I’ve been blessed the past several years to combine my work life with lots and lots of travel. Much of that travel has taken me to new places around the world (but I also get to go to exciting spots such as Kansas City and Cleveland ;-))

Many of you may know that I’ve set off on an exciting, nerve-wracking, and very interesting 3.5 month adventure to Asia to focus our Google Analytics Education & Advocacy efforts in the region. I’m lucky that I’m able to take off a few weeks in the beginning and a couple at the end to explore some really cool places along the way.

I’m going to write posts about each country I visit, and thoughts along the way. So you have an idea of where this is going, here’s my schedule for the next few months:

June 18-26: Myanmar
June 27 – July 10: Thailand
July 10 – August 12: Singapore
August 13-21: Vietnam & Laos
August 22 – September 4: Japan
September 5-11: China
September 12-16: Hong Kong
September 17-Oct 1: Philippines

That’s a pretty packed schedule with a nice combination of work and play. I look forward to telling you all about it!

2016 Travel By The Numbers

2016 was QUITE the travel year! It was, by far, the most time I’ve ever spent on the road. Mileage-wise, it actually (surprisingly) doesn’t top 2014, and barely tops 2015, however, # of flights, days away, hotel nights, etc all do. I was blessed to spend 3.5 months straight in Asia this summer (if you missed the blog series about this, check it out here) where I combined an epic work trip with a lot of vacation to equal the trip of a lifetime. So the 2016 snapshot: Total miles flown: 107,920 miles via 67 flights on 20 different airlines visiting 20 different countries (outside of the airport). 7 of those 20 countries were net new for me, increasing my total number of countries visited to 54. Of that, I’d estimate that 60% was for business, 40% for
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China

After 2 weeks in Japan, I flew from Osaka to Shanghai for a whirlwind 2 weeks in China. That time would be spent as follows: 3 days in Shanghai, 4 in Beijing, 1 in Shanghai, and then 2 in Hong Kong. My team had me on a busy schedule! This will be a short post as I won’t go into too many boring details about work (check the other pages of this blog for work related content 😉 ). I arrived in Shanghai Monday morning and headed straight to the office to meet up with my local team, do a few prep meetings for the next 2 weeks, and meet with a client. It was a busy but productive first day. The best part, however, was the end of the day
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Japan

After a week of vacation in Vietnam, I packed up all my things from the apartment I’d come to know and love in Singapore to live out of a suitcase in hotel rooms for the rest of my trip (6 more weeks). I left one Typhoon in North Vietnam to fly straight into another in Tokyo (literally, plane into Tokyo was re-routed due to Typhoon and what was supposed to be a 7 hour flight turned into a 13+ hour ordeal + 5 hours to get through immigration and to the hotel after Narita reopened). Off to a good start! Due to plane re-routing, I lost half a day of work in Tokyo, which meant that the remaining 4 days of my first week there were packed. Tuesday was spent
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Vietnam

This was a return to Vietnam for me. I’d been for ~9 days in December 2014 and visited Ho Chi Mihn City, the Mekong Delta and floating markets of Cai Bai, Phu Quoc Island, Hanoi, and Halong Bay. I knew when I left the last time that I’d be back – there was still so much to see and do and I had loved my time in Vietnam, so of course, when I had an opportunity to take a week off and go travel, I spent another ~9 days (2 weekends and a full week) there soaking up what I’d missed before. This time though, I was accompanied by my parents. They’d flown over from California to visit me in Singapore for a couple days, and then, per Dad’s request,
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Laos

Laos was a quick trip: only 3.5 days over a long weekend. Given the short timeline, I picked just one location, Luang Prabang (hereafter, LP), to settle down for a few days to do some exploring and soak in the Laotian culture. LP is a very cute, quaint little SE Asian town that feels nothing like other ‘big’ cities in Asia (I’d compare it to Chiang Mai in Thailand but it’s really nothing like it). Getting off the plane in LP (coming from a couple days of work in Bangkok), it felt like a breath of fresh air. LP has none of the hustle and bustle of other cities, but all of the charm. I didn’t have a place booked when I got to LP, and figured I’d walk around
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Indonesia

Over the course of the 5 weeks I lived in Singapore, I spent collective almost 2 weeks of that time in Indonesia via weekend trips and work in Jakarta. One of the cool things about living in Singapore is that you can say things like “I’m going to Bali for the weekend”. I did spend a weekend in Bali, as well as weekends in Mt. Bromo, Yogyakarta, and Lombok. What an adventure! Indonesia is perhaps my favorite place outside of Singapore that I’ve had the pleasure to spend time in while abroad (at least so far). It’s incredibly varied, with each location looking and feeling different from the next. Each different destination offered something unique and incredible, and I’m excited to share all of the wonderful and fun things I
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Singapore

After 3 weeks of backpacking across Myanmar and Thailand, it was time to settle into Singapore to kick off working in Asia-Pacific (APAC). I must admit, arriving in Singapore was a bit of a burst of fresh air (????) after living the backpacker life and traveling from one place to the next every couple of days. I had a beautiful furnished apartment at One Shenton, an awesome high rise apartment building in the middle of the Downtown Core, and conveniently, right across the street from my office which was located in Asia Square. Singapore is a magical little place, because it is at the epicenter of business in Asia, it’s English speaking, it has so many different cultures leading to a very wide variety of food & entertainment, and a
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Thailand

So far I’ve been pretty awful at blogging as I go along on my travels. It’s been several weeks (well, several since I started writing this post, several more since finishing) since I spent 2 weeks exploring Thailand, though I was just back in Bangkok a few weeks ago for a couple of days of work, so here goes my best recollections of those wonderful 2 weeks exploring northern Thailand and the Andaman coast. I flew from Yangon, Myanmar, to Chiang Mai, Thailand, where I thought I was going to settle in for ~4 days before heading to Pai for another 2 days, but things didn’t work out quite as intended, so I spent just one day in Chiang Mai to start. I arrived in Chiang Mai on a Sunday,
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Myanmar

When I decided to start my 3.5 month Asia trip in Myanmar, I wasn’t sure what to expect. Myanmar was a country I knew very little about, and it wasn’t until talking to a friend from home who had recently been that I got a vague sense of what I might see or do there. Big thanks to Marshall for helping me figure out where to go, what not to miss, and providing his travel guide for my use so I could have a solid grounding to begin my trip. Myanmar is very different than any other Asian country I’ve been to (previously Indonesia (Bali only), Malaysia, Singapore, Vietnam, Cambodia, and now writing this from Thailand). It has none of the built up tourist infrastructure of these other destinations, and
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