OTN APAC Tour 2014 : It’s Nearly Here!

airplane-flying-through-clouds-smallIn a little less than a week I start the OTN APAC Tour. This is where I’m going to be…

  • Perth, Australia : November 6-7
  • Shanghai, China : November 9
  • Tokyo, Japan : November 11-13
  • Beijing, China : November 14-15
  • Bangkok, Thailand : November 17
  • Auckland, New Zealand : November 19-21

Just looking at that list is scary. When I look at the flight schedule I feel positively nauseous. I think I’m in Bangkok for about 24 hours. It’s sleep, conference, fly. :)

After all these years you would think I would be used to it, but every time I plan a tour I go through the same sequence of events.

  • Someone asks me if I want to do the tour.
  • I say yes and agree to do all the dates.
  • They ask me if I am sure, because doing the whole tour is a bit stupid as it’s a killer and takes up a lot of time.
  • I say, no problem. It will be fine. I don’t like cherry-picking events as it makes me feel guilty, like I’m doing it for a holiday or something.
  • Everything is provisionally agreed.
  • I realise the magnitude of what I’ve agreed to and secretly hope I don’t get approval.
  • Approval comes through.
  • Mad panic for visas, flights and hotel bookings etc.
  • The tour starts and it’s madness for X number of days. On several occasions I will want to throw in the towel and get on a plane home, but someone else on the tour will provide sufficient counselling to keep me just on the right side of sane.
  • Tour finishes and although I’ve enjoyed it, I promise myself I will never do it again.

With less than a week to go, I booked the last of my hotels this morning, so you can tell what stage I’m at now… :)

I was reflecting on this last night and I think I know the reason I agree to these silly schedules. When I was a kid, only the “posh” kids did foreign holidays. You would come back from the summer break and people would talk about eating pasta on holiday and it seemed rather exotic. Somewhere in the back of my head I am still that kid and I don’t really believe any of these trips will ever happen, so I agree to anything. :)

Cheers

Tim…

 

 

OTN APAC Tour 2014

As well as losing the ACED OpenWorld confirmation email, it turns out my website/mailbox move also caused me to lose the email about being accepted on the OTN APAC Tour 2014. I saw a tweet this morning saying that I was on the agenda for the NZOUG event and checked with Francisco to see what was going on. That’s when I found out that yet another important email had gone missing… :)

The good news is I had already agreed the time off work, so everything is good for the tour.

  • Perth, Australia : November 6-7
  • Shanghai, China : November 9
  • Tokyo, Japan : November 11-13
  • Beijing, China : November 14-15
  • Bangkok, Thailand : November 17
  • Auckland, New Zealand : November 19-21

After the OTN Yathra Tour 2014, which was 7 cities in 14 days, I told myself I was too old to do all this tour stuff… So much for that idea… :)

Although it’s a 6 event tour, the first and last events are pretty much like being at home for me. I’ve been to the AUSOUG and NZOUG events a few times, so it will be good to meet up with everyone again… It will be my second time in Beijing, and I’ve seen the traffic in India now, so I’m hoping I will cope better with the roads in China this time. :) Shanghai, Tokyo and Bangkok are all new to me, so it will be interesting to see how I cope with them…

As always before one of these tours, I am a complete mix of excitement, fear and general panic! :)

I look forward to seeing you all there!

Cheers

Tim…

2014 OTN MENA Tour

Just a quick shout out to the 2014 OTN MENA Tour, which starts in a few days. The events are:

  • Bizerte, Tunisia, 26th May
  • Béja, Tunisia, 27th May
  • Riyadh, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, 29th May
  • Jeddah, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, 31st May
  • Dubai, United Arab Emirates, 1st June

This is the first time this tour is happening, so please show your support and register.

Good luck to all the folks who are taking part. Unfortunately I can’t be there, but I hope to take part in a future event…

Cheers

Tim…

OTNYathra 2014 : India OTN Tour

Just a quick note to say the top-level approval for OTNYathra 2014 – India OTN Tour has been granted. Next, we’ve got to submit our individual travel approvals and see how that goes. If everything goes to plan, I will be representing the Oracle ACE Program on this tour in February, which visits the following locations.

  • Jalandhar – 18th February
  • Noida – 20th February
  • Mumbai – 22nd February
  • Pune – 23rd February
  • Hyderabad – 25th February
  • Bangalore – 27th February
  • Chennai – 1st March

Fingers crossed everything goes to plan. :)

Cheers

Tim…

APAC OTN Tour 2013

Just a quick plug for an upcoming OTN tour, that I’m not on this year.

  • Auckland, New Zealand : 8th November (agenda)
  • Perth, Australia : 12th-13th November (agenda)
  • Tokyo, Japan : 13th-15th November
  • Beijing, China : 17th-18th November
  • Guangzou, China : 19th November

I attended the OTN Asia Pacific Tour in 2011, which included some of these locations. Hopefully I will get to do it again in the near future. :)

Like any conferences, these events are all about the attendees, so the more people that turn up and the more vocal the attendees, the better the events are.

I’ve seen the agendas for the Auckland and Perth events and they look cool. I hope everyone has a good time!

Cheers

Tim…

OTN Tour of Latin America (Southern Leg)…

Hola (that’s all my Spanish used up).

Olá (and my Portuguese too).

The Oracle ACE program has approved my inclusion on the OTN Tour of Latin America (Southern Leg), so in about a month I will visiting:

  • Santiago, Chile
  • Lima, Peru
  • Montevideo, Uruguay
  • Buenos Aires, Argentina
  • Sau Paulo, Brazil

Apologies for the English spelling of names. :)

I did the Northern Leg of the tour last year and it was great fun, but incredibly tiring, so I’m starting to get the fear over this trip. I know I’m going to love it, but it’s going to be really hard work as well.

Can wait to meet everyone!

Cheers

Tim…

OTN Tour of Latin America 2012: Cali, Colombia…

Let me start by apologising for spelling Colombia incorrectly on previous posts. I think I’ve corrected all the mistakes (I hope). Also, the name of the tour doesn’t really reflect the actual locations, since it contains two South American, one Caribbean and three Central American countries. I’ve heard multiple names for the tour, none of which are quite correct for all the countries involved, so I’m going to stick with this name for the sake of consistency. Once again, sorry if any people don’t like the tour name…

Update: I switched to “Latin America”, since this fits more of the countries (5/6). :)

I was sent a bunch of security notices before traveling to Columbia and I must admit I started to feel very nervous. As it turned out I had nothing to be worried about. Like most places around the world, if you are naive you can get into trouble, but if you take sensible precautions you will be fine. During my stay in Cali I had a great time and never once felt unsafe.

One of my lasting memories of Cali will probably be the fruit. I ate (and drank) loads of fruit. It just tastes so good!

The conference went really well. It’s always a little scary using a translation service, because I talk so fast normally. I tried really hard to keep things slow and not waffle too much. I hope I managed it. People were a little reluctant to ask questions in the sessions, but several people came up to me later to ask questions after each session.

Robin was a great host and made sure we had a good time. I’d like to send a big thank you to him and everyone else at the conference that made it go so smoothly. Also a big thank you to the ACE program and the tour organisers, without whom this would not be possible!

I’m not too great with a camera, but I did take some photos.

Cheers

Tim…

OTN Tour of Latin America 2012: Travelling to Cali, Colombia…

The journey from Birmingham to Cali (Colombia) was very long!

It started with a quick flight across to Amsterdam and a 1.5 hour wait for my connection to Panama. The flight to Panama took about 11 hours. It wasn’t a bad flight, but it felt super-long because I knew it wasn’t the last flight of the day. I had a 4+ hour wait at Panama for the final flight to Cali.

Panama airport is pretty small and not really the place to hang around for 4 hours. Just about the only entertainment was watching the “junk in the trunk” that was on display everywhere. I don’t think I’ve ever seen anything like it before. It seemed like everywhere I looked was something that made Jennifer Lopez and Beyonce look like they had flat asses…

The final flight to Cali was over pretty quick. I landed and there was a guy waiting to take me to the hotel. I checked in at about midnight, and got to bed at about 01:00 local time, making it a very long and tiring day. Unfortunately, I woke at 04:00 and I’m typing this at 05:30. Today is the beginning of the jet-lag wars… I must remember to grab any opportunity to sleep, no matter how small.

Cheers

Tim…

Birthday and OTN Tour of Latin America…

Tomorrow (Monday) is my Birthday and also the day I fly out to Colombia to start the OTN Tour of Latin America. On the positive side, the timezone changes make my birthday last quite a few hours longer. On the negative side, I’m going to spend 14 hours in a plane and 8 hours in airports. Good job I don’t really do Birthdays…. :)

I’m still feeling quite nervous, because it’s a complicated trip. I’ve been delaying packing a long as possible, because packing is the sign that it’s really happening. I’m out all day today, so I will have to do some adrenalin packing tonight or early tomorrow morning. Adrenaline packing is always the best approach in my opinion. :)

Not surprisingly, two and a bit weeks on a plane will make me pretty slow at answering questions, so please don’t have a cow if I take some time to respond. Remember, you get what you pay for and I do this for free. :)

Cheers

Tim…