Category: Travel

Tokyo

Tokyo Subway

I am in Tokyo for a week. Yes, I know who takes a one week vacation to go to Tokyo? Am I insane? Yes, a bit. I figured since Tokyo does not sleep neither would I and I would get to see all of it and head home at the end of the week.

One thing is for sure: I will be returning to Japan. Tokyo is but a little piece of Japan – albeit a pretty big piece – and the little bit I have seen is fascinating. Photos to come very shortly. I am now in perpetual jetlag: I wake up at 4 AM, head out to explore the city by 6 AM and walk all day to come back to the hotel to simply collapse. After 100s of kilometers in walking I now know that Tokyo is not a walking city: it is immense. Thankfully their subway system is amazing. I would send the entire Toronto TTC management team to Tokyo for a week for a crash course on how to develop and run a transit system that works. You can plan your trips to the second and get where you need to go without ever missing a beat. It is a thing of beauty!

Visiting Nicaragua: First Stop San Juan del Sur

I am in San Juan del Sur and the beaches are awesome, the people incredibly friendly, the running amazing and you can not beat Piedras Y Olas for 5 star treatment. But you know what’s even more amazing? Creative Common Licenses! Because below I am going to take you through San Juan Del Sur via CC! Because I am so totally lazy to actually process my photographs! Tomorrow I will post photographs of the dog I have been feeding at the edge of town – makes my 10 km daily run interesting. I need to get this little girl to trust me enough to get her to the vet. A few more days… a few more days…

Arriving in San Juan del Sur: Really that’s how it looks from above

San Juan Del Sur

and yes, the beach is pretty cool and I spend hours in swimming competition with the local boys – I have my total immersion book and we are learning quickly.  By the way there are tons of sting rays in the sea. Tons!  And they can sting you something fierce!

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The sunsets are incredible. I am not a sunset kind of person so I keep missing them but hey… they are awesome I hear.

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I read here in the mornings and the jays (that would be the birds!) are so incredibly noisy. There is also Orangina who comes to visit – this is the cat who somehow adopted me the moment I walked into this place! More about Orangina later…

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There are over 200 steps to get to my room, so in addition to running 10 km a day to feed a homeless dog, I get a work out when I get back home. Mr. T and his 60 KM of weekly mileage would be pround: running + hill training all in one. Daily.

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and the coffee at the Gato Negro coffee shop and bookstore saved me a couple of times already.

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ok, enjoy these while I process all my photos!

Paris |O| Paris

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Public Domain Photo:
Eiffel Tower, looking toward Trocadéro Palace, Paris Exposition, 1889

Paris is the best city in the world and guess what? it is getting better. Time to move back almost! Cab drivers have GPS systems in the car so you are not spending your time trying to explain in Congolese how to get to Place de la Bourse; wifi is almost everywhere; cafe owners no longer give you the evil eye when you park yourself and all your hardware on a table for 2  and miracle of all miracles: there is less dog pooh on the sidewalks!
Traffic is still hell and it has been a long time since I heard so much honking! Well, since the last trip to Paris that is. I think I have as much right to the road as the cars and I am at home here so it is like running on Queen street (on the road and not the sidewalk) except the road is narrow, cars are zipping around at top speed… and I have Violent Femmes cranked up in my ipod. So honk away. My run was great … and you will never catch me running on the sidewalk in Paris. I don’t want dog dooh in my luggage. Thank you very much.

Flying to Toronto tomorrow.

Baltimore

Baltimore

I am going to Baltimore this weekend. Not for work – just for fun actually – I am taking a weekend off!
I will be taking work with me, I never travel without some work – who knows I
may get stuck in the airport lounge with very little to do and work will come
in very handy.

A friend just sent me a bunch of Baltimore links. I have done zero research so I will spend the evening making a plan. I leave tomorrow morning (Saturday) and will be back in Toronto
on Sunday night. It is a short trip.

I am planning on re-watching The Wire while on the plane. It
truly is the best TV show of the decade. Spoken by someone who does not have a
TV I am sure (if you are wondering: I don’t own a TV). But Slate seems to agree…

Not the end of air travel: just a new beginning

I am probably going to be the only person to disagree with Seth’s Changing the air travel story post.
Au contraire Seth: showing up and establishing the face to face connection is even more important today then it was a decade ago perhaps.
Air travel is about to become a complete nightmare (it already is!): when you can’t take electronics on a plane, have to check your laptop and can’t even carry a water bottle… we are no longer talking about air travel. We are talking about a "cell block" that we occupy for hours to get from point A to point B.
Sure these changes are going to spike Breeze usage, but I see things differently. We spend a lot of time trying to connect with people via email, phone, video, chat and yet, our most successful connections and the longest lasting ones are person-to-person. We barcamp, earthcamp, seek each other in activities, in business, in learning and that’s not going to change.

Now is the time to start thinking about effective air travel security solutions. Creative ones. Smart ones not just the "get rid of all your belongings" before you get on the plane type of solutions.
The time has come to tap innovations, creativity and apply these to air travel and security.

I am looking forward to my next flight.

Back Home…

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Bye Bye Biarritz and Paris
Finally back in Toronto.
Biarritz was gorgeous. Breathtaking views of the ports and sea. Some fantastic sunsets and a great Cepic tradeshow. Over 700 attendees this year, perhaps more. Always a great opportunity to stay in touch with one of our industries, meet new customers and hear about some of the challenges they are facing. Our image monitoring service is always center stage during Cepic. I also spent time with one of our latest clients: AFP. We are quite excited!

I even managed to keep up with my running. Not as much as I wanted but still..
Running in Biarritz was a breeze. The views were so gorgeous you did not really pay attention to the mileage. A few of my runs ended at 2 and 3 AM as I only started running after all the days meetings, dinners and drinks. It was the best time to run as temperatures dropped down considerably. Biarritz was an inferno with temperatures over 30C. Given that France has yet to discover air conditioning we spent most of our time baking just about anywhere we went. It was hot, hot, hot.
Now looking forward to catching up with the team.