As always, my travel plans have changed many times. Some of my current travel plans are almost frustrating given how well they line up with the original plans. Having travelled less for work in recent years, this year seems to be a return to something resembling my early years with the company. Already this year, I have had two trips to Melbourne, one of which included a detour via Canberra. The year ahead includes further trips to Melbourne, a trip to Albury, another to Mexico, not to mention Brisbane and rounding out the year (so far) with a trip to New Zealand. All of that is either work related or professional development. I had hoped to holiday in NZ separately and do a trip to Africa with a mate.
The one trip I had originally planned for this year was to visit Easter Island in July to witness a total eclipse of the sun. There’s usually a total eclipse of the sun most years though the ideal viewing location varies. I happened to be in Europe in 1999 and travelled down to Munich to witness such…alas it rained all day – though the darkness passing over the landscape was still impressive. I have friends who are Astronomy enthusiasts and chase eclipses, trying to see it each year; last year China was the best location. Visiting Easter Island is something I’ve long wanted to do and to do so in conjunction with an eclipse would have been awesome. Unfortunately thousands of people are all converging on the island, way more than it can handle. I realised several months ago that the trip was logistically impossible. Then I was looking at doing a trip to Africa with a mate, but didn’t have sufficient leave accrued…in hindsight, that would have limited the Easter Island trip too.
Anyways, the reason for the frustration is that work is sending me to Mexico for the International Sales Conf and this would have bookended the eclipse trip rather nicely. I would have started with the eclipse, spent a few weeks seeing sites in Sth America (Galapagos Islands, Maachu Pichu, etc), and finished off with the work thang. Oh well, it wasn’t meant to be. The Mexico trip is definitely on. The conf is in Merida, which is in the SE bit of the country and is surrounded by interesting stuff. I realised last week that Cuba is not far away, however there are no ferries so I would need to fly. Various coffee growing countries are to the south as well.
At the end of November, this year’s LIANZA conference is to be held in Dunedin, NZ. It’s also the 100th anniversary of the conference and I will be attending with work. As per usual, I’ll be on the Gale stand, but will be able to catch several papers as well. No doubt, I’ll squeeze in a few tweets too :-) The current plan is to fly into Auckland, stay a night, then fly to Christchurch. From there, myself and a sales rep will drive down to Dunedin. There are flights available but the drive option sounded too good to pass up. Post conference, I’m going to take a week or so off, perhaps hang out in the wilds around Dunedin, and go to a few wine tastings in the Otago region. I still sort of hope to throw in another trip to NZ too. I haven’t been for two years, nor to Wellington for three, and I miss it. Would be nice to have a long weekend in Wellington and perhaps the surrounding countryside. Just to see if I stil like the place as much as I think I do. I said to someone recently that Wellington is my second favourite place in the world…the first being Edinburgh, Scotland.