21,000 miles in 41 days.
This summer, with new hire classes in Poland and Hong Kong scheduled back-to-back, I packed my bags and went on an extended 41-day trip around the world. It wasn’t until I landed back in the U.S. that I had a “wait, let me Google this” moment. Using AirMilesCalculator.com, I discovered that in the course of my ventures from Raleigh to DC to Frankfurt to Gdansk to Munich to Hong Kong to Los Angeles to Philadelphia to Raleigh, I had traveled nearly 21,000 miles in 41 days!
In part one of this two-part series, I will recount some of the highlights from my time spent in Gdansk.
Gdansk, Poland – With this being my fourth trip to Gdansk, the city started to feel like a second home. This time around, I felt as though I had finally mastered local public transportation, could communicate in toddler-level Polish, knew the best spots to eat/drink, and had a solid list of favorite sites to visit. More importantly, I also adapted the new hire training curriculum and my teaching style to be more EMEA-focused. With the help of our Coleman Gdansk site leaders and local managers, we were able to successfully and efficiently get the latest class up to speed in a very short time. I am very proud of this class and the others in the Gdansk office who will serve as great mentors to them.
Summer in Poland is great – not too hot, not too cold. Sopot is a fun area – it’s only 10 minutes away from Gdansk, and that’s where you’ll find the beach. The weather in July tends to be quite nice, but unfortunately bad weather likes to follow me everywhere I travel. During my visit, Gdansk experienced one of the worst heavy rainfalls in its history, which turned streets into rivers, train stations into pools, and malls into slip-n-slides. My hotel survived the storm, but the nearby supermarket and mall did not.
Poland came close to making the Euro Cup semi-finals this year; unfortunately, they were eliminated the day before I arrived in town. However, this did not stop the locals from enjoying the festivities. The Euro Cup was all anyone talked about, and the locals were really proud of how far their team made it in the tournament. I’m a Philly sports fan; we always lose and I always cry, so I give them props for their emotional fortitude.
“Pokémon Go” was also released in Europe while I was in Poland. Remember those people in Central Park ditching their cars and stampeding to catch rare Pokémon? Well, that didn’t happen in Poland, but the game was very popular there as well. Lunch breaks turned into lure breaks, and the parks of Gdansk are now being visited by people every day. A major highlight for me was having the opportunity to see Avicii perform live. Currently ranked as the #7 DJ in the world by DJ Mag, Avicii publicly announced earlier in the year that due to health reasons, he would be retiring and this would be his last tour ever. Raleigh does not often get many shows from big-names, so from the moment I found out Avicii would be in town, I was overflowing with excitement. The legendary DJ performed one of his last shows ever at Stadion Energa Gdansk (the venue known for hosting the finals of the Euro 2012), with me in attendance. I’ll never forget it!