After dabbling a little bit here in the Forums and participating in a few threads over on Facebook, I’m beginning to think in a nervously excited, half-shy way that I might really like to go to Hutchmoot this year. It really sounds wonderful.
The problem is, I don’t know another soul who’s going; it’s on Canadian Thanksgiving weekend which would mean missing at least one of my family gatherings and having to cancel or radically reschedule the other; I’d have to fly because it’s too far to drive, but the only flights are out of an airport two hours away; and I haven’t a clue how I’d get around once I get there since there appears to be zero public transportation. In short, it would be something of a miracle if I figured out how to make this work.
I’m already praying about the possibility and asking the Lord to help me make a wise decision, but more information / recommendations / testimonials would always be appreciated! Are there any Canadians here who’ve been to Hutchmoot before, or other attendees who live far enough away they’ve had to fly in? How did you manage the logistics?
Thanks in advance for any help or encouragement you can give as I try to decide…
While I’m not a Canadian, I did have to fly from Wyoming to Tennessee to be able to attend Hutchmoot last year. I also didn’t know a single person there either.
The transportation was fairly easy, as I was able to rent a car and the area was easy to navigate. As far as not knowing anyone, that was a little more difficult. However, I quickly discovered that the attendees were very friendly, and more than willing to meet and become friends with me. Dinner time was especially good for that, as it gave you the chance to sit next to four people and just chat with them. The sessions were nice for meeting people as well before and after, and the coffee bar was always a hub of activity. I didn’t make tons of friends, no. But I did make a couple friendships that I cherish and allowed me to connect.
I hope that you are able to make it this year! We would love to have you. 🙂
Hi R.J! I went to Hutchmoot last year for the first time and was able to make the drive so I didn’t have to deal with flying and renting a vehicle. But one thing I did was rent an airbnb with a group of other mostly first-timers – set up through the Facebook group – and that was really nice because we all got to know each other at least a little bit before stepping into the big group. So I liked the airbnb setting, and it was a good way to get to make new friends right off the bat, and also do a little carpooling.
Doesn’t necessarily help with any of the flying/transportation logistics, but I do hope you’re able to make it this year. I loved pretty much every minute of last year’s Hutchmoot and plan on being there again!
I understand some of the issues you are facing. I would encourage you to talk to people here or on the facebook chinwag group, because then when you get there, you may not actually have met anyone before but you WILL know people.
I was given a ticket to Hutchmoot last year less than a week before the event. Because of medical issues, I can’t drive. I knew (as in, had met in person) very few people- basically just @mrs-hittle and her husband. But I also knew several others from internet interactions, brief meetings at concerts, or mutual friends. I got a ride up to Nashville with @wendykautz, who works with a friend of mine, thus avoiding the “I’m going on a trip with a stranger” issue and reassuring my family about my safety. Once I landed in Nashville, I ended up depending largely on the kindness of strangers and internet friends. Surprisingly, it worked beautifully! I was “adopted” at the last minute into the AirBnB with @gillianbronte and several others, and several of those people drove me around at various times. Friendships were born. Since then some of them have even brought their kids and come over to visit me, which pleases me greatly.
It does help if you have SOME connection to someone, so you can make plans and don’t actually feel like you are trusting your life to strangers. I knew going into this that if I were in trouble, @mrs-hittle (who I had already met and spent a significant amount of time with) would take care of me, but I also knew she was volunteering and wouldn’t have a lot of time. What I found surprising was how many people I knew without having met them. The relationships I formed here and on the facebook group are quite real and remarkably helpful. So while I thought I was going to be alone and not know anyone, I wasn’t. Hopefully by the time Hutchmoot comes, you won’t be either.
If you’re comfortable renting a car and driving around, transportation isn’t too bad. I’d recommend staying in Franklin… it’s more of a small town, but Nashville is pretty sprawling. Then the most driving you’d have to do is from the airport and back.
But yes! Hang out on the forums and the FB group… there are usually quite a few folks traveling solo. You could feasibly get in on an AirBNB, or find a hotel where other hutchmooters are staying and carpool together. You might even be able to coordinate and have someone pick you up at the airport.
The first time I went to Hutchmoot, it was literally just me and my sister. We didn’t really know anyone, and it was the first time I’d ever planned any kind of trip or rented a car or anything. It was one of the best experiences of my life. If you can pull it off, it’s so worth the adventure. 🙂
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