Wednesday, December 29, 2010

It's On My List

“I haven’t been everywhere, but it’s on my list.” -Susan Sontag

From a dimly remembered visit to California in 1949 (right after his graduation from college, my dad drove cross country; mom & I flew there to join him. I was two years old at the time) to a wonderful trip to Chicago last month, travel has always been a part of my life.

My first tour of Europe came between my junior and senior year of college. Three years later, I was lucky enough to spend some time on the Greek Island of Rhodos (Rhodes).

When our children were small, family trips tended to be shorter and less expensive, although we did make the pilgrimage to Disney World one spring vacation.

Now that I'm retired (sort of), I'm starting to indulge my love of travel again. My husband will join me occasionally (this year, we went together to Puerto Rico, Ohio, and Maine), but the conferences I attend without him always include friends and friends-to-be with whom I can associate.

This was my 2o1o itinerary:

January - EduCon (Philadelphia, PA) - my favorite gathering, a relatively intimate and always stimulating series of conversations

March - Dorado, Puerto Rico - my husband's sister and brother-in-law were kind enough to invite us to visit them at their winter home, a small but pretty condo within sight and sound of the ocean

June - ALA 2010 Annual Conference (Washington, D.C.) - this was my first ALA conference, offering the perfect opportunity to meet with some of my library colleagues and tour our nation's capital

July - Ohio (and the Schinkers in Queensbury) - we went to visit some online friends, and some other online friends came to visit us

October - U.S.S. Hanson Reunion (Portland, ME) - another first, as we attended a reunion of those who served on the Hanson, including some who were shipmates of my husband's during the Viet Nam War

November - SLJ Leadership Summit (Chicago, IL) - this was a gem of a gathering, sponsored by the School Library Journal: authors and illustrators and speakers, oh my

These trips were more than just sightseeing jaunts, although that was part of their charm. Three of the six were conferences; all involved connecting with people. Transforming acquaintances into lifelong friends and learning partners; blending virtual and real life, personally and professionally: that is what travel does for me.

In 2011, we're hoping to visit Puerto Rico again. I may travel to Buffalo, NY in May for the SLMS/NYLA Spring Conference. I plan on seeing Philadelphia in winter (EduCon) and summer (ISTE 2011). There's AASL National Conference at Minneapolis, MN in October; I'd love to fit in another SLJ Leadership Summit, if there's no scheduling conflict. And wouldn't it be fun to meet up with the student members of "my" photography club (and co-advisor, Shannon Miller) in Van Meter, Iowa!

When I created this little map of my journeys, I noticed that the U.S. West Coast, the Southwest, most of the Midwest, and a large part of the rest of the world, aren't represented. I need to do something about that.

Map created at

“Clay lies still, but blood’s a rover / Breath’s aware that will not keep. / Up, lad: when the journey’s over there’ll be time enough to sleep.” -A.E. Housman


Anonymous said...

Hello Dianne, I love this time of year when I am on summer holidays and have time to renew online acquaintances and catch up with reading blog posts.
I wondered how you were filling in your retirement but can see that you have no trouble doing so and that education is still at the forefront. Travelling is one of my passions but as I have a family of four children and two of them live overseas we have a great excuse to travel to London and South Africa. However, our daughter Katherine gets married in April so that will keep us home for the first part of 2011.
I also love meeting online colleagues face to face at conferences etc as this does seal a very special friendship. I was lucky to meet a class in Kuala Lumpur that I had worked with online, when my husband and I travelled there in September.
Keep on travelling and if you come to Australia, let me know! We have a beautiful and amazing country.

diane said...


Retirement has been very interesting so far, and a lot of fun! I am still connected to librarians and educators via social networking sites - and happily collaborate when the opportunity presents itself. Right now, I'm co-adviser for a photography club in Iowa, quite a distance from my New York State home.

Hopefully, I'll also be doing some paid work online, too, to support my travel habits!

I loved seeing your holiday family photos. Australia is definitely on my journey bucket list, and I will certainly warn you when I head to the fabulous Land Down Under.

Fran Bullington said...


Although your map seems to be East Coast heavy, I see that South Carolina is a still-to-be-visited place!

Our annual conference is in Columbia (state capital) this year in March. We'd love to have you visit us!

diane said...


Thank you for the lovely invitation. I've been to North Carolina, but never to South Carolina. Not ruling anything out at this point!

Carolyn Foote said...

Don't forget lovely Austin, Texas--we are host to both TCEA and TLA this year! I'm sure the weather will be nice!

diane said...

I have only been in Texas once, for NECC 08, where we got to meet in person. A return visit would be lovely!