Back in 2013, I led the core contribution mentoring day at DrupalCon Sydney. I'd already flown from the US to Europe three times at that point (first for Drupal Developer Days Barcelona, then for DrupalCon Munich and the Paris VDC sprint, and finally for a whirlwind 72 hours in London to sprint on VDC and CMI). None of that prior international travel prepared me in the slightest for the over 24 hours of nonstop air travel/physical torture that it takes to get from Wisconsin to Australia.
I vaguely remember going through Australian customs, getting to my hotel room, ordering a small pizza for lunch around 11:00 a.m... and then awaking to darkness with a clock reading 6:20. At first, disoriented, I thought I'd slept until evening; later, I discovered I'd actually slept for nineteen hours straight and it was the next morning. Sydney, the conference, and the Blue Mountains were all lovely, but I nonetheless swore never to take such long flights again.
Fast-forward nearly seven years. I'm now fairly well-traveled. I've been to 20 countries on five continents, and I typically travel to Europe several times a year. I still do not want to endure the 15-hour flight from LAX to SYD ever, ever again.
Conveniently, the Hawaiian Islands are located about halfway between me and the eastern coast of Australia. Hawaii's Big Island is one of my favorite places on Earth, and I typically visit for a couple weeks every winter. So, I decided that if I ever traveled to Australia again -- say, for DrupalSouth, which is an event I've always wanted to attend -- it would be by way of Hawaii.
Thanks to EY Digital and the DrupalSouth 2019 organizers, I was able to enact this plan! I got myself to Hawaii, and the travel scholarship for keynote speakers then got me to Tasmania. It took a total of seven flights to get to Hobart, and there were some extra travel days in there, but with a few days in Hawaii to recuperate on both my way to and my return from Australia, it worked out just fine.
And it was worth it! The event started on Wednesday (known in the US as "Tuesday") with a very effective contribution day. We made some excellent progress on Drupal 9 blockers. On Friday, I gave my keynote: Security, Drupal 9, and Navigating the Changing Web Landscape. Recording below!
I gave a similar talk earlier in the year, but this is by far the best version. (Drupal Developer Days Cluj was the first draft and ran a bit long, and when I presented at DrupalCon Amsterdam I was horribly sick and couldn't even stay for Q&A.) Plus, the above video of my Hobart keynote features excellent presentational image content not available in my earlier sessions. Enjoy!