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I spent the months of May and June doing a bit of travelling, mainly for conferences and educational purposes. In all this, I was lucky enough to be encouraged by the great circle of friends I have. In my mind I had always underestimated the power of conferences and their social benefit; in my mind I had a hard time grasping how and why a room full of women could be useful for a twenty one year old trying to put life together. In my mind I knew that I needed, and still need, figures and people who are pursuing similar dreams and goals, to keep me going and strong in my attempt to make sense of the life I want. With the encouragement of my friends, I stopped saying and thinking about getting involved, and I tried going to one, and two, and three conferences. Trying was the key, the rest followed. My attempt was about to be stopped by people I love and respect; I got told that going to conferences and networking is a waste of time and money. I listened and considered how ignorant that statement was.  Getting to know people and meeting likeminded men and women, is by far the best thing that is happening to me right now. Maybe it’s obvious for many, but not for me. I’m learning this bit by bit – the best part of conferences is the aftermath, the post-conference, when it’s time to knit and create the real connection with people, connections that were just attempted in the conference room with a word, a comment, a business card (or a selfie).  Sometimes I take it for granted, as if it was given by default, but I’m truly grateful for the gift of social networking and media, infinite opportunities to stay connected with people living as far as South Africa or the USA, and as close as London or Newcastle. But I am especially thankful for those men and women, who honour their words and deliver in good time.

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