Away We Go! Euro-Bound Adventures

This post is brought to you from the International Terminal at SFO, because Kat Harris are off on an adventure to Iceland! What do two VR devs do when they travel abroad? Bring extra phones, Gear VRs, and deckbuilding card games, of course!

I’m speaking at JS Conf Iceland this Thursday on one of my favorite topics, the VR web, and we decided to throw in a short holiday while we have some down time between a number of other events. Kat will be up in Seattle speaking at PAX Dev, and I’m heading onward to Coldfront and Full Stack Fest before returning home in three weeks. In the meantime, we’re waiting to board our flight and get some cool 360 photos of our journeys!

I wanted to share some of the tips that I’ve come up with over the past few years as I’ve been spending more and more time on the road for conferencing – it’s taken some time to figure out strategies that work well.

  • When presenting on VR, don’t feel pressured to try and shoehorn your whole setup into a travel-ready package. I love being able to do demos, so I take a Gear VR headset with me when I can, but even if I’m presenting on the Vive, Rift, or desktop VR in general, I’ll do pre-recorded videos of my demos and then just use the Gear VR for fun. People understand that it’s impossible to bring a desktop computer, get it set up on stage, and set up a full room scale VR demo for a 30 or 45 minute speaking slot, so don’t sweat it if you’re trying to figure out how to transport a pelican case and extra cables.
  • Bring something comfortable from home. If I’m traveling alone, I’ll try to bring my stuffed Minecraft Creeper with me, so that hotels feel a little more personalized. Sometimes it’s an extra sweatshirt getting crammed into a suitcase for coziness more than necessity, While it can be easy to sacrifice familiar things for “urgent necessities”, half of the time I just end up not using the things I thought were required packing and having something that makes me smile when I see it can help stave off homesickness.
  • Try to reproduce your routines when you’re on the road. Not only does this (in theory) help with jet lag, but it also helps with the homesickness (you may notice that this is a recurring theme here). I like to read or play iPad games before I go to bed, so bringing one of those devices is a must for me when I’ll be gone for more than a day or two.

I had a few more,  but boarding started mid-point and so the ending of this is a bit rushed! Expect more VR code samples and posts in the next three weeks- and let me know if you have your own travel tips that work for you!

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