In two days I’m going to be in Monterey, California to attend the upcoming 7th EG conference. While not presenting per se, I’m going to be part of a group of people performing some short close-up shows between the main sessions. I’m in Los Angeles at the moment, getting over jet lag and doing some final preparation before flying up to Monterey.
Getting here has been an interesting experience.
To cut a very long story short, last time I was in the USA I had some immigration “challenges” come up. At some point in the future I’d love to tell the whole story, but for now it’s just too much detail to go into. The short version is that everything is under control, and I’m in the USA, ready to attend the conference. But in order to get here, I’ve had to jump through far more hoops than on previous trips.
Some of these include meetings with lawyers, phone calls with the US consulate, four-hour interview ordeals at the US consulate, astoundingly vast and detailed immigration questionnaires, emergency rush-rate applications, late night international phone calls to arrange emergency letters of recommendation (thank you so, so much Jane Rosch), a thick stack of paperwork to wave convincingly at Homeland Security officials should anything go wrong, and a quantity of stress that I’m genuinely surprised hasn’t given me a hernia yet.
And all of it is so utterly, completely, unambiguously worth it.
As mentioned previously, presenting at EG last year was one of the most amazing things that I’ve ever done, ever. It was inspiring, captivating, and personally enriching in a way that I still struggle to find words to express. After an experience like that, wild horses wouldn’t stop me from coming back.
And luckily, neither did US immigration or a stress-induced hernia.