Today is the 21st day of the year. We are still early on in. As such there are 344 days remaining until the end of the year. Everything seems to be going at warped speed. On this day in history back in 1789 a major blogging precursor occurred in that the first American novel, The Power of Sympathy or the Triumph of Nature Founded in Truth, was printed in Boston, Massachusetts. Thus, when asked to predict what will be happening on day 211 of the year 2014 (which is July 30th), I feel the need to predict big things will be occurring. Especially in light of the fact that in 2012, US swimmer Michael Phelps broke the record for the greatest number of medals won at the Olympics. There is bound to be something grand this year.
During the days of July 20-25, I will be attending the International AIDS Conference in Melbourne, Australia. Or so I hope. After which, I hope to have traveled a bit more throughout the country getting to understand the Aussies a little more. One of my points of enlightenment will be the fact that they hate Fosters Beer. For some reason, Fosters has been sold in the US as a major Australian experience. I predict (I already know actually) Fosters is not all that in Australia. While at the conference, I expect I will have experienced many a hugs, meeting old and new friends alike. Furthermore, at these conferences they tend to offer free hugs to help people feel welcomed and distress a little bit from the heavyset discussions that tend to occur at the International AIDS conference. In terms of kismet, guess what today is in the United States. Today, January 21, is national hug day. Alas, on July 31, I will be hugging goodbye some of my new friends as I head out to the airport to return home. So, things do come full circle from January 21 to July 31.
The day of July 31 will start off like any day. I will be up at 6am and antsy to get moving. I will work out one more time at the hotel, drink tons of soda thereafter and do one last check of the room for any remaining personal items. I will head to the airport with about three hours to spare and feel some impatience at the long security lines. I will buy candy and chips for the plane ride and make sure that all my electronic items are fully charged up so that I can continue to blog about my conference experience. I predict that one of my blogs will be about how we are getting closer to reaching an AIDS-free generation through various biomedical advances but how we must not forget about the psychosocial aspects of HIV. Namely, I will still be advocating for the need to still address stigma and its impact on access to care and medication adherence.
While I write my blogs, my son will be happily chatting to everyone around us about his new experiences and how fast sonic runs. We will have taken him to the local zoo and I am sure he will highlight that experience to any who would listen. Because I don’t plan all my travels months and months in advance, I may take that day to plan for my son’s upcoming birthday. Perhaps a cruise to Alaska?
On July 31, there will be 153 days left to the year. I hope to be content with having had a grand cultural exploration experience in Australia and that while I will be satisfied with the continued progress in the HIV/AIDS field I will be returning to the US invigorated with a new research agenda to help move the science even further. I raise my glass to July 31. Let’s make it happen.
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