This is the first of several blog posts about our recent trip to Thailand -- check back for more in the next couple weeks if you're interested. This first installment will be glimpses into the travel. Later I'll reflect more on ideas and learnings from the trip.
Getting to Thailand and back:
Left a day early because there was a big snowstorm headed for Virginia. Supposedly we were one of the last flights out from the airport -- they routed us through Chicago instead of DC. We sat in the plane on the runway for several hours while the pilot told us he wasn't satisfied with the results of the airworthiness tests they do before you take off. It started to snow while we waited. Then we took off.
It's a long way to Japan from Virginia.
Spent a day in Japan due to the last minute flight changes.
From Tokyo/Narita to Bangkok it took less than 6 hours, but you move from cold to tropical, from refined, reserved, ordered cultivated beauty to heat, ornate designs, and a generous excess of plants, people, devotion and motion.
In Bangkok we got around on the sky train and the river taxis (long boats full of Thai passengers and foreigners). We also walked some, which is normal in downtown areas, but we explored out beyond where people normally walk to where taxis, buses, tuktuks and cars mainly go.
The trip back was hard: we were exhausted and a little sick. I had something wrong with one eye I so I stumbled through customs with my head down trying to not cough on anyone. I've rarely been as thankful for a bed and an Applebees as I was when we finally got to DC. (To be honest, I'm not sure I've ever been thankful for an Applebees before).
I met some interested people on the planes. The winner though, was a Chinese business man who works mainly in Africa. He had an interesting (and for me enlightening) perspective on the relationship between business, communication and political agenda. This got me thinking about bigger trends and changes in the international community as China's influence grows. You hear about these large scale changes in the US, but to talk to people directly involved made it much more real for me. There are truly great opportunities and challenges ahead of us as the world landscape changes in ways we're still mostly unaware of.