One of the perks of working at a big company is the paid travel. One of the downsides to working for a big company is the paid travel. So in about 6 weeks, they’re sending me to…China?
I am someone who hasn’t done much traveling in his life. When I was younger I lived in Florida for a few years, so I have had the chance to live on the ocean, which was great. I remember driving back and forth from Columbus, Ohio to Ft. Lauderdale, Florida and mentally checking off all the states I passed through as “states I’ve been to.” For some reason, it was a big deal to me to say I had been to 8 different states in my life. I don’t know why.
Anyway, as I grew up, the opportunities came and went and I added a few more states to that list (this time only checking them off if I ACTUALLY stayed there and saw more of the state than food exit signs and gas station bathrooms). I went to Oklahoma and Mississippi to play baseball. I went to Texas, New York and Washington D.C. for school trips. Then more recently, with my wife, I’ve gotten to check off Nevada (VEGAS!!!), upstate New York, Georgia and a few other weekend trips off my list. But I had still never been outside of the country.
Then I started working for an international company that is based out of Japan, that has production factories in Mexico and China, warehouses in Texas and a US headquarters in California. Well, they sent me to California to give a presentation and Texas to see how the product comes and goes, but then it was time to get my international sea legs wet. I went to Mexico a few weeks before my wife and I got married. She was certain that I would be decapitated by the cartels, but luckily I was only going about 3 miles past the US border and I made it back to the States in one piece.
Then my wife and I went back to Mexico for our honeymoon to a place slightly more exotic than Reynosa (although I hear the winters there are…just about the same as the summers probably).
So now I have to turn to a new page in my mental checkbook where I can start adding international destinations to the places I’ve been.
Then, about a week ago, I got told I am going to Tokyo to our head office, then to Shanghai, China to visit another one of our factories and meet some of our international employees. Before I come home, I’ll fly into Hong Kong where I’ll board a flight back to the US.
I guess part of me is excited about the idea of going to Tokyo and Shanghai. My wife, not so much (although she does get to sleep with the dog when I’m gone which I know she loves to do, but I wonder if she prefers it sometimes to having me there). When I first told my wife about the trip, the first thing she said was “Malaysia Airlines. You’ll eat dog. I’ll never see you again.”
I promised her I would be very careful and also learn how to say “no dog” in Chinese before I went.
Anyway, I am glad I am finally getting a chance to see different parts of the world outside of what I’m used to. I really wish it wasn’t a work trip and I could bring my wife, but I guess when these kinds of opportunities come up, you have to make the most of it and try to look at the bright side.
So get ready, China! And please, “Meiyou gou!”