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San Francisco: Travel Adventures & Networking Opps Galore!

Over the past few weeks I´d been growing increasingly envious of all of my friend´s recent travel adventures. Weekends in the…

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Over the past few weeks I´d been growing increasingly envious of all of my friend´s recent travel adventures. Weekends in the South of Spain, a couple of weeks in S.E. Asia, or work trips to other European countries. It really didn´t matter the destination or the motive behind their travel plans, each time I heard the mention of someone hitting the road only served to further activate my own travel bug. I knew I needed to get moving and preferably as soon as possible! I began daydreaming about how I too could escape to the beach for a couple of days or even fit a day trip of sorts into my jam packed schedule. All the while forgetting that I had a fast approaching international trip coming up…one I´d planned the last time I was visited by the travel bug. Amidst the chaos of seeing clients and chipping away at my dissertation, I´d managed to lose sight of the fact that I had a 10-day trip to San Francisco planned at the end of April!

First up on the San Francisco agenda is a long (girls only) weekend with my mom and sister who are flying down from Seattle for a dose of our favorite S´s: sightseeing, shopping and Starbucks. Then I´ll be heading over to Oakland to stay with my platonic soulmate. Melissa and I not only share the same name, but sometimes I joke that we´re the same person. Our favorite hobbies are dancing, writing and travel, and we´re both pursuing our doctorates in Clinical Psychology. We met our very first week in Madrid when I´d wandered over to her room (it was right next to mine) intending to introduce myself and inquire whether or not she had any DVDs I could borrow, but the stars aligned and I quickly found myself immersed in a conversation that lasted for hours. If we´d been sitting somewhere more comfortable (we´d plopped down onto the hardwood floor outside of our bedrooms), I´m certain that the conversation could have lasted til morning.

And to up the adventure factor of the trip, a ten-years-in-the-making professional dream of mine will finally be coming true because I´ll be attending the Academy of Eating Disorder´s International Conference (ICED). I really wasn´t sure ICED and I would ever have a chance to coincide. Back in 2006 it had taken place in Barcelona, but I was finishing up my last semester of undergrad coursework so a trip to my beloved Spain wasn´t in the cards. And then two years later when I discovered that it would be held right at home in Seattle…I was heading over to Spain for three months! Other years members of my research team have presented posters and presentations that I´ve helped co-author, but this year´s conference in San Francisco will offer me the first chance to be physically present at the conference and the only word I can use to describe how I feel about this upcoming professional opportunity is with a word I reserve for truly special occasions: JAZZED. 

The thing is, I absolutely love eating disorder conferences! The few years I had the chance to attend The National Eating Disorders Conferences afforded me with truly life-changing, career-inspiring moments. Having worked in the field of eating disorders since junior year of college, professional conferences on this subject matter are a chance to meet my idols: researchers, educators, advocates and treatment providers from around the world who share my own passion for working in this area. I´ll have the chance to learn about the application of cutting edge treatment options, the latest neuroscience findings, the effects of westernization on body image…and so much more!

And as a therapist who has two specialties: 1) helping people living outside of their home country 2) eating disorders and body image issues, the theme of this years conference, ¨Building Bridges Around the World,¨ couldn´t be more perfect. The 2016 conference in San Francisco is aimed at improving relationships among researchers and practitioners around the globe and I´m incredibly excited for all the networking opportunities to be had. Not to mention that since I´ll be finishing my PhD at the end of this year and have a question mark looming in my future starting in 2017 in terms of where in the world I want to live and whether I´d rather put my energy towards being a researcher or a therapist, the timing couldn´t be better.

Though I don´t head off to San Francisco until Friday, I´ve already got all of my travel essentials ready for just this sort of multi-purpose trip, like business cards, versatile clothing options (including plenty of scarves!) and a Kindle full of books. If you want to be informed about everything I´m learning and discovering at the conference and the adventures I´m having in San Francisco, connect with me on social media:



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