To say I've spent a lot of time working on Drupal 8 over the last 21 months would be a bit of an understatement. The Plugin System & the Blocks & Layouts Initiative have consumed much of my professional and personal time over that period, and we've worked on a lot of really awesome and interesting stuff. That being said, the vast vast majority of that work was still really "Drupal" and certain aspects of the underlying architecture that we were building on I didn't have the time to learn in detail.
For the past 2 seasons of camps and cons, I've been proposing some material that has taken a lot of its cues from page_manager and ctools. This has been a really hard road to follow because of the complexity inherent in these tools, and as a consequence, only the camps have really given me any real traction on my sessions. This has been encouraging in the sense that my camp sessions have been very well attended and have gone extraordinarily well, and discouraging in the sense that Drupalcon attendees have missed out on these sessions.
Page Manager (and family... i.e. Panels) is starting to get some more traction within our community. New users are finding it, using it, and asking awesome questions about it every day. I've done my part both from a development side as well as a teaching front to try to help that along as much as I can, and I'm very pleased with the fact that the community is beginning to find these tools and really appreciate what they can do. With that being said, I want to pedal some of my own page_manager based wares on those of you who might listen.
So, I can't say I'm an expert or anything of Europe. I've only been there a couple of times, once in college when I took a summer semester at Oxford, then this past year when Kris and I went to Hungary. I love visiting Europe, there's always so much to see, every little thing is... well, something. However, I always thought that I'd never want to live there. It's so different... And I think I'm through with adjusting to "different" for a while, I've done so much of it already in my short life.