Well, at least this is my last trip planned for the next couple of months. I've already been warned about the possibility that I might be asked to be an external for a PhD student in a foreign country, but I don't have a formal invite yet, and I did tell an NSF PO that I would serve on their panel if they needed someone... But, as of right now, my trip next week is the last of the summer and the last chance fate has to rattle my cage for a bit with some type of crisis while I am gone. Even if nothing explodes or implodes, it should still be an exciting week.
For one, I'm going on this trip without people from my lab, which means that any inkling I may have towards a "supervisor mode" is not in play (and by that I mean "making sure that my students have the chance to meet people, have fun and check out lots of good science", not some oppressive alternative where they are treated like children). I also think, for various reasons, that this trip will be a bit out of the ordinary for me, which is always intriguing. I don't think I will know anyone at this particular gathering, so it'll be a good opportunity to not get sucked into the safety of old acquaintances and meet some new people - something that I actually enjoy.
And finally, I'm driving. No planes, trains or boats. No Elmo singing or Rockabye Baby! renditions of classic albums (These CDs do kick ass, however. There aren't many kid-friendly CDs that don't make you stabby, but these do the trick. Where else can you find The Cure, Bjork and Tool songs played on the glockenspiel?). Just me driving and having some time to think without distraction and play whatever I want on the radio. Those moments are rare these days.