Reflections on Santiago

I’ve just returned from 12 days in Santiago, Chile, for the Global Voices Summit 2010, and while I know that it’s technically impossible to have jet lag whilst traveling within one’s home time zone, my body is ignoring that fact…I’m exhausted.

I remember having the same feeling two years ago as I arrived home from Budapest and proceeded to collapse somewhat depressed into my bed for three days, missing even Boston’s fantastic 4th of July celebrations.  This time, there’s no melancholia–frankly, I was kind of excited to get home and see my “people”–but certainly the same sense of changedness.  Each time I return from a conference like this one (you know, the meaningful, heartfelt conferences, not the businesslike, lectury ones) I have this sense of rechargedness, a desire to start fresh, change my habits, and reflect…get down with my om.

When I joined GV in April 2007, I had no idea the path it would lead me on…and even when I attended the 2008 Summit, having just been hired at Berkman, little did I know that two years later, I’d be invited to speak on a panel with YouTube’s head of policy, or to the Al Jazeera Forum, where I’ll be speaking next weekend.  Despite my occasional complaints, mostly related to jet lag or people plagiarizing my shit, I feel truly thrilled every single day, which is more than I could ever possibly ask for.

Two years ago, upon returning from Budapest, I wrote about a sense of unbelonging and a desire to see so much more of the world.  While the sense of unbelonging still creeps up now and again, I feel that in Cambridge, I’ve made my home, at least for awhile.

That day, I also wrote: “My passport expires in 2012 and has 25 stamps and 27 free spaces. Will you help me fill them?

Since then, I’ve made it to Syria, Japan, Malaysia, Lebanon, Chile, and Canada a few times,  filling up nearly 20 of those 27 free spaces.  After my next two trips, I’ll be forced to fill in my passport with a second set of pages.  For that, I say thank you.

And to my GV friends reading (GVers?  Geevers?), I am once again so thrilled to have met so many of you.  You guys are my global family.  Until next time!

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