We all have our comfort zones. You know, we do the things we’re comfortable doing because we’ve done it a lot or we don’t have to think about it very hard. I have them, you have them, we all do. It’s part of human nature.
I guess I must be getting older (and wiser?) because every now and then I leave my comfort zone on purpose. I always get more out of the experience than I bargained for though not always in the way I expect.
Today, I embark on one of those radical departures from my comfort zone. I am going to Nigeria to do Real Studio training for a company thinking about switching to Real Studio for their business needs. This is a great opportunity for me to teach (something I like doing) about a product I spend a lot of time using. Getting to travel when someone else is paying is even better. I’ve managed to do this for London and Hong Kong in addition to many US and Canadian cities too numerous to mention.
This will be an interesting adventure. I’ve never been to Africa and I’m going to a place that has a State Department travel warning. Oh joy. But, I believe (and hope) that my hosts are taking good care of me and handling security. Since they seem to do this for their European bigwigs I don’t expect that to be a problem. But I do have addresses and phone numbers for the US Embassy and other security ‘options’. Never hurts to have a plan B.
The joys of international travel begins with the immunizations. I joke that I’m now prepared for any sort of post apocalyptic disaster when the diseases hit.
Unlike my year long stay in Hong Kong 15 years ago where the internet was still kind of special, I fully expect I’ll be ‘online’ for a good portion of my stay. It will be interesting to see how well all that works as I’ve been told to expect power outages and variable internet connectivity.
Speaking of the internet: I like to joke with people that I’m going to Nigeria to go find that damn prince that keeps sending me all those emails!
By nature I’m an introvert and I am a little concerned that one of most populous cities in Africa will be overwhelming. It wasn’t a big deal in Hong Kong so I don’t expect to be a problem here, but you just never know. The other thing that could take some getting used to is being the clear and obvious minority. In Hong Kong it wasn’t too bad because there were Brit’s everywhere and they were just part of the environment. I don’t think I’ll be afforded the same luxury on this trip.
I work for myself so I don’t talk a lot. I know that when I do my training videos and I spend 3 or 4 hours talking into a computer I have to be careful and drink extra water so the pipes don’t start to hurt. I’ll be training for 8 hours a day for 5 days so it could be rough. Add in that I can’t drink the tap water and it will be even more interesting.
Packing for an overseas trip is harder than a domestic trip. If you go to Chicago and forget your deodorant you pop into your local Walmart (even gas station) and just pick some up. I don’t know, does Nigeria even have Walmart or a local equivalent?
Anyway, I look forward to this adventure. I’m sure it will generate many stories and laughter (at my expense probably) and I can’t wait to tell you all about it.
I’m sure I’ll give an update once I’m back. Happy coding!