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4 weeks, 4 countries, 3 continents

Back in my Cisco days travel was a constant fact – as a VP of Engineering, I always spent a lot of time with customers; what better way to get a handle on the problems of the real world? Learn how customers really used your products and find ways of giving better service to the people paying the bills. I averaged one week a month on the road – all International travel (US customers I met aplenty in San Jose!) with a mixture of trips to Asia and Europe.

Then I became a VC – a long distance trip became "going to Fremont" for a board meeting and my International travel resorted to vacation trips. I can't say that I miss my 1K status on United and a long trip became the East Bay (Fremont) for a board meeting!

So the last 4 weeks have been an unusual amount of travel for me – Mexico, China, back to the US for Thanksgiving in the mid-West and then the UK. A few random observations from my travels:

  • Cabo San Lucas is awesome!
  • Beijing was less polluted than when I was last there (2004)
  • Entrepreneurs in China are fantastic! Great energy, smart and with awesome market opportunity
  • What I do with companies in the Bay Area, I couldn't do with companies in China – relationships are what make for great companies; language and proximity are critical to building a great relationship.
  • American Airlines is more concerned about rules than service (more of this later)
  • Arriving at Heathrow airport at 6am on a Sunday morning makes for a very quick transit from gate to rental car!
  • We might be tempted to complain at gas prices of $3-4/gallon but UK prices are now closer to $9.
  • Car rentals are expensive in the UK even without the current dollar to pound conversation rates.
  • Heathrow airport has been under construction for as long as I can remember… and still is!
  • I still like British beer – Real Ale please! Microbreweries at home are great too!
  • After many years of flying over and back to Europe, I saw Greenland for the third time in my life – no cloud cover – very unusual but short lived!
  • 99.999% of the people worldwide are awesome! I suspect the other 0.001% who are obnoxious, evil, rude, don't give a damn, are aliens!

Comments

Stiennon

Must be nice. As someone who lives in Michigan and either commutes to work in Sunnyvale or is on the road (been to five continents and 26 countries in the last 52 weeks) I can envy your normal travel burden. It's good to get out there once in a while though!

Stu Phillips

It's good to be back! Now I'm in Southern Cal until tomorrow!

Greenland was covered in snow and ice - just really unusual to see it without cloud cover!

Stu

Anne Johnson

Happy to see you back in sunny California.

Was Greenland green, or is it covered in snow in November ?

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STU PHILLIPS
MENLO PARK, CALIFORNIA

Intense Brit, lived in Silicon Valley since 1984. Avid pilot, like digital photography, ham radio and a bunch of other stuff. Official Geek.

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