2016 – a journey

When I look back to my last year, this is a good representation of it:

In 12 months, 10 countries over 3 continents.

It has been tough, from the organizational point of view: a kind of puzzle between family tasks and appointments and job schedules and meetings.

But we did it. Big kudos to the family!

I started in February, with the business trip to US.

First stop: Denver, CO.

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When we arrived at the airport, while in line for the passport control, we heard many people yelling: weird, even weirder in a US airport. In a few milliseconds our feeling started to move from the surprised status to the worried one…..yes…this is a tough time to travel….

…but it didn’t move completely as we found out that Denver Broncos, the American football local team, had just won the Super-Bowl.

Everybody in Denver was crazy about it: even the guys at car rental were wearing Broncos merchandise!

In the following days we drove for hours among the factories there;

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The weather uses to change so quickly in Colorado (by the way, 300 sunny days per year!!!), that you go into a factory with a blue sunny sky

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and you go out after 2 hours under a grey snowy sky

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We got also our parking spot

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(just kidding 🙂 )

The last day we went to the Rocky Mountains. I was the driver that day and I could experience the peace of climbing up the mountains in the road full of turns. All around incredible landscapes

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and memorable “historical” places. wp_20160127_15_11_15_pro

With a night flight we got to Portland.

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I was again on the West Coast, a little bit more South than the city that hosted me for 9 summers.

Summers equals to NO-NBA.

Winter equals to YES-NBA: what a fantastic opportunity then!!!!!

And of course I took it: well in advance organized, we got tickets for the match and the last night we went to the ModaCenter for CHA@POR.

An NBA match is a show that merges with sport at the highest level

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In February it was time to go to Italy.

First stop: Taranto. Getting there took me almost as much time as going to Denver…..

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It was actually strange to go “abroad” in a business trip to my country.

But I managed it 🙂

For the first time since I was in Vestas, I had a meeting in Italian: this was strange as well!

Being in the Southern part of Italy had some advantages…

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Back to Rome

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my room was in a very peculiar hotel:

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Rome was beautiful as always.

Then, a little vacation time in Berlin, Germany: it is also a very nice city

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Full of history and culture…

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…great shows…

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…some technical issues…

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…epic characters…

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…and galactic fights…

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Next business trip was to Spain: I have been here 3 times in 2016.

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I visited our sites in Madrid, Daimiel and Léon.

Sometimes with fantastic colleagues, sometimes alone.

Getting to Madrid is quite easy: only airplane, even if with one intermediate stop.

Getting to Daimiel or Léon is more difficult: you need to drive 2-3 hours

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which has the advantage of discovering beautiful places lost in the middle of Spain

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It’s always nice to be in there 🙂

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France in March:

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It was my first time in Montpellier: it is a nice city in the Southern part of France.

I have been there twice in 2016. During my second visit I found a very nice small restaurant, which was really inspiring for the preparation of Safer Internet session at my kids’ school

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First time to China in May!

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Beijing is a fascinating and huge city.

 

Forbidden City is marvelous

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I also had the opportunity to shake the hand to the last living Emperor

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and taste some special tea, in the Chinese way

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Some colleagues told me that not everybody speaks English there: I can confirm it now…

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It was quite difficult in restaurants: we appreciated the waitresses’ effort in trying to communicate with us, but Google voice translator didn’t work so well and we ended up ordering food for at least 6 people (we were only 2)

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Not being able to communicate verbally was a challenge when our data traffic finished and we were in the middle of the city with no paper map and just the name of the place we wanted to go to: back to the past, a past we are not used to anymore!

But apparently it’s plenty of communication channels in Beijing…

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What we easily found was the food street

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In the end of May situation in Turkey seemed better, so I decided to plan my visit there.

The day before my flight, there was an attack in the middle of the city: I thought that statistically 2 attacks in a row are unlikely and I went there.

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Istanbul is really a fascinating city and crossing the bridge that links the European and Asian parts is even more fascinating

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From  Istanbul I flew directly to Athens, Greece: here I had a very short visit: airport, office and not much more

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Then….vacation time!!!!!!!

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Rome&Sabaudia, Italy: a mix of culture and just relax.

The night visit to Fori Imperiali was amazing

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Relax sessions were amazing as well….

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Like lunches on the sea side

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which I needed to “compensate” with some exercise…

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We also had beautiful sunsets

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and relatives visiting us (it took a while to shoot this picture with all four kids together and almost still!)

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In August it was time to go to the other side of the world, but in the Southern hemisphere

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After “only” 22 hours trip I got to Fortaleza, Brazil: it’s a beautiful place on the east coast of Brazil. Of course our factory is just in the middle of nowhere….

View from the hotel was great, day…

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…and night

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I had some time to experience the beauty of the city

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and eat some tropical fruit

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I could not miss the sunsets too!!!

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I had also some tough experience (Sliding Doors).

From Fortaleza to Sao Paulo, where I spent a very short time, just for my visit to the office (and some picanha)

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In October we decided to go back to Italy for a short vacation.

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Kids said they were missing our scooter runs: how could I neglect it (“real” Italian ice-cream included)???

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Kids, and grown up, played together

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We spent some great time with friends too

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Vacation was split into two parts: after Rome, La Spezia!

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There, we had a family reunion

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and I met my friends

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One last “cheers” before coming back home

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December was the month of my last trip: a long flight again.

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Mexico City is a crazy capital city: I lived in Rome for many years and I experienced its traffic jam, which was second only to the one in Cairo. After my visit to Mexico City, I know which is the winner!

I could not go downtown because it was 20 Km from my hotel and it could have taken 1.5 hours!

But it is also a very nice city

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I had some time to visit one of the most amazing and beautiful place in the world: Teotihuacan

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Are you wondering if it is a big site?

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How could I resist to

SALT

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LEMON

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& TEQUILA

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???

That was obviously great 🙂

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Now 2017 has started and everything is ready:

  • First vacation abroad – booked
  • First business trip – ready to be planned
  • Netflix offline feature – implemented (and preferred TV series downloaded)
  • Bluetooth noise-canceling headphones – charged
  • Kindle – charged
  • Plug converters – in the bag
  • Passport – in the bag

So…let’s take off!!!!!!!!

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