travel tizzy

My long-time readers will remember that this fall I am going to a Big Deal Conference. So now I am experiencing a lot of anxiety:
  • I have to write a paper on totally new material. A paper I thought I was going to work on earlier this summer, but didn't. New material that I'm excited about but not yet fully immersed in so as to be super confident. New material that, if it goes well,will be a big boost to my New Research Project.
  • I will be seeing old mentors, Big Deal scholars, and assorted people I Ought to Network With. Plus a couple of old friends who live in the area.
  • The conference includes various meals (like a banquet you have to pay for) and events. Are these for losers? or will I be the loser if I don't go to them? (Bear in mind I'm shy and none of my close friends will be at this conference -- a few people I kind of know, that's all) The ones you have to pay for in advance are the worrisome ones because I have to fill out the general registration form.
  • I have too many travel options. Fly into city A, B, or C? rent a car from B or C and maybe even in A? how many nights stay? etc. At least it's a part of the country I am familiar with, so driving between cities would not be too stressful.
  • do I stay in one of the conference hotels, thereby encouraging random socializing on the conference shuttle bus? or do I stay somewhere else and pay for parking when driving my rental car to campus? (which, if I rent a car, I might do anyway if I feel the need to skip a morning session or something)
  • I'm vegan. Preplanned conference meals are almost never suitable, even when they have so-called "vegetarian" options. So I pack my suitcase full of Clif bars and feel kind of shaky and undernourished much of the time. Or I spend time getting away from the conference and eating better food, but thus not networking.
  • did I mention that I haven't been to a non-local conference in a couple of years?
  • would you believe that I usually like conferences? and that I expect to like this one, once I just make up my mind about these many options.