My plans for this trip had to change at the last minute, due to my confusion over the ferry schedule back to Seattle. So instead of an extra day to explore Vancouver Island, I gained a day to explore Seattle (how odd that it is, really, considering that in just a few days, John will be settling into making this city his new temporary home…). One of the joys of such a spontaneous change is that I was able to quickly make contact with a Seattle blogger that I’ve followed for several years. She and I shared a friend in Sara, but have never met. We also share a love for gardening and the Japanese culture, as well as experience with cancer.
The change in travel plans has meant less time as a tourist—I never did even make it to a tea shop in Victoria—but more time talking with fellow travelers at my conference. Last night I ended up sharing dinner with a woman that I’d just met, after we learned that we had children of similar ages and temperaments (and we’d bought similar take-home gifts in the UVic bookstore). As we walked on we realized that both of our spouses build/manage databases and we also share a passion for 19th-century women’s history. Sharing a cab to the ferry this morning I had similarly provocative conversations with scholars from California,New York, and Illinois.
As I write this, I’m looking out over the rolling waters of the Juan de Fuca strait and dreaming about paddling those waters someday. My very small taste of the Pacific Northwest & Vancouver Island has me convinced that this is a place to return to again soon. A place that I could even call home someday. But even more than the connection that I’m finding to the cities and structures of the area, I’m feeling full of the conversations and connections that’ve emerged in the past few days. I’m coming home full of ideas and possibilities, ready for even more such experiences at the conferences coming up in July, and for my research projects.