For a long time, I would usually plan my trips around a particular event and the event is usually an art fair or a tech conference or even better if it was both. There was really only a handful of trips where I would just ‘go’ like a week in Marrakech. It usually worked out well – for example, in New York I would go to a few art fairs very quickly then have a lot of time spent just exploring the city. In Monaco, I would explore Nice for a couple of days before heading out to Monaco. But, the last time I did that was in Boston for a tech conference and I really was not happy with the experience I had then of exploring the city. I only had a couple of days off and ended up missing my flight so I had a large chunk of time that went missing. By the time I arrived and checked in (it was in the historic Kendall Hotel at MIT since the conference was at MIT), I was too tired and cold to explore and ended up staying inside my room. The conference started and on my days off in a city (that I wouldn’t be visiting for a long time again), I ended up spending most of it inside. While it was all interesting, at the end of the day I was still inside a large conference hall. Then, I had to rush off and catch my plane back to Canada.
So now, I am reconsidering how I usually plan. I have with me a calendar of art and tech events. I don’t mind planning my travel around art fairs, but honestly…I used to have a full schedule when it came to art fairs and by the time I exit one my mind is completely ‘full’ from the experience. There are notable exceptions – like Art Basel or the Vienna Biennale – and I don’t think I will completely wipe away any notion of never going to these ever. But right now, I am not as interested in going to “as many art fairs as I can!”. My focus right now is trying to get as much of a genuine experience as I can from a city or culture. There might be an art fair or tech conference thrown into it, but it won’t be the centre of my plans anymore.