It’s exactly one year since my first conference, NAconf 2012, and last week I had the great pleasure of attending the final instalment of the New Adventures trilogy. Armed with much greater confidence than the previous year, I made it my goal to yet again make some of my personal heroes feel very awkward when I tell them how wonderful they are.

And that I did. I had the great honour of bumping into Jessica Hische and Russ Maschmeyer, Sarah Parmenter, Johnathan Snook, Laura Kalbag, and Jason Santa Maria, as well as countless other friends from the Twittersphere and other great folks. It’s experiences like that that’ll stick in my mind forever. “Never meet your heroes” is poor advice.

The conference itself was incredible. A diverse and engaging series of talks from passionate and experienced professionals left me filled with inspiration, and left Emily’s notepad filled to the brim with notes (I’m not much of a note taker). Just like years past, New Adventures covered a wide spectrum of information, encompassing so much more than just the web. Design, code, philosophy, attitude, business, and everything in between; no stone was left unturned. These are more than New Adventures in web design. These are simply New Adventures.

I got a little teary eyed when Jon Tan spoke about fonts. Sniffle.

We live and work in an empowering and friendly community. One that shares its knowledge across a level playing field. We’re all still finding our way, and none of us knows exactly what we’re doing. That’s what makes it so wonderful. And that’s something I’ll miss about New Adventures; by far the most affordable and appealing conference I’ve ever seen. My thanks go to Simon and Greg for all the hard work they’ve put in over the last 3 years to make New Adventures all that it has been. For me last year, it was the introduction to the wider community I didn’t believe could truly exist.