I'll shortly be heading off for the last day of G-Anime and my panel on the History of MLP, but my second hometown con has got me thinking about the differences between going to a con at home vs one in another city.
Travelling to a con, whether you're going as a guest or a fan, you get to enter into that liminal state associated with going on a vacation or a pilgrimage. You leave the concerns and work of everyday life behind for a brief time and instead focus on the fandom that you're interested in. You spend your days discussing a favourite character or show with other fans, enjoying panels, taking part in the ceremonies and events that go along with the con. For three days you can immerse yourself in the con lifestyle.
But when the con is in your hometown, it's harder to get into that liminal state. While you're at the con it's easy to focus on the fandom, but before you get there and after you leave, it's another story. You're surrounded by your everyday surroundings. Instead of waking up in a hotel room with the initial thought of "let's get to the con!" you wake up in your own bed, with the initial thought of "I've got to feed the cats." Instead of eating in restaurants and trying new things you eat at home to save money but you need to think about preparing the food. Instead of wondering what to spend your money on in the dealer's room, it's far to easy to wonder if you remembered to turn on the dishwasher before you left home.
Of course, there are pros and cons to both situations, and I'm not going to try and decide which is better. Just a bit of pondering for a Sunday morning before heading out to the con. But first, to load the dishwasher.