I submitted my abstract today for a conference in sunny Florida! The key thing about a good conference is location, location, location. Sure you still have hobnob with other researchers and talk science at a conference but you can always squeeze in a little beach time. Heck, who needs sleep?
I've been to this particular conference a few times now but for some reason this year I'm even more excited about it. Maybe it's because I think I have something very interesting to present but then again I've worked on this project for five years now so it's like my baby. Or perhaps it's because being near the end of my PhD I feel like more of an equal to other researches and not like some newbie grad student who is in awe of a large conference. I now feel like I know my stuff and can bullshit with the best of them. No more feelings of intimidation.
Although I'm also feeling a bit nostalgic about this conference as this will be the last one I attend as a grad student. Sure, I may be back someday as a full fledged academic but it just won't be the same. As a grad student you have the luxury of being able to take half a day and go to the beach but as a newbie prof you feel like you need to impress those around you and half a day at the beach isn't going to accomplish that. It will be like being a newbie grad student all over again. Ahh... the many years in grad studies do have some perks after all.