I am doing a 3-year PhD in CS (Probability+Logic) at an average university in Continental Europe. I am currently in my final year (which ends JAN -23). I have one top tier (A*) AI-conference publication and nothing else to show for my two years. But my first paper has led to multiple new ideas and I will be submitting another paper soon and will start working on the third idea right after (let's say in a month's time). I really think if my third idea is correct, it will have a major impact in my field.
Now, in all this there is this tradition (previously a rule) at my university of spending at least 3 months of research abroad. My advisor is quite motivated to send me to this massive research group in my field. Now, if I would have had another year of PhD or another publication or no idea to work on, then I would have loved to go visit this massive group for 3 months. But I am not sure if, in my situation, I can afford to lose a lot of time. I feel I have the following two choices:
Not visit the university, work on my third idea, get it published and I am quite certain it's a good contribution. On the downside, I have no collaborations, no one to talk to for a postdoc, with whom I have talked before (I would like to move from my home uni for postdoc and I could not meet anyone in past two years: COVID)
I spend at least 2 weeks slightly distracted trying to move to a new country, maybe not feel focused there, or even if I do, I will dedicate myself mostly to the work I am doing right now. The uni I would like to visit is a massive group of 30 people under one PI, I am not sure how much the PI would be available. On the upside, it could be a massive collaboration avenue and could be a perfect future postdoc destination.
All in all, I am more inclined to not go, but what I don't know is how big is the role of contacts in finding a postdoc in comparison to having good publications?