I’ve been away for a bit I know, but I’m back from my first FinCon and lived to tell the tale! As I mentioned in my Montreal Trip Budget Breakdown post, I was away at FinCon from Wednesday through Sunday of last week in New Orleans. It really was a whirlwind of a trip. First off, this was the first trip I’ve been on by myself for about 4 years. The last trip I did on my own was to Yorkton, Saskatchewan to accept an award for my short film Catechism at the Yorkton Film Festival. I remember being so nervous going on that trip, not knowing anyone, but in the end it was such a great experience (plus who doesn’t want to win an award in the shape of large bundle of wheat!).
Told ya. It’s called a Golden Sheaf Award because it literally is an award shaped like a golden sheaf. What am I doing with my neck in that photo? And who is that guy? Sorry, I digress…
Anywho, I was still nervous about going on this trip alone, but it wasn’t until I touched down in beautiful NOLA that my anxiety really kicked in. Listen, I love meeting new people. I’ve had to do that almost everyday for a year straight since my HB and I moved to Toronto. But there were like 700 people at this conference. That would probably be intimidating even if I wasn’t a total introvert.
Honestly, for most of the time I was there I just felt overwhelmed. I’m just no good at walking up to strangers, or in this case people I knew online but not offline, and saying hello. And to top it all off I was worried that I was giving off this rude, too cool for school vibe by not going up to people when really I was just trying to keep it together. For anyone who thought that, sorry, I was just being full on shy.
Luckily I had Cait and Carrie to hang out with for a lot of trip, and almost everyone I did get the courage to meet was super nice and welcoming. I definitely want to give a big shout out to some of my favourite bloggers who I got to meet/hang out with who really made my trip worthwhile: Melanie, Jordann, Michelle, Michelle, Michelle, Michelle (ya, there were a lot of Michelles there), Stefanie, Kassandra, Kate, Cat, Kathy, J. Money, Eric, Corey, Lance, Jacob, Stephen, the crew from Ready for Zero, and of course my awesome roomies Melissa and Tahnya!
I could go on and on about my trip because I feel like so much happened in such a short amount of time, but here’s what I’m gonna do. Since I love Cait’s TGIF posts where she says her one high and low of the week, I’m I’m going to break down my trip into highs and lows.
Starting with the lows…
Lows of the Trip
- Missed my connecting flight on Wednesday so I had to hang out in the Washington, D.C. airport for a total of 6 hours. This was half my fault for not realizing the gate for my flight changed until it was too late, but I half blame U.S. Airways for not calling missing peoples’ names before the flight takes off. What’s up with that? Every other airline I’ve ever been on has done that. Fix your shit guys!
- Didn’t get to meet everyone I wanted to meet, and those I did meet I wish I had better/longer/more in-depth conversations with. Oh well, I guess there’s always next year?
- All of the sessions I attended were well put together but I felt like lots of the core content didn’t really relate to me. I’m moving away from monetizing my blog, I don’t want to become a self-employed blogger, and I don’t have any plans to write a book. I want to get back to basics and fall back in love with writing again.
- Got a cold the minute I got back from New Orleans and had to miss two days of work because of it. I blame the guy sitting next to me on the plane to Toronto. He coughed a few times at the start of the flight so I bet it was him. The nerve!
Highs of the Trip
- New Orleans was never on my top 5 travel destinations list, but it really should have been. I can’t remember the last time I’ve been somewhere and had my expectations completely exceeded! New Orleans is seriously an amazing city. Think Las Vegas but with culture, history, and deep-fried everything. I’d go back in a heartbeat.
- Beignets, red beans and rice, jambalaya, need I say more?
- Getting to hold a real baby alligator in my hands on a swamp tour. I’m telling you, I kind of get why people want those things as pets (then flush them down the toilet when they start to get big and murderous).
- Got to meet some amazing people, strengthen some already existing friendships, and hang out with a bunch of major money nerds like myself for almost a week. Ya, that was pretty awesome.
Thanks again for reading everyone, and you will be happy to know that I will once again be sticking to my Monday, Wednesday, Friday blogging schedule from here on out. See you back here Monday!
Have you ever been to a big conference before? What was your experience like?