On unexpected travel and its arrangements
So things are happening fast.
Some of you may know that I'm a volunteer at the Wikimedia chapter at Mexico (WMMX) since last year1. Things have been going pretty well, to say the least. There's this event for the whole Wikimedia/Wikipedia movement called Wikimania:
Wikimania is an annual international conference for users of the Wikimedia Foundation's wiki projects (such as Wikipedia and its sister projects). Topics of presentations and discussions include Wikimedia Foundation projects, other wikis, open-source software, free knowledge and free content, and social and technical aspects related to these topics—en.wikipedia
If you scroll a bit down this page you'll find the bids for next's year's event, including Mexico City. If you click on that bid, you'll find a subpage with the Wikimania 2015 bidding team. If you scroll down that page, you'll find... yours truly.
In order to fully understand the ins and outs of such an event2, we might be expected to go to this year's event at London to see their organization behind the scenes: how they communicate with each other, how they manage a large group of volunteers, transportation, catering, safety... you name it. We'll be looking for solutions and, most importantly, unexpected/yet unimagined problems that might arise.
I don't know yet whether I'm going or not, but I need to be prepared for an international trip on relatively short notice, which entails:
- Updating my passport, which can be done with an appointment (right now there's a 3-week waiting list) or showing up at the Foreign Relationships office without one and hope that someone misses theirs.
- Arranging for a few more days off my work. Being in a generic corporate job means that these situations have to be announced at least one month before the event itself. Then the permission form has to travel through a relay of three gnomes and then an Oracle will be consulted to know whether I get those days off or not. Plan B is to meet with the Big Cheese Himself and explain in person why I need those days off.
- Tying up loose ends. First of all because some of our projects can drag on for months and then close in the blink of an eye. If I'm not around, the projects I manage can create a bona fide pandemonium if something unexpected were to happen.
- Tying up loose ends. You know, "Hope for the best but plan for the worst" yadda yadda
- Saving enough for a few days off. Even though we will be watching the event from a bird-eye perspective, we will have some free time to get to know London a bit. I have an emergency fund, but I don't think it's wise to drain it if I don't have a (medical/job-related) emergency. Even though most our basic expenses would be covered, I don't want to travel on a corset-tight budget. I don't need millions, just enough to not worry about money while I'm there.
I don't really have a plan or idea for this. My first option is to ask my family for help, doing anything I can from mowing lawns to cooking and everything in between3. Next is to begin some freelance work, start selling unneeded stuff and get a short story anthology on gumroad or whatever.
I'm excited for all of this. The next 18 months will be one heck of a ride.
1: I first talked about it here and then went on to make this
2: Also because three fifths of our organizing team have never attended a Wikimania
3: We have unwritten rules about money: Lending/Borrowing should be the last option. Thou shalt not spend more than you have. Thou shalt earn thy money... you get the idea.