The Incidental Tourist

Tails of the Wandering Monkey in a Time of High Adventure!

Canal in Bruges, Belgium

There are essentially two types of travel and anyone who’s ever made a border crossing knows them well: business or pleasure.  I started this site with an idea to just write about my misadventures around the world.  Actually, I had a blog that contained quite a few stories and observations about some places I’ve been, but a catastrophic event in the data center compounded by broken backups caused me to essentially lose everything.

So this is a fresh start of sorts and while I’ll focus mainly on business travel, I’ll also write a bit here and there about vacations and weekend getaways.

So why the hell am I even doing this? I could say that part of me has delusions of grandeur, thinking I’m somehow like Anthony Bourdain or Three Sheets star Zane Lamprey.  But the reality is that while I do really enjoy their shows and often envy their careers, I simply love travel.  I’ve aways been an explorer, born with a certain wanderlust.

As a kid, I didn’t get to travel what some would call extensively, but I did get to see far more of the United States that most Americans.  I’ve been to more states than many can even name.  However, until a series of events led me to my current job, the extent of my global wanderings had been limited to the usual suspects, Mexico and the Caribbean.  That all changed in 2010 when I went to work for a company called Canonical, the corporate entity behind the Ubuntu Linux operating system.

My company is about as globally diverse as can be.  We have only a few actual “offices” in places like Montreal, Boston, London, Taipei and Shanghai.  The vast majority of our people work remotely from home, day in and day out.  We communicate via any means that works, be it IRC, video chats, or phone calls or e-mail.  However, there are times when people need to be in the same room.  For us, every 6 months, one of these times is an event called the Ubuntu Developer Summit.  This is our big planning meeting.

At UDS, the hackers, testers, designers and geniuses at Canonical come together with members from the Ubuntu community in a week long series of meetings held both in person and streamed on-line for remote participants.  We make the design plans for the next 6 month development cycle and bond as a community and team.  UDS usually occurs in a different city each time. Once a year is generally held in the US and the other in Europe.

It is because of this, and other events, and my job overseeing three hardware labs across the globe, that I’ve been able to travel quite a bit over the last few years.  I’ve seen some amazing cities, eaten in great restaurants, flown first class, enjoyed the benefits of being a frequent international traveler and come home with memories that will last a life time.

So my aim for this blog is to focus on all that.  The thing I love most, the travel.  The adventure of wandering a strange airport for the first time. Finding that little hole in the wall that the tourists don’t dare enter.  Even the things that tourists may enjoy.  But I also wanted to share my tips on travel. Things I’ve learned by experience and by watching the mistakes of others.  I hope that someone, somewhere will read this and be inspired.

The world we live in is huge. It is so small on a cosmic scale, but so much more than anyone’s own personal field of view.  There’s an adventure out there waiting for you; you just have to take the first step.  So sit back, look for the occasional post and thought, and enjoy my adventures around the globe.  If you’re a frequent traveler, you’ll understand a bit of what I write.  If you’ve never traveled before, perhaps you’ll gain some new insight, a time saving tip, or an idea for your own next trip.

Until then, bon voyage!

One thought on “Tails of the Wandering Monkey in a Time of High Adventure!

  1. Joan in Reno

    Nice photos and content, however, I wish I could read it easier…I use Firefox with NoSquint to allow both regular enlargement and text zoom. In this case, text zoom doesn’t seem to be working right as the text is still too small and I loose the horizontal scroll lock…being made to scroll side to side as if I was using Chrome instead of Firefox. I hope you have some control of this in the future…Have fun in your travels…Joan in Reno

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