I'm back from Portland! Wait, let me rewind.
I went to Portland! Wait, let me back up.
A few months ago, I noticed there were still tickets for Vida Vegan Con 2013, the second installment in the VVC vegan lifestyle bloggers conference. Hey, I said to my omni sweetheart, that could be fun. My sweetheart said pretty much instantly, Let me see if I can get the time off work and let's go!
No way, I backpedaled. I won't know anybody and I'll be weird and awkward and I'll probably die.
Spoiler alert: I did not die. I didn't know anybody and I probably was weird and awkward but I also met some marvelously kind people, learned an awful lot, felt super invigorated and had an amazing time. I drove by myself in a strange city with a lot of one-way streets and bridges having had a drivers license for less than a year and I ate fantastic food. I met veteran vegans, people who've been vegan for only two months, some interested non-vegans, charming locals - and even some of my cookbook heroes! By the last day I felt like an old hand.
Listen: however weird and awkward and terrified you are - and make no mistake, I was terrified - someone else somewhere out there is more terrified than you. And if you're at something like VVC, chances are you're all there for similar reasons. You'll have some common ground and the uncommon ground is the part where you get to tell each other stories. So, if you can, just say hi, ask if you can sit down, wave as you pass each other in the hallway. I promise you won't die.