It feels like a long time since I last wrote from Paris - so much has happened since then. I attended my first ever international conference, held in Lausanne, Switzerland. It's a small city about 40 minutes by train from Genève. It has a fantastic public transport system, so it's very easy to get around, and many central city pedestrian zones - inspiring for Dunedin!
The conference itself was both fantastic and intense - I am still processing all that I learnt two days later! We had very long days of interesting presentations, lots of strong coffee, many discussions about science with potential future collaborators and other like-minded individuals. I met the two other people in the world working on similar things to me, one of whom we may end up collaborating with for future publications. She is based in Spain and the Netherlands, so there may be options over there for future work - we'll see... I am feeling a renewed inspiration for research upon returning to New Zealand, and it was rewarding to meet, and talk to many other people like me: struggling PhD students. I feel extremely lucky to have had this opportunity.
As part of the conference, we had a formal dinner, which was a cruise on Lac Léman (also called Lake Geneva, but not by those who live in Lausanne!) It was a still evening, and very beautiful to watch the sun set from a boat on the lake.
Currently, I'm in Rome, and tonight I am catching the train to Vienna for the weekend. I'll write more about Rome next time - it's a crazy place. Never before have I been so often complimented on the colour of my eyes! I am hoping Vienna will be a little quieter... As of today, I'm travelling by myself for a few days. It takes some getting used to, but it's rather pleasant (and indulgent) to be able to follow any particular whim I may have. I am enjoying having lots of time to reflect.
title from belle & sebastian - the stars of track and field.