Saturday, July 25, 2009

Germany, Doha, and dilly dallies!

I am currently sunburnt, energized (going to bed at nine will do that!) and honestly in love with life.

So what have I been up to?

Well, a little bit of this... as in, photoshooting, story writing, and generally working. I love working. My job is fantastic. Where else would I get to interview bikers, sit down with a non-traditional Qatari woman, talk fashion with Kathleen while wandering around one of Doha's many malls, sample new restaurants and meet people from all over the world? Every day is a diverse adventure. I go in with a rough idea of what to expect, and at the end I'm always a bit surprised by what happened. In this pic here, Bryce is taking shots of some acrobats who I guess have been training since they were around seven. Now that's dedication to a craft.

I've also been doing this: traveling. Work sent me to Germany for an Audi press junket. It was my very first actual business trip (and my first time traveling business class!) I had a plane seat that folded into a flat bed, access to endless snacks during layovers and great company. Germany itself was, of course, beautiful. I didn't get to see much of Munich itself, since most of my time was packed with Audi press events. Guess that's the nature of business, eh? But I'm learning. Guess some people will ask to stay on an extra couple of days, book their own affordable hostel, and travel around in the country where they're sent. That's good to know.

Turns out Germany, while beautiful, is also cold and rainy. Here's me, sad-face style, with a plastic poncho and borrowed suit jacket.

So working, traveling... what else? Friends. I've started meeting people outside of work, while simultaneously getting to know the folks I work with better. I'm glad there's such a great team at ABODE and other Bilal-owned operations. They make the weekends fun and my fridays under the sun more exciting.

I'm really missing Whole Foods (salad bar!!!) and my little sister. Yes, I realize putting those in the same breath is odd, but the two tend to go hand-in-hand for me (leia! Let's go eat! ok!). So I've booked a flight to Cali before I leave for Cambridge. I'll be there for about a week visiting the lil, the bro, and even the pops. Since it'll be the last time for at least two years (most likely), I think this trip will be extra precious.

I've also decided to try and run three races in three cities: 5k in Omaha, 10k in Modesto, CA, and a half marathon in Birmingham, UK. This means I've started training again, which has, if anything, made me that much more of a nerd. Didn't really know that was possible!

Speaking of nerd... I'm running out of books. I'm down to my last one. It's Kathleen's and it's surreal fiction. I've also found it increasingly difficult to read magazines without thinking about work and business. This could be a problem.

Just finished "The Alchemist," a book given to me by the lovely SAO staff (thanks Liz, Katie, Katy and Eric!). It was fantastic... all about pursuing your dreams, rushing forward in pursuit of your true life goal. One of the things that resonated strongest was how so often we settle, and thus we exist with this sort of slow, pained feeling that says 'this isn't right, this isn't right'. It's a monotonous death. I do not want to settle, not for a moment.

Which is why I'm going to work hard while I'm here and work hard at Cambridge- not only to achieve the basic goals, but also to strengthen who I am. I'm finding out.

...through techniques like buying these investment boots, a la Kathleen-inspiration. ;)

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