I was never really the camping kind of guy. Sounds like the perfect opportunity to collect kindling, start a bonfire, set up a tent, sleep in a bedroll, not have Internet access, eat hot dogs day and night, feel cold and miserable and get bitten by all sorts of bugs, right? — overall not my mental picture for "having fun". Last weekend, though, I attended CampJS, and it changed my perspective on this kind of things.
I've always wanted to visit Australia. My sister has always been fascinated with the country, and she got to go a few years ago. She came back more fascinated about it than ever, validating my drive to visit one day. The problem was obviously one of distance, as visiting other countries usually goes. You're looking at upwards of half a day sitting on planes and airports to get from Argentina to an airport anywhere near Australia, but I guess I'm supposed not to complain about that (and I'm not, I like travelling and I don't mind planes).
It all started a couple of months ago. I was sitting in an airport on my way to Frontend Conference in Switzerland. My flight had just gotten cancelled, so I was stranded in Frankfurt for a couple hours. I couldn't really complain, Lufthansa had upgraded me to Business Class as a token of their appreciation that they'd be cancelling my next two flights with them. I checked my email, and I had one from Tim. I didn't really know Tim, I followed him on Twitter and GitHub but that was about it, I almost hadn't interacted with him at all. This came as a nice surprise!
Hi, I run CampJS, it's a casual developer conference in Australia. Would you be interested in coming out to our next event from October 31 – November 3?
I had already stumbled upon the site for their conference, it's quite nice — especially on a cold night. It renders a small world using WebGL and turns your notebook into a little furnace.
Anyways, I didn't hesitate to say yes: this was a great opportunity to visit Australia for a little while, get to know Tim in the flesh (and as I'd find out later on, a wealth of other great humans), and attend a conference to boot!