This is a series of posts from my road trip in 2011 where I traveled around the US and Canada giving talks, attending conferences, visiting IGDA chapters, networking, hanging out with friends, and dog sitting an adorable pug named Thomas!

Hi All,

Another day of driving today, this time I headed from Medford up to Portland, Oregon. I’ll be staying in Portland for over a week so it should give me a good chance to work, visit local game devs, and enjoy the change of scenery.

When I finally arrived to my destination in Portland I was greeted by this little cutie:

Meet Thomas!

Thomas is an adorable little pug who will be my companion for the next 11 days. He’s also one of the main reasons I’m doing this big road trip. You see, I had been thinking for awhile how great it would be to do a big road trip and getting to visit lots of IGDA Chapters1, visit friends and colleagues, and get to learn more about the game industry in different locales. It was something that I had talked about doing with Gordon Bellamy while on contract for the IGDA but it never panned out. You can really learn a lot about the game dev scene just by going to a local chapter meeting. Also, since I’ve been helping out the IGDA Chicago organizers, now that I can volunteer again, I felt seeing what other chapters do first-hand would be great and I could hopefully bring some ideas back to the local chapter as well as promote the GGJ post-events and grow the volunteer base. (I’ve already gotten the SLC chapter’s one organizer more involved by getting them added to the Chapter Skype Chats and on the Boat and worked on getting another attendee to commit to volunteer for the chapter!)

However, now I had a different set of clients and the sky was the limit. It was while I was pondering how I might do this that a colleague whom I first met with the IGDA’s Women In Games SIG2, Eric Cha, posted about a friend looking for a dog sitter in exchange for a place to stay. I thought to myself 10 days in Portland? For free? I could take my car and drive there and back and hit several chapters along the way. My husband and I checked our schedules and gave the greenlight and Kathy (Thomas’s mom) agreed to have me house/dog sit and the rest, as they say, was history. I think it also shows the power that is being a part of the IGDA Community. Don’t you?

I’m looking forward to my time in Portland (IGDA Chapter meeting, hooking up with friends and colleagues, etc.) and my chance to bond with the cute pug named Thomas!

Stay awesome!

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