So here's the thing about Iceland: it's not that they wanted to send us somewhere cool. It's not even that they wanted to send us somewhere "inbetween" Belgium and the US, although that was part of it. The main purpose of the trip was to send the team to an arctic wasteland where nobody knew anybody, so we could all be locked into a room for two weeks and produce lots and lots of work. Apparently Greenland was the original subject of discussion, and somebody talked them down to just Iceland.
The idea, code-named the Manhattan Project, was discussed in many meetings. Plans were changed many times. The real issue is that we have an ambitious November deadline, and we are on the verge of being able to meet it, but our boss wanted us to have a big velocity push in the beginning of the summer, before everybody goes on holidays, to help assure the project's success.
After lots of talk and controversy, lots of changing of minds, the bosses settled on a new schedule. No more Iceland, no more two-week trips. Instead of our prior travel schedule of a trip every seven weeks, we switched to a trip every four weeks. We'll still be switching between the two company offices we were visiting previously, no more weird locations. This means that I will be on the road for the first week of every month through October or so.... at least that's the current plan. Until it changes again.
It was a crazy couple of weeks of uncertainty for me. My mental calendar went from "I'll be in Ghent the first week of June", to "I'll be in Iceland the first two weeks of June", to "I'll be somewhere unknown the last two weeks of June", to finally back to "I'll be in Ghent the first week of June."
Along with traveling the first week of every month, I promised my Sis I'd visit her in Milwaukee sometime soon, so I need to schedule that. I will be attending a wedding in Florida the first weekend of August, I promised my extended family I'd make it to New York soon, and I'm probably traveling somewhere for the July Fourth weekend.
From my personal perspective, the Manhattan Project changes were a bit of a roller coaster and finally a bit of a bummer. The reason is that my birthday is June 2nd. Birthdays are a big deal to me, and I like to use mine as an excuse to get a diverse bunch of my friends together to help me celebrate in some fashion. It doesn't have to be ON my birthday of course, but it makes sense for the event to be at least NEAR my birthday.
I'd resigned myself ages ago to being on a business trip for my birthday, because that was scheduled way back in January. When it switched to Reykjavík for two weeks, that was even more disappointing, but at the same time intriguing because I'd never been there and I've heard good things about it. Then it switched so I'd actually be in town for my birthday! I was really pleased by this, and began making birthday plans. Then it switched again, and I'll be out of town again.
In one sense it's kinda cool: I'll be in Belgium for my birthday. However I won't have any friends or family around, and I won't even be contactable other than by email since I don't have an international phone plan. It's not my ideal birthday situation, but it'll be okay. I'll just have to extend and reschedule my birthday celebrations to times when I'm actually in town.
Next weekend will be rather crazy. I am doing the Race For The Cure on saturday morning, then leaving for Belgium saturday night. That doesn't leave a ton of time for pre-birthday celebration, especially since I can't stay out late friday night, but I've scheduled a little dinner/movie night on friday with M and another couple. That way I'll have something special to remember on my actual birthday, to keep me from feeling lonely.
Hopefully I'll find time later in June to have a larger party or dinner or gathering of some sort with more people. I always enjoy bringing together a diverse group of friends to meet each other and help me celebrate, and I'd rather not skip that this year. On the other hand, given all the travel I have coming up, scheduling will be tricky. I dunno... one way or another I will survive this summer and have lots of great memories while doing so. I just don't yet know how it will all come together!