Day 1: Complete

Finally, I am in bed and I have a quiet moment to myself before I pass out!

After arriving in Edinburgh I grabbed my luggage and left the airport looking for a cab into town. This entire trip was very quiet. Usually I speak to more people during my travels, but I hypothesize that I received a bit of peace and quiet from the universe, since this week is going to be filled with excitement. My driver (also very quiet) was from Poland and entertained my small talk occasionally.

I have already encountered my first faux pas. I thought I could simply show up to the TEDxOrganizer event, since I was told I could leave my luggage at the cafe and on the bus once we went on the hike. However, I should have gone through registration first and picked up my conference badge instead. Luckily everyone was very accommodating and they let me in even without my badge. I walked up the royal blue staircase and entered the workshop. The room was entirely set in TEd colors, soft velvet curtains hung from the front stage and the walls were a deep terracotta. The food on the middle buffet tables was already gone, but I grabbed myself a cup of coffee and joined in on one of the smaller circles. Once the first ‘Dive Deep Topic’ sessions had ended, I decided to sit in on a filming workshop Angela Chang.

Angela is lead of production for TED. As I sat in one of the chairs in the big circle surrounding her whiteboard, it soon became clear that only myself and another TEDx organizer were going to participate in the discussion of this topic. Filming was difficult at our TEDx this year, so I figured that any input from Angela could help our process next year. The three of us were able to have a great discussion about camera angles, placement, and lighting. We were also able to discuss the process of editing and the best programs to use. I have a whole page of notes that will be extremely useful to our organizing team.

The TED team then concluded the sessions and asked everyone to walk to the buses that would take us to the foot of Arthur’s Seat. After driving out toward the park we were given three hiking options: 1. easy, 2. medium, and 3. hard. I decided to join the “hard” group, and found the challenge quite pleasant. The hike up was beautiful, the sun was shining and there was a nice cool breeze from the ocean. The entire way up I had a great conversation with another attendee, Kinga, who was also from poland.

English: Arthur's Seat, Edinburgh, viewed from...

English: Arthur’s Seat, Edinburgh, viewed from Pollock Halls. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Once summiting the peak, we decided to take arial shots of ourselves spelling TEDx further down the hill. After enjoying the sun and the view of the city we began walking back down to the buses, which began dropping us off at the hotel locations. As I am staying at a wonderful family’s guest room, I simply got off at the nearest stop. This is when the second small adventure of the day began. I went to grab my suitcase from below the bus, and was told by the driver it was on the other coach! No one had told me that they made this switch, so the other bus met us at our location and dropped off my bag. Once I figured all of this out I hopped in a cab and took it over to the B&B I am staying at.

The family wasn’t home yet so once I got to the house I sat on a bench enjoying the last 10minutes of sun. When they arrived I was warmly greeted. The room is very spacious and they have been taking fantastic care of me already.

This evening there was a reception up at the castle, so they offered to drop me at the mound from where I then walked up the hill to the castle. At the castle I checked in and grabbed a glass of white wine, finally ready to relax. I began speaking to other organizers. TEDxBerlin, TEDxChange etc. etc.

I also began speaking to members of the staff. I was able to have a longer conversation with Salome Heusel about TEDx and her road to becoming part of the TED crew. The conversation then lead into the discussion of TEDxYouth a fantastic program for children.

After making a few more rounds of conversation it was time to head out. Other attendees continued on to the bar, and I decided to make my way back home. I wanted to be sure I could find my way back. I arrived back at the guest room and had a friendly chat with the father and his oldest son. Katharine (the mother) then came in and asked me what time I would like to have breakfast and that she would bring it into the room in the morning.

So now I am in bed, and going to go to sleep! I plan on running a bit in the morning and then heading over to registration after a nice gluten-free breakfast!

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