MY First WW Trips

First Trips

New Job – November 2014

I took a new job in November 2014. My new job is a Worldwide role, which means I now have responsibility for a piece of business globally. On the day I was offered the job, I was asked to fly to Australia – possibly the longest trip I can make from Peoria. Get ready – GO! Then, we decided to go through one of the biggest reorganizations in IBM’s history. That explains why I haven’t updated my web site in a while.

The good news about this new job is that I am now traveling around the globe, quite literally. So, I will have lots of pictures and stories to share. The bad news is that my updates will likely be sporadic. My plan is to post short segments here on this page.

First Trip on the Job: Australia – November 2014

My first trip was assigned day 1 and I was on the plane the following Monday to Australia. That’s Peoria to Dallas to Sydney to Melbourne. If you are going to fly 17.5 hours to Australia flying on an Airbus A380 800 in the best way to go. That’s a double-decker plane. One word of advice: make sure you don’t select seats near the bulk-head unless you have comfortable noise cancelling headphones. It turns out that the bulk-head row is where they setup bassinets for babies.

Melbourne is a beautiful city. I wish I had more time to explore. The second photo gives you an small taste of the river/ocean city.

Athens, Greece – January 2015

My second trip on the job was to Athens, Greece where I had the chance to meet my new colleagues from all over Europe. I had a little more time to plan this trip, so I took my camera with me. The weather did not cooperate at all but you can tell my room was within view of the Acropolis.

After the conference ended and the rain finally stopped, I had an opportunity to take a whirlwind tour of the ancient city. My taxi drive promised me an enjoyable nickel tour before racing me to the airport. He definitely delivered. First, he drove me past the Presidential Palace where I stopped for a quick picture of the palace and one of the guards. You may have heard, they’re having some issues with their economy, so the government is a bit shaky. While I was there, they were in the throws of selecting a new administration.

Next, we drove by the original Olympic Stadium. Wish I had more time for a tour. Maybe you can tell I took this from the car. Then it was off to see the objective of the whole trip, the Acropolis. High atop what appeared to be a man-made mound in the middle of the city is this ancient fortress of the Greek Gods. I had to get a selfie entering the Acropolis. Finally, a quick glance at the Parthenon and it was off to the airport.

Back to Vegas for Interconnect – February 2015

Our annual customer conference in Las Vegas was in February this year. It happened to fall on my birthday weekend. What a treat I had to enjoy the weekend with all my colleagues from around the world. I was also fortunate to meet some new friends like Emmitt Smith and Steven Tyler. While in Vegas, my new boss was very gracious to have a special birthday cake made up for me to celebrate with my peers.

Quick trip to Denver – March 2015

I took a quick trip to Denver in March to meet with my new colleagues in the Digital Experience business. This panoramic view of the Boulder skyline doesn’t do it justice. Those mountains are stunning.

Barcelona, Spain – April 2015

I can tell the story behind my trip to Spain without pictures. Unfortunately, the business trip was to a theme park in Barcelona – lovely place, but it felt more like being in Disney than Spain. Seriously, the view outside my room looked like western world at Disney. So, my pictures were boring. The other point worth noting is that by the end of the week there, I decided I never wanted Tapas food again. We ate Tapas for every meal. Wow, OK. I’m in Spain. Topas – not that good.

Singapore – May 2015

Like flying to Australia, going to Singapore is flying to the other side of the earth, so it takes forever to get there. This one is Peoria to Dallas to Hong Kong to Singapore. After you are in a plane for 17.5 hours from Dallas to Hong Kong, the last four hour leg from Hong Kong to Singapore seems like a short hop.

Deb convinced me to buy some noise cancelling headphones for these long flights. I have to admit, they came in handy for this trip if for no other reason than to get some shut eye.

My travel colleague explained to me that Singapore is like Asia for beginners. I can appreciate what he meant. The city is very western for being in the heart of Southeast Asia. Looking at the map, you notice that this city state is in the center of Malaysia and wonder how did it end up an independent state. Long story short, Malaysia kinda sent them packing. Looking back, they must be kicking themselves now.

You can sure see why so many people that are transferred to Singapore stay. For as expensive it is, it’s quite a warm and welcome place.

Hursley – May 2015

The last big trip was for our Hursley Customer Summit. Hursley is our largest European development lab. We host customers there from Europe and North America once a year each. May was the European edition of the event. I genuinely enjoy visiting the Hursley lab. It just feels like home. The European event was quite a success. We hosted almost 100 customers. The Hursley House was filled to capacity.

Pictures below are of Winchester, a small city near the Hursley lab and home of the famous Winchester Cathedral where Jane Austen is buried.

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