PASS Vacation

Vacationing at PASS?

In my previous article about paying my own way to PASS an anonymous commenter said he wouldn’t attend because he would have to take vacation to do so. Well, let me tell you it was just like a vacation for me.

First, by my own admission, I basically acted like a tourist. Whereas someone might go to Las Vegas and say things like “Oh wow, those are the Bellagio Fountains!” I gushed things like, “Oh wow, you’re Donald Farmer, Steve Jones, Paul Randal, or Andy Leonard.

Steve Jones

It’s not that I was star struck necessarily, it’s just that until now these guys lived in the screen in front of me. Do you remember how it felt the first time you saw your teacher at a restaurant or the movies? You had a moment of realization where you realized they were actually real people? Well, these people are my teachers and I have been learning from them for several years. PASS was a non-stop series of these realizations as I met and spoke with most of the people I’ve admired for so long. I was kind of surprised just how many of them follow me as well. In fact, when Donald Farmer told me that he reads my stuff, I actually told him “Wow, I need to work harder if all you guys are reading it.”

Geoff Hiten, Grant Fritchey, and Buck Woody

Second, the entire experience was so much fun. Most of these people know each other personally so it’s like going on vacation with your friends. Sure, there’s learning going on and everyone is networking, but it’s enjoyable.

Third, speaking of fun there are all sorts of fun things to do. There are parties every night if you’re following the Twitter stream. There’s simply no excuse for being alone. To cut down on costs, I shared a room with the one and only SQL Chicken and he’s one of the most social people I know.

Tony Davis, Jorge Segara, Rodney and Karla Landrum

One of the highlights of my trip was SQL Karaoke. Rumor has it there is a video floating around of yours truly belting out Burning Love by Elvis Presley. God I hope that doesn’t surface. Another night, Chicken’s backpack was stolen outside of a Starbucks (there’s one on every corner in Seattle). So, we spent that evening walking the alleys, badgering and bribing homeless people for it. He and I are not exactly like the duo in Lethal Weapon, but I am definitely too old for this s$%t.

Andy Leonard and Joe Webb

Was I crazy busy all week? Was it exhausting? Was I working hard? Yes to all three. However, when I got home I was thoroughly drained in a good way. I felt like I had released all my stress and felt as if I had just finished a marathon.

The point of this article is this. If you have to pay your own way to the PASS Summit, even if you have to take vacation time to do it, go anyway. It’s worth it.

For me, it was the best vacation I could have taken right now.

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