Another in person WordCamp Europe! Finally! After it was canceled in 2020, we all had to wait 2 more years to get back together.
Day 1, May 30th
My trip started with a bike ride to the trainstation in Kortrijk, my hometown. A direct trainride brought me to Brussels Airport – where I had my flight to Porto. The whole trip took me about 6 hours, which was manageable.
I must admit I was a bit stressed to get on a plane again though since my last flight was to Belgrade for WordCamp Europe back in 2018. The only downside I have when flying is having earpain the second we start decending. Fortunately, this time I only had pain for like a couple of hours.
Shortly after arriving at my airBNB, I went to check the #WCEU hashtag and saw a couple of friends that were close. I joined them for a couple of drinks and dinner. I was told to try out the local dish “Francesinha”, and so I tried it out. It was really good!
Day 2, May 31th
My second day started off early. I decied to start exploring Porto early and walked around 15KM. In the afternoon, I did some extra sightseeing and went back close to the venue. A lot of WordPress people were already walking and exploring the venue and the nice park around it. We had some good coffee in the Super Bock Arena, while it was raining outside.
Later that evening, friends reserved a big table at a pizza place very near their airBNB. The place was called “OKRA” and writing this down, I’m getting hungry again. That place was SO good, we had no expectations whatsoever, but it was simply amazing food. We ordered a few starters which were all so delicious and a few pizza’s we shared. The waiter was really helpful to order the right (amount of) food!
Day 3, June 1st
Another day downtown Porto, walking through different streets and getting back close the venue around 1PM. A side-event was announced on the WCEU site, a picknick in the park. I signed up and glad I did. At peak, we were with around 30 people. Check the nice video from Nilo Vélez on Twitter.
Day 4, June 2nd
Contributor day! Yes! It’s a day I don’t want to miss on any WordCamp. I was feeling very tired this morning, and decided to do a COVID19 selftest before attending. The result was negative, so I went out and was at the venue around 8AM. One thing I noted at the registration desks is that most of the people arriving went in the same queue. The volunteer in me was getting queues less long by yelling that there are multiple registration desks.
During the day, I contributed to a few teams: Polyglots, Support, Documentation. I had quite an interesting day and it’s always fun to talk to others that want to contribute and share the same love for WordPress. Especially meeting people you have been talking to over Slack for months or even years, but did not have a chance to actually meet. Good vibes!
At the end of the evening, I was invited to attend the organiser, speaker, volunteer & sponsor dinner which was held at a very nice location (see pictures below). I went with a Bolt drive and that is something I won’t forget soon. During the 30-minute drive, the driver was frustrated and was not driving quite nicely. We almost had an accident too. I arrived dizzy and then had to hop on a TukTuk to the venue, which was about 800 meters away.
Even after food and a few chats, I was still feeling tired and decided to go back to my airBNB early.
Day 5, June 3rd
First conference day! I was hyped for this day to arrive. Happy to get up early and getting to the venue for the third time. I checked a few talks, but most of the time I was walking around and chatting with all the people I haven’t seen for a few years.
Day 6, June 4th
What supposed to be the second day of the main event where I was scheduled to do a volunteer shift, started differently than expected. I was feeling sick and did not have a great sleep. I dediced to stay in.
I had to miss out on the last conference day and the afterparty but I had to listen to my body.
I opened up Netflix and browsed the library. I quickly started the series “Anne with an E” and I was hooked. I can definitely recommend watching it, after I have seen all three seasons by now.
Day 7, June 5th
AirBNB all day.
Day 8, June 6th
AirBNB all day.
Day 9, June 7th.
Flying back home and getting more rest at home. I’m was no longer feeling sick, but my energy level was still beneath zero. What supposed to be a very energizing trip to Porto meeting old and new friends, turned out very differently.
I shouldt admit I shouldn’t take this too hard, cause I really had a good time the first couple of days! Thanks to everyone!
I hope to attend WordCamp Europe next year! See you in Athens?! Have you had the chance to check the announcement video yet? You can find it here: https://europe.wordcamp.org/2023/