It’s official: I’m heading to Athens!

Just a little update on my way to Athens for the European Tourette Syndrome conference…

On Monday, I finally booked my flight! I couldn’t do that before because my sister was trying to get the funds to come with me and after that she had to make sure she got the ticket into the conference, which was already full. But they made extra space available, so this Monday she finally heard she could go and we could book our flight!

We’ll leave April 23 and will be in Athens at 5:30 p.m., which gives me plenty of time to adjust before the conference starts the next day. On April 29, we’ll go back home (late in the afternoon), which means that we will have April 28 to see some of Athens!

We wanted to stay a bit longer, but April 30 is an important day this year in The Netherlands, as the queen steps down and her son will be the new king. The last time that this happened was more than 30 years ago, so we really want to be back home for that.

There are two reasons that my sister is going with me:

  1. Of course, I like it that I won’t be alone and there will be someone who I really know and who really knows me. It gives me some rest, because now I don’t have to worry about the social stuff as I have someone to talk to all the time. And she’s better in it than I am, in that way, I’m just a bit autistic. Other people don’t notice it, but my head goes crazy.

  2. The second and biggest reason she goes to Athens is because she wants to do her PhD-research about Tourette! It’s not sure whether she’ll get the grants for it yet, but what better way to start her research surrounded by the biggest specialists there are?! So she’ll do a lot of networking and learning while she’s there.

Now that the flight is booked, I have some rest, because now there’s no way back. I have my ticket, I’ll go to Athens! I still have to book the hotel, I have to wait until its clear whether my hotel gets paid for. If that’s the case, I’ll stay in the hotel; if not, we’ll get a hostel.

Meanwhile, I’m trying to make my speeches. I wrote down the message I want the people to hear and some key points to get there. I honestly think that if I had to do the speech right now, I could do it. But I have the time, so I will keep thinking and doubting about it! But I do know what I want to say and I’ll make note cards with some examples as I usually forget them while speaking.

So, a lot of uncertainties, but one thing is sure: I will go to Athens!


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