This is a blog about my travels. My "regular" life is much too boring to bother blogging about.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

The end

I'll be back in Canada in less than ten hours, and already thinking about getting back into my life there. First, my beloved Club de Hockey Canadien. They're having their best playoff run in 17 years, and I've basically missed all of it (Game 7 vs. Washington, all of the Pittsburgh series, Game 1 vs. Philly). I'll be back in Toronto in time to watch Game 2. And thank goodness.

A little tougher will be getting back into my work. I've done bits and pieces while on this trip, but obviously not enough, and I will have a mountain to plough through when I get back, not least of which will be preparing a presentation that I will be giving in at a conference in Buffalo on June 4. Usually when I travel, I have a brutally hard time getting back into my work; for me to be an effective, efficient academic, I must be sealed in the academic bubble. It has to be my entire life, or at the very least, I have to live by its logic. Traveling has the nasty side effect of prompting in me an existential crisis: traveling takes me outside this bubble, forces me to interact with loads of interesing people who live fulfilling lives outside the academic realm and inevitably results in me questioning why the hell I'm doing a PhD in an obscure field in which there are basically no jobs. Why do this when I can work for an NGO in London like B? Why do this when I can be a teacher in Sweden like Cailan? Why do this when I can have any number of rewarding jobs that actually pay decent salaries, which of course would allow me to travel even more? I've already begun asking these questions, and I suspect it will take a little bit of time before I can adequately answer them.

In the meantime, I already have another trip lined up: Buffalo! It's for a conference yes, but I've arranged to go a few days earlier so that I can adequately explore the city. I'm beyond excited to be in the rust belt again, and in a rust belt city with such a crazy local food culture no less! I'm sure I will be dispatching reports from there in this space as well.


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