Why do I fly all over the world giving presentations?

I travel, a lot. A lot of my travel is to go speak at events somewhere in the world. I’ve had the privilege of being able to travel to 4 continents and 12 countries (that I can think of) giving presentations on Microsoft SQL Server and Microsoft Azure.

Why do I do it? To give back. I learned a lot of what I learned from speakers at conferences as small as a SQL Saturday, code camp, user group, etc. and as large as Microsoft TechEd, Microsoft Ignite, EMC World, VMworld, etc. As I learned a lot from these events, I think that it’s only fair that I continue to go to these events and pass what I’ve learned on to the next group of3515760197_922a0982f8_b people looking to learn about IT.

With the IT field changing annually, if not more often than that we have to keep learning because if we don’t then we become stagnant in our carriers and we become less valuable to our employers, clients, etc.

The other advantage that I have when I go to these events is that I get to meet new people and see new places. As I’ve traveled to all these various conferences and classes I’ve met some amazing people that without speaking at these events I never would have had the opportunity to meet.

Back in high school, and even when I started working I was a massive introvert. Way, way more than you could have even imagined. Just the idea of talking to people was just something that wasn’t going to happen, much less actually talking to people that I hadn’t known my entire life. But now I’m so privileged to be able to visit places that I never thought that I’d ever get to visit and meet people that have the same career as me, but have had totally different lives than I’ve had. To get to visit with them even if just for a day or a weekend while at the conference is such a privilege that I’m happy that I have the chance to fly around and meet all these amazing people.

I think my favorite story to date of meeting people in random locations happened this last June (in 2016) when Karen Lopez (@datachick) and I were in Bangalore India teaching a class. She was there for one class and I was there for two classes with a week in between. Karen was kind enough to stay in India for a few days extra to keep me company and to enjoy the awesomeness of the hotel and city with me. On Tuesday we decided that we’d do a little sightseeing and go visit a couple of science museums. At the Science and Technology museum in Bangalore, India we had two different groups of people ask to take pictures with us. We were so shocked that we of course said yes.

When we were talking about it later we were really hoping that they worked in the IT field and knew who one or both of us were, and that they didn’t think we were someone actually famous. I know that I’m really hoping that the photos get uploaded to Facebook and Facebook’s facial recognition tags us (or that they tag us) so that Karen and I can see the pictures and see how they know us.

Anyway, enough of my rambling blog post. The plane is landing soon, on my last leg of my longest trip to date, exactly one month long (I left home on June 2nd and I’m arriving home July 1st).

Hopefully I’ll see you at a class, or conference somewhere in the world. Or maybe at an online event (but those aren’t anywhere near as much fun as it’s a little hard to chat with people over a webinar).


The post Why do I fly all over the world giving presentations? appeared first on SQL Server with Mr. Denny.

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Beating Jetlag

The biggest downside of traveling to places far and wide is jetlag. If you’ve never flown father than 1 or 2 timezones you’ve never experienced the true joy that is jetlag. For most people traveling east, sucks while traveling west isn’t to bad. I’m one of these people.

What most people do, especially the first time they fly east (from the US to Europe for example) is they figure that they’ll just be fine when they land. I’d be willing to bet that anyone that’s tried that was wrong. Changing 8 or 9 timezones in one shot is VERY brutal.

A couple of times now when traveling from California to Europe I’ve decided to deal with the jetlag while at home. Basically this means that every morning I get up a couple of hours earlier and go to bed a couple of hours earlier until I end up on European time (9 hours ahead). This takes me around 4 days to do it. It isn’t fun, but it’s a lot better than spending the first 3 days of my trip in Europe dealing with the jet lag (it normally takes me between 2 and 4 days to kick the jetlag depending on what I’m doing during the day).

It isn’t a very complex process. The first day I simply set my alarm to get me up 2 hours early. When I get up I set the next days alarm for 2 hours earlier (I can handle 2 hours of jetlag in a day no problem). I also set an alarm for when I need to go to bed, so that I actually do.

After a few days I’m getting up at midnight (which is 9am in Europe) and going to bed at 4-5pm (which is 1am in Europe). This usually works well with flights getting to Europe. For example this last trip I flew from home (San Diego) to Toronto (sadly no I didn’t see the crack head mayor at the airport). That flight left at 8:15am so I needed to be at the airport by 6:15am. Normally this would suck, but as I’m getting up at midnight that’s no problem. My flight landed in Toronto (all the timezone switching makes things really hard to figure out) at 4pm EST (9pm in Europe). My flight from Toronto to Europe left at 5:45pm EST (11pm in Europe), which served dinner then breakfast. So basically I had a late dinner, then fell asleep and woke up for breakfast just before landing (breakfast is usually served about an hour before landing) at 11:30pm PST (2:30am EST, 8:30am in Europe). My final flight of the day left at 10:30am and arrived at 11:30am, just in time for lunch. I had a day of sightseeing and the next day I was off and ready to go at the SQL Tune In conference, thankfully without feeling like I was going to die.

Now will this technique work for everyone? No probably not. As I work from home I’ve got the ability to work basically whatever hours I want, so slowly shifting my hours day by day isn’t that big of a deal. If you’ve got this sort of flexibility before going on a trip, either for business or pleasure I’d highly recommend it. The first mistake that 1st time travels make is not accounting for jetlag recovery in their schedule.


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