October – here one minute and gone the next. I can remember sitting here at my keyboard on the first day of October, all bright-eyed and bushy-tailed, ready for the Ultimate Blog Challenge. Now I’m sitting here on the last day of October wondering what the heck happened? Where did October go? And all I can say is – well – that didn’t end well.
It always sounds so easy. Just post a blog each day, for a month. What could go wrong?
That’s what could go wrong – and it did! I knew I was in for a busy month; I just didn’t anticipate how busy it would get. The committee I’m on needed attention – a little more than usual – and WordCamp happened. Add to that a sick neighbour who needed assistance and you’ve got a whole lot of too-tired-to-write nights.
Okay, WordCamp Brisbane 2018 was only one weekend – but it entailed a lot of planning. I live about one-hundred and thirty kms from Brisbane. At the very least it takes about one-and-a-half hours to drive there, but factor in road-works and heavy traffic – and you’ve got a more realistic time of close to two hours. Now that’s a little too far to drive to and from each day, so the first planning that had to be done was finding accommodation. With the first morning being a seven-thirty start, the accommodation was needed for Friday and Saturday nights.
I looked at a few options, but because I was driving there, I had to find accommodation for my car as well. Has anyone found car-parking in the city that didn’t necessitate mortgaging the house to pay for it? The options weren’t too exciting:
- Park on the other side of the river and drag luggage across the bridge (at least the parking is more affordable on the south side)
- Park in one of the parking stations in the city and be prepared for the hefty cost at the end of the two days (at least I’d be on the right side of the bridge)
- Phone the hotel and see if they have parking and would it be affordable (I seriously doubted both)
The last option won
I chose the Ibis Styles Hotel (right next to the Myer Centre) for two reasons:
- I have AccorPlus membership which gives me discounted accommodation; option of using my accumulated points; free WiFi; discounted food in the restaurant; priority check-in;
- Location – the Hotel is: an easy walk to QUT (Queensland University of Technology), the venue for WordCamp; in the heart of the city; oh, and did I mention there is a Starbucks on the corner? Getting my morning coffee is not an option – it is a ‘survival-choice’.
A call to the Ibis Styles Hotel on Elizabeth Street cemented the deal. I could park in the Myer Centre carpark for $20 a day, as long as I remembered to have my ticket validated at check-out. Bargain!
Then there was the planning of what to pack for the weekend. I usually take three cases when I travel: one in case it is too hot; one in case it is too cold; and one in case it is just right. And then there is my technology bag, which usually weighs more than the other three put together. This time I had to economise. Even though the hotel is next door to the Myer Centre, I still had to drag my luggage from the carpark, through the shopping centre, out onto Elizabeth Street, and up to the door of the hotel. I ended up with one small bag for clothes and my usual large backpack for technology. It worked.
Two days of non-stop learning! Even though it meant more than two days away from writing (remember all the planning?), I figure it was a great investment in my blogging. What I learned that weekend will help me work faster and smarter – not harder.
So even though October has gone and the Ultimate Blog Challenge didn’t end well, I came through relatively unscathed – although exhausted – and a lot better off, knowledge-wise.
Life is a journey, and every moment taken for learning is a giant leap forward.Maureen Durney
So until we meet on another Ultimate Blog Challenge – this is me signing off. And now I’ll go back to just ‘blogging’.