Hi, i live in Adelaide, South Australia.
SQL Saturday Portland, Oregon is the furtherest away for me. I was able to go because it was close to PASS Summit.
This year in February i flew over for Melbourne SQL Saturday and a week later over to Sydney SQL Saturday. It was great having them close because some speakers were able to travel to both. I wasnt speaking just attending. I havent read the changes but i hope it doesnt stop australian and new zealand events being close together as that is a less costly travel expense and i'd consider travelling for good sessions.
A few years back, as someone commented earlier Australia had some a few days apart. I agree that it was a good idea to try and get some travelling speakers.
Some years i've been fortunate to have employers supporting me and paying for trips to these events.