When you travel, you try to take in as much as you can in the limited time you’d be in one place. You’ll try to visit all the attractions listed in your guidebook, dine at all the restaurants friends and acquaintances recommend and buy all the native trinkets you can find.
We try to cram everything in a day or three, because we don’t want to miss anything. After all, who know when you’ll be back in that place again?
Unfortunately, there are times when you’ll miss something — a concert of your favorite artist, performing just before you arrived; a festival that wouldn’t start until after you’ve left; or in my case, missing the chance to see Marcus Schenkenberg in person gah
That’s why this time, I made sure I know what’s happening in Melbourne, and I take careful notes to the events I want to join. I purposely gave the Melbourne Cup a miss because even though it’s the biggest event here, I find that I’m not really interested in it (the Flemington Racecourse is just 10 minutes away, whereas I flew 800 kilometers for the Mardi Gras). One thing I didn’t pass on was the chance to attend the WordCamp Melbourne, and a chance to meet my favorite travel writer, Peter Moore.
Initially, I planned on attending the formal launching of his latest book, Vroom by the Sea, but schedule conflicts meant I’d have to stay home that night. Luckily, Peter invited his readers to join him for drinks at the Espy, along with fellow travel writer, Brian Thacker.
I was actually hesitant to go at first, fearing that I’d feel ill at ease, but Peter and Brian were a couple of really nice guys. They both have travelled to the Philippines, and I am so ashamed to admit that they’ve travelled to more places around Luzon and the Visayas than I have. I was glad that I went to the Espy instead of the book launch, because it was more informal and I was able to chat with my favorite travel writer.
I remember my friends lining up, just so Neil Gaiman can sign their books last year. This year, Anna found out that he’s coming back, but the book signing this time would be at Subic, and it would only be limited to a hundred or something. And me? I just went for a chat over drinks and steak burger. Now, don’t you wish more author-reader interactions are like this?