someone well enough to be their friend, should you really be pursing “business”?

So why am I going?  First, Naomi Dunford begged me to go.  Well, maybe not me specifically, but I’m a huge fan of Naomi and she’s darn persuasive, even when she’s talking in general.  But I still hestiated.

Then, my Australian friend Annabel Candy, always full of pluck, put out a request to fans to help send her to BlogWorld.  Incredibly ambitious, but she did it.  How could I not capitalize on this opportunity to connect with someone who’s already passed the friend litmus test?  So I got a ticket with frequent flyer miles and somehow convinced my husband to float me one more trip.

(I did promise to write a post saying how amazing he is–I hope this sentence counts–love you, honey!)

I’m still a little nervous about finding people to connect with.  In my worst dreams, I imagine myself just wandering around Vegas, sad and lonely.  And that’s precisely why I think this is a good idea.  I need to show my inner bully I can do this.  Fortunately, there’s already advice out there for introverts like me on how to make the most of large events.  For example, she may not realize it, but having Annabel there is a big help:

Bring a friend who you can include in conversation and take some of the pressure off. If your friend is an extrovert, they may help with starting discussions, too.

But I definitely want to meet new people too.  So if you’re going to be at BlogWorld, drop me a line and let’s find a way to chat. I’m honestly looking forward to it.