Like The Hobbit shouldn’t have, this blog post comes to you in three parts.

First of all, I am going to XOXO this year! From everything I’ve heard, XOXO is a spectacular conference and festival for creators-- artists, coders, podcasters, everyone. There’s a lottery for tickets and I thought I didn’t get one, but it turns out I got in in the second round. It was actually a huge surprise because I thought I had lost my chance, but happened to look at the XOXO twitter, where there was a link to check your ticket status. I clicked on it and to my IMMENSE shock there was an order form waiting for me. I checked three different ways to make sure it wasn’t a fluke! Adding to my incredible luck, between my summer program and my scholarships, I am going to get about $500 back from tuition this semester-- just enough to buy an XOXO pass.

I do, however, still have to pay out of pocket for hotel, food, and flights, and that brings us to part two-- flying.

I love flying. Some people are scared of flights and I totally understand that, but something about the sensation of being in the air makes me smile. I get the window seat whenever possible so I can look out the window the entire takeoff and landing, especially at night. I stare at the lights of the city getting smaller and smaller until we break through the clouds. This time at least one of my flights will be a red-eye, and I’m incredibly pleased that I’ll be able to see Portland from above at night.

And that’s part three: Portland, Oregon. I’m an east coast kid and have never been farther west than Kansas. Portland is, allegedly, the hipster capital of the world. I’m excited to be there for XOXO and to hopefully explore Portland a little bit. I’d love to make it a larger trip and go down to San Francisco, but unfortunately, I’m probably already going to miss a day of class by going to XOXO-- straight there and back for me!

While these are technically three different topics, it’s really all about flying. Traveling to the other side of the country, attending a conference I’ve never been to before, and taking my longest solo flight are ways to figuratively and literally fly: while sacrifices of time and money must be made to go on this adventure, I can’t think of anything more worth it.