Since immigrating to Canada from the UK many years ago, October 2010 was my first return visit and only for 48 hours. I had an opportunity to visit the Beyond Distance Research Alliance (BDRA) at the University of Leicester and to tour London for an afternoon. Now, I am ready for a longer visit. As a PhD research student at the BDRA, I have a ‘research day’ to attend on February 21. Normally, I attend these quarterly, or so, days via Skype or Adobe Connect. This time, I used it as an excuse to visit. While I have met my supervisors in person, one only briefly, it will be the first time I meet my student colleagues, the new department head (Gráinne Conole), and others face-to-face. In addition to the research day, I will be there for a few full days.
On this occasion, accompanied by my wife (we had different schedules on our way to Italy last time), we will spend a couple of days in London upon arrival and prior to departure. We will visit my relatives for a day and overnight stay, and we will take the train (2 hours, 15 minutes) to Paris for 3 full days. As of today, all of our travel is booked, along with a booking for the Eiffel Tower. With bookings available in advance, and quickly filling up, this is understood to be a way to avoid the long lines. When we visited the Vatican Museum, people were lined up for blocks. With our tickets purchased online, we walked across the road from our hotel and into the front door. A good lesson to know, taught to us by the hotel staff at the time.
A few other highlights will staying at the private Union Jack Club in London, a couple of academic related business meetings, and a social meeting (tweetup) of doctoral students connected through #phdchat on Twitter.
I’m looking forward to sharing blog posts and photographs once the mid-February start occurs! And thanks to members of the International Police Association whom have already made contact in relation to social activities.