17 days of awesome

I’m excited.

Actually that’s a lie.

I’m damn near bouncing off the walls.

Why?

Because in a couple of days I’m getting back on a plane to go and do something wonderful.

I’ll get to take my passport from my top drawer and dust it off while apologising for ignoring it for the last six months as I’ve been rebuilding my travel funds.  We’ll head off to the airport together, that little blue book and I, gazing lovingly at each other like a couple of besotted teenagers.

First stop:  Portland, Oregon – via Auckland, Los Angeles and Sacramento.  Yeah, after a mere 23 hours in planes and airports I’m sure I’ll be an absolute bundle of happiness by the time I get to my hostel.  And yet I couldn’t care less.  I’m travelling again.

Plane taking off

I’ve never been to Portland before – the closest I got was about 30 miles away during an epic road trip a few years back.  Tales of microbreweries and food carts have made me regret that ever since, so I’m really looking forward to exploring this laid back, cycle-friendly city.  The main reason I’m there, though, is an understated little event known as the World Domination Summit.  It is going to be amazing.

As soon as I heard that Chris Guillebeau (brilliant blogger and author of The Art of Non-Conformity) was arranging an epic event filled with incredible people – in Portland, no less – I knew I had to go.  The tickets sold out months ago, and in a few days time 500 people will descend on the Portland Art Museum to answer (between beers) one fundamental question:

How do we live a remarkable life in a conventional world?

Portland bicycle

Some of the biggest names in writing, online business, travel and general awesomeness will be presenting and leading workshops.  Groups of us will be hanging out in the bars, taking crazy tours, roaming the city, jumping out of planes and god knows what else.  I have a feeling this could end up being one of the most defining – and epic – weekends of my life.

And that’s just the beginning.

Once the summit has finished, email addresses have been exchanged and hangovers have slightly subsided, a good mate is going to be kind/crazy enough to drive a six hour round trip to take me back to Seattle.  Well, I hope he is.  I couldn’t blame him if he told me to take the Greyhound, really.

After a few days catching up with him and his lovely fiancé in one of my favourite US cities, I’ll be on the Amtrak en-route to Vancouver for another quiet little meet-up.  Yup, I’m going to TBEX.

Started last year, this annual event is a fantastic excuse for hundreds of travel bloggers and PR folk to descend on a city and do what they do best.  Drink.  I mean, talk travel.  And then drink.

There’s loads of workshops and seminars and things, and I’m hoping there’ll be some great, useful and maybe even honest insights to share.  For me though, as usual, it’s all about the people.  There’s so many awesome bloggers who I feel that I know through their online presence – it’ll be wonderful to put a face to the name while propping up a bar somewhere.

There are also plenty of people going who I’ve already met somewhere else in the world, and it’ll be wonderful to reconnect with them too.  My biggest concern is not being able to catch up with everyone that I want to – hopefully many of them are staying around in Vancouver afterwards once the crush subsides.

Vancouver

I’ve booked space in a hostel through to the Monday after the event, but I’m leaving the last few days of my trip open.  There’s talk of road trips, exploring somewhere beyond the city limits.  I wouldn’t mind getting to Whistler or Vancouver Island.  But really I have no idea what I’m going to be doing during that time.  In a trip that by necessity is more planned than I would like it to be, those few days of freedom will be a welcome slice of randomness.

And then, a mere two and a half weeks after I arrive, I have a flight booked to retrace my steps back to Melbourne.  My boss and I were joking the other day that I probably wouldn’t be getting back on the plane.  Well, one of us was joking, at least – strangely enough the idea of heading for a beach somewhere in Central America seems a whole lot more appealing than returning to finish up my contract through the depths of a Melbourne winter…

Regardless, though, it’s going to be an awesome 17 days.  I. Can. Not. Wait.

Are you going to TBEX or the World Domination Summit and would like to meet up for a drink?  Got any recommendations for things to do in Portland or Vancouver?  Let me know in the comments!

[Plane image by Geekr, cycle image by Ian Sane, Vancouver image by photodreamz_]

24 Responses to “17 days of awesome

  • Portland! So jealous. I’ve head it’s such a funky place. I’m heading off to the States via Auckland (stupid cheap flight with a long layover!) shortly too, but I won’t make it out of California. Next time!

    Looking forward to hearing about your experiences there – the events you’re heading to sound great.

  • I’m hoping to see you at both #WDS and #TBEX Dave!! Surely, somewhere in that awesomeness we will meet up? 5 more days…!!!

    • I sure hope so Gillian – drop me a line when you’re in Portland and we’ll catch up!

  • I wish I had a place for you to crash and spend a bit more time in LA.

    Have a wonderful time. Someday I’ll make it up to Vancouver. I just have to get over my irrational fear of Canadians.

    Maybe the Stanley Cup finals will still be going on when you get there. Could be chock full of partying Canucks.

    • Yeah it would have been great to hang out together in both of our home towns within the space of 3 months hey?

      And you’ve got to watch those Canucks, you know … they are pretty damn scary, after all….

      😉

  • Nigel D
    8 years ago

    Have a great time – you can warm up Vancouver for when we touch down in October!

  • HAVE FUN!!!

  • Hi Dave,

    I’m not sure how long you will be in the Portland metropolitan area but if you are here on a weekend you can go to the Portland Saturday Market. It’s on the water front next to the Burnside Bridge on Saturday’s and Sunday’s. Portland is known for their food carts; so try a few of them, too. They are all over the city. Portland is also known as the most European city in America due to its inexpensive transit system, so, feel free to travel all through the city and into the suburbs. Washington Park is a wonderful place for hiking, jogging, and biking. It also contains the Rose Gardens, Japanese Gardens, and Zoo where they have outdoor concerts all through the summer.

    If you will be here for longer than a weekend then the Oregon Coast is just a couple of hours away. You could visit Astoria and Cannon Beach where they filmed the movie “The Goonies”. Seaside is nice, too, but kind of a tourist trap. If you like a good strong beer there is a microbrew/restaurant in Cannon Beach called: Bills Tavern. You need to order the 2 X 4 Stout. You could eat it with a fork. =)

    Hope this helps somewhat. Btw, thank you for using my picture in your blog. I’m honored!

    Sincerely,

    Ian Sane

    • Such helpful advice – thanks so much, Ian, I really appreciate it. I’m going to be in Portland for about 6 days, although at least half of that is taken up by the seminar that I mentioned. Still should have 2-3 days to spend wandering and checking out some of the great stuff you mention though!

      Oh, and great photo – thank *you*! 🙂

  • Jennifer @cityandsand
    8 years ago

    I look forward to meeting up at TBEX! Safe travels!

  • See you at TBEX, Dave!

  • Beer!!
    Check out the Cascade Barrel House on SE Belmont for the absolute best selection of sour beers. Right across the street is Green Dragon which has a pretty fantastic beer selection. If you’re staying downtown, you can easily catch the 15 bus or just walk across the Morrisson bridge.

    Upright Brewing makes some tasty Belgian style beers. They have limited hours at the brewery where you can taste them. I have always enjoyed hanging out at the little place. It’s an
    easy & free MAX ride to Rose Quarter TC.

    You can always hit the big places… Rogue, Bridgeport, Deschutes, Widmer. All very accessible to downtown. I prefer smaller brewpubs like the ones I mentioned above as well as Breakside, Hopworks, too many to name!

    Feel free to email me if you’d like some more beer recommendations. Cheers!

    • Thanks for the awesome advice, Daryle! In the end I only managed to get to the bigger brewpubs in the time I had, plus a few other random bars and a terrible karaoke place! 😉 Suspect I’m going to have to get back to Portland again though, it’s a wonderful city and I was even blessed with great weather!

  • Hey Dave

    I have no idea how I haven’t come across you before my fellow Kiwi friend but I’m super excited too. I have a blog The Suitcase Entrepreneur and I’ve been living out of my suitcase for the last 5.5 years travelling the world.

    Been traveling since I was 2 to 45 countries and what’s more I totally dig your blog plus I’m head to WDS too – so would love to connect!

    Natalie

  • Hi, we live in Denver but LOVE Portland! I just did a 2 part blog series on stuff to do around Portland – you may not have time this trip for even short hikes to waterfalls in the Columbia River Gorge (only an hour from Portland) or checking out the Hood River windsurfing scene, but I bet you’ll be back for them! Here’s the link if you want a few more ideas about the area: http://fittravelershavemorefun.com/personalize-your-travel-oregon-wine-country-add-ons-part-2/ Going to a Sat morning farmer’s market is a very Portland thing to do, and they may have local berries…Have great time! Nora

    • I didn’t get to do them in the end, but you’re right – I’ll be coming back for sure! Thanks for the advice! 🙂

  • Hi Dave! Just found your site randomly – think someone tweeted out a post by you after #WDS 🙂 I’m in the ‘Couv, couldn’t make it to Portland but my floating head on a stick met some very nice people there.

    If you’re still looking for things to do around here or peeps to meet up with for a wee drink, lmk. I lived in Queenstown for 4 years before moving to Canada and am predisposed to love kiwis – just ask Natalie!

    Cheers mate! Tia

    • Awesome, thanks Tia! I think I’m going to be fairly tied up Thurs-Sun, but I’ll be in and around Vancouver Mon-Wed next week still so let’s see what we can do hey? Sounds great!

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