After attending many conferences, I have realised it is better to arrive a few days earlier than the conference to battle jet lag, even if it is a few hours of time difference. After an exhausting experience of travelling to San Jose last year, and barely being able to talk to other developers, I decided to fly in two days earlier to the conference date. And I am glad I did.

Flying from India to Singapore

On the day of the flight, I felt uneasy, and did not feel comfortable to travel. I had this unnerving anxiety for my talk, and even though I prepared well, with each practice, it was getting worse.

I travelled via Air India, and I did not have a good experience with immigration and security after a long queue for check-in baggage. For the sake of brevity, I will avoid diving into the details. I was almost going to miss my flight, but some delay from the airlines saved the trip. I was so relieved that other travellers let me cut through the line between security and immigration.

I took a red-eye, hoping to sleep during the flight and explore Changi airport in the morning before going to the hotel to check in. Sigh. After the incidents at the airport, I barely slept, brainstorming how I would never face such humiliation again.

Changi Airport and Friend!

After landing at the airport, I saw the world's tallest indoor waterfall, the Rain Vortex, kind of a ritual you have to perform after landing at this airport. I was exhausted, and it was raining like anything outside. I wanted to just sleep at the airport.

Fortunately, Adrian messaged me he was at the airport too. I met him during WWDC last year, and we did not get to talk much then. I clung to him, and we took a cab to our hotel to check in early. Phew, I am glad I let go of my plan to sleep while watching the waterfall. 🌊

Being Unwell has its Costs

Being unwell can mess up your plans, especially when travelling abroad.

I did not anticipate it at all. I had to learn this the hard way when planning to meet a few friends on the day I landed.

I wanted to meet and hang out with my friend Raghav, whom I encouraged to attend iOS Conf SG. I had been looking forward to catching up with him and introducing him to the conference scene, but unfortunately, my health had other plans.

The rainy weather, hot temperature, and the fact that I was coming from a cold, 5-degree climate took a toll on my body. Walking from Terminal 2 at Changi Airport to JEWEL, I felt terrible – I had a high fever and a persistent cough that just would not go away. I had to ditch the plan at the last moment.

I tried to rest and recover as much as possible, but it was tough to miss out on the chance to hang out with my friend. I knew that health was more important than any plan, but that did not make it easier to deal with.

Also, I had been looking forward to meeting with my friend Amit, whom I had met at the same conference the previous year. We had already planned to meet on the evening of the 16th at Lau Pa Sat two months ago, but unfortunately, my fever got extreme, and the nasty cough worsened. I was feeling so unwell that I even vomited several times, which was a first for me while travelling.

I knew I could not meet up with Amit in the state I was in, so I had to cancel our plans and hope that we could reschedule for another time. I felt terrible about having to cancel. I knew it was the best thing to do, as I had to get better to attend and speak at the conference.

Luckily, Amit was understanding, and we could reschedule later during my trip!

Instead of walking around Marina Bay Sands and mesmerising myself at night, I ended up looking outside my window while trying to catch some good sleep. I got some great sleep.

Cancelling Meetings

I had fixed a meeting with RevenueCat on the morning of the 17th. I was excited to meet Hendrik and Charlie from the team. However, I still felt unwell and was in no state to travel to a coffee shop, so I had no choice but to cancel the meeting. I tried to make up for it by meeting them during and after the conference too!

I spent the entire morning and afternoon sleeping, trying to recover from my illness. I did not want to risk spreading my germs to others or not being present at the moment due to my weakened state.

Friends from iOS Conf SG 2023

Last year, I got to talk to more people from Twitter. One of the idols I wanted to meet was Senpai, a.k.a. Lee Kah Seng. His blog inspired me, and I got to talk to him during the conference!

Another friend I made during iOS Conf SG 2023 was Jane, who inspired me into the world of AI and supported me in my presentation, too. I am glad I met both for dinner before the conference hustle to talk and recap the last year.

I do not have a picture with them, but there's a beautiful decoration in the front of the mall, opposite our hotel, where we had some delicious food, and I had some Wonton noodles. 🤤

After the dinner, we recorded some content for Jane's audience to encourage them to attend a conference. It ended with an amusing clip on pronouncing the organiser's name correctly!

After the recording, I went back to my room to sleep but was too busy thinking about the conference and my talk. I somehow made it to bed around 4 AM, which was a disaster for the conference days ahead. Stay tuned for the next series of articles!

Tips for Myself

  • I want to avoid materialistic goals this year but aim to earn well enough to travel on Singapore Airlines and travel comfortably whenever I have to visit Singapore.
  • Go all in on protective mode a few days before any important event. It is obvious, but it looks like I did not follow it well.
  • Always prefer a daytime flight. I am just 26, but I already feel like I am not young enough to sleep before takeoff and wake up after landing, which I did a lot last year. Or make it through the day with a few hours of sleep. 🫠

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