June 20, 2014
The difference salt water makes
The conference I went to this week was an unconference, actually. That means that instead of experts coming and giving formal talks, the participants themselves shaped the conference with sessions that involved everyone talking, learning, and sharing. It was amazing and stimulating, but still, like most conferences, it was held inside a building, with chairs and walls and air conditioning.
But here’s the wonderful part. When sessions ended, and we participants stumbled outside, saturated with ideas and conversation, we came out to the boardwalk, filled with tourists in summer clothes strolling about, and beyond that, miles of sand and ocean.
My mother always says that ocean water can cure anything, and when I’m strolling along the beach up to my knees in the surging salty water, I believe her. Each morning of the conference, I woke up at 6 am to spend at least an hour walking along the beach. The first morning, the fog was so thick that I never saw another person. Every evening ended with drinks and food on the boardwalk, the warm salty air rushing across our skin as we talked and made plans to collaborate on future projects. When the conference came to an end, I convinced three of my friends we needed to walk in the surf. The waves rolled in and foamed up around our bare legs as we talked over the highlights of the conference.
Every conference should include an ocean.
Posted by jo(e)