Sydney – a recap

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Let’s make it a Travel Tuesday, shall we?

Travel.

It’s one of my favourite things. And I am fortunate to be able to travel a lot for work and leisure. So I thought I should write about my most recent adventure, a two week business trip to Sydney, Australia.

I have been sharing snippets of it on Instagram and Twitter and as no one wants to see pictures of me writing emails or brushing my teeth, the perception people may have probably looks something like this:

  • Here is Eva swimming in the ocean at sunrise
  • There she is catching a ferry to the city, sailing past the Opera House
  • Oh, Eva is having lunch in the sun by the harbor
  • Looks like a fun meetup with the local Tableau community – geez is Eva even doing any work?
  • Man, another ferry trip back home, admiring the city skyline in the dark, looks like a really tough gig, this business travel thing…

Yes, all of this happened, and I did enjoy meeting many former colleagues, friends and new people while I was there. But the last couple of weeks also involved A LOT of work. The sunrises, sunsets, the swimming and cycling, the sights and sounds and culinary deiights of the city, that all happened around work, not instead of.

So let me share some numbers with you to summarise my trip and paint a more realistic picture.

14 days in Sydney – what I was actually doing there

  • three EXASOL demos and presentations
  • three in-depth partner training workshops
  • four additional partner meetings
  • eight evening phone conferences with London, Germany and San Francisco
  • two Makeover Monday live events
  • a Makeover Monday phone call with the organisation who published the original viz for week 18 (Sydney ferry trip data)
  • a Tableau User Group presentation
  • five dinners, two breakfast meetings, and four lunches with former colleagues and customers
  • a Hackathon / ‘DataJam’ for the National Rugby League of Australia
  • plus: a birthday party, a dozen sunrises, at least three sunsets, 20 ferry trips, two open water swims in Manly with four sharks to keep me company, an ocean swim race in Bondi, five bike rides, totalling 183.5 kilometers, and three runs totalling 13.4km

Compared to my work at home in Nuremberg, where we run partner training as a team, this trip meant I had to deliver the various sessions myself and s I’m not a ‘copy and paste kind of person every presentation and demo required preparation, as did the Makeover Monday events and the TUG talk. And it’s not just the building of slides but also the creation of Tableau vizzes to then be rebuilt live, as well as of course at least half a dozen rehearsals of each presentation.

Suffice to say, I filled up my time with everything I possibly could, while trying to juggle time zone differences. As soon as I was done with work in Sydney, Germany and London started their days which meant that I was usually greeted with plenty of emails by the time I woke up in the morning. Trying to stay on top of my usual work while focusing on the commitments I had lined up locally, did require a fair bit of juggling (and meant I needed to charge my phone twice a day…).

It was fun though

Returning to a city where I spent 3 years living and working, meant I knew my way around and didn’t have to worry about getting lost when moving from place to place.

I’m writing this blog post from the plane, as I’m travelling from Doha to Frankfurt, because as soon as I land, I’ll have to get the latest Makeover Monday viz finished, published and onto my blog.

I feel that showing a little bit of what goes on behind the scenes of my ‘adventures’ is necessary so people don’t get the wrong idea. Yes I do have the best job I could ask for (in my view anyway), but it still involves a significant amount of work below the surface.

I know some people think I’m just travelling around, creating vizzes and catching up with ‘Tableau people’. But there is a whole lot that goes into making it all happen. It’s a lot of work and I love it. And I wouldn’t have it any other way…

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