On the value of finding time for one's self while conferencing

i-f875c0b07d9b3cb6229668554781b35a-alice.jpgWhen I first started to go to conferences, I couldn't see what people saw in them. I didn't know anyone, I thought lots of the sessions were boring, and I found the whole thing overly stressful to deal with. Then I started making some friends who I would see at said conferences, and then started to figure out why people liked them.

Since then, I have added an aspect to going to conferences. I'll go hang with my friend-colleagues (some of them having advanced to being full friends :-) ) most of the meals, but once in a while I'll sneak off and have dinner by myself.

A sunny square

I did this tonight - Julie and I have been having a lot of fun around Amsterdam and Delft, but she went off to Rotterdam to talk with the workshop organizers about The Plan for tomorrow. I didn't feel like going, so I let her at it, and took myself off for a wander around Delft. I ended up at the Beestenmarkt, where there were lots of people sitting out under the trees and having their dinners. The place I was aiming for (Dutch food) was closed, so I plopped myself down, ordered something off a Dutch menu that luckily turned out to be vegetarian, and thoroughly enjoyed myself, even if I started by reading over a paper for work. I even had dessert.

Reviewing papers before dinner

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Haha, so now you have had something stronger than coffee. Dutch-land is just good like that. :)

By Grad student (not verified) on 29 Jun 2009 #permalink

Beautiful pictures of such a beautiful country. Thanks for sharing them! They bring me great memories of several business trips that took me.

After a week of conferencing and exploring new places, you might enjoy a day back to nature. Consider the Kröller-Müller Museum (http://www.kmm.nl/). It is an art museum with a fantastic sculpture garden and a number of Van Goghâs paintings. It is located in a national park, the Nationaal Park de Hoge Veluwe (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hoge_Veluwe_National_Park). The park has free bikes for visitors to use. Thanks to them I got to say I biked in The Netherlands without risking my life in the crazy Amsterdam traffic. :-D

Have a great time in NL!