A trip to Silicon Valley

My new role has me looking at how our company deliver technology solutions all over the world so I need to make sure I work with out teams in different regions.

Recently the company had a week long Sales workshop for our US team. I was invited to meet with everyone and present what I do. It was exciting to prepare and I was really looking forward to the challenge of working with the US team, they are very passionate about what they do. The downside was that it was the first time to leave the family behind since we moved.

I flew out on the Monday – which every other person in the Netherlands must have been trying to do at the same time. Schipol airport is pretty efficient and easy to get around. On this day however it was chaos. I never found out why but it was the single busiest day I have seen in this airport. I flew through to LAX which was just as busy (having to now take off my layers of clothes for the now 30 degrees) and then onto San Jose.

The week was great. I met some really great people that I am really looking forward to working with over time. San Jose is a great area. Santa Clara where our office is forms part of the larger area that makes up ‘Silicon Valley’. It was great for a tech head like myself to have an opportunity to present to my colleagues in what is a very rich area for technology and innovation. Ultimately though after dinners and drinks every night (and through to mornings on occasion) it was great to get to the end of the week and head home.

The flight home is not conducive to preparing you for the change in time zone. I flew from San Jose at 630 am. After being up late the night before I was at the airport later than expected and missed breakfast. I landed 3 hours later in Minneapolis and by now it was 1230. After a brief wander around to stretch the legs I skipped the idea of breakfast and went straight for lunch.

Add to that a glass of wine or two to try and sleep on the next leg. I flew out of MN at 330pm and tried to sleep but it as very squashed and I was feeling the pain from having a broken rib from the previous week (forgot to blog that one). Ultimately 9 hours later I arrive home to Amsterdam and it is 6 in the morning. A quick bus ride home and I am greeted by the biggest smiles you have ever seen! I struggled with some serious jetlag but I was very lucky as we had a beautiful weekend. Lots of sunshine and warmth helped the recovery.

I love my job and I am really enjoying the challenges. This was my first trip away since we moved to NL and the first time I really felt like I came ‘home’. The old saying that home is where the heart is rings true. My heart is with my girls. They give me grief but I love them and they love me back. Just quietly home in Haarlem also feels like home. This town has adopted us and welcomed us with open arms. We have been very fortunate to land ourselves in such an area that gives back as much as we give.

Het Spaarne – Haarlem

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