But then I was convinced by one of the professors here that it would be a more fruitful experience to try and stay the additional night, for several academic and non-academic reasons, and I thought about it.
In the end, I decided for it. I calculated the expenses and it turned out that things equal out anyways. If I don't stay the extra night, I pay more because the flights departing in the evening are more expensive. If on the other hand I stay the extra night, flights for the return trip are not so expensive. So it ends up just around the same price.
So, I went ahead and booked my travel. Good thing I am getting funded, albeit partially, for this one. There is a price for attending a conference, now whether it pays off or not is a separate issue, although I personally think it does.
That means that I will find myself 20,000 feet above ground again in a couple of months.
Wow. Being an academic does involve flying here and there. And for someone who loves traveling, it is indeed a blast. I have come to realize that I guess I average about 12 flights (defined as one take-off and landing) a year, ever since I started graduate school. Of course, this includes vacation travel, but nonetheless, that is quite some of flying time.