CA Trip 2019 (#1): Beyond Work

September 22, 2019

So, I just got back from a one-week business trip from California. I got the opportunity to go visit the company's headquarters in Redwood City which was really really cool. I got to meet the people I usually work with virtually. It is always nice to have a face behind the name and the voice.

This time, it was only two of us from the team who went for this trip. Compared to my two previous trips to the US, this one was really project-focused because the main agenda was to go talk and discuss items about the tasks that we needed done with the different teams in the company. Previously, the main agenda was the Operations summit, which mainly involved meeting other employees and doing team-building activities with them.

I don't want to talk about work here, mainly because that's confidential and second is because what I wanted to remember most are the things that I learned and experienced beyond work. Here's a round down of them:

I am so amazed how comfortable I am now moving solo. I guess my Japan trip really helped me grow as a traveler. Usually airports stress me out, but now it's as comfortable as lining up to ride the shuttle to the office. I was so relaxed the whole time.

It's nice to read a book while in flight. I brought with me one of the books I bought at the last Manila International Book Fair. Initially I thought reading on the plane would make me feel dizzy especially during turbulence, but fortunately it didn't affect me. And so I read the book until I was sleepy. That's when I turned off my seat's reading light and put my eye mask before settling down to sleep.

I am very comfortable during long flights. I realized I like these "limbo" moments in life, like being asleep and being on commute (walking, riding the shuttle / plane). During those moments, you are just in a mode wherein you don't think / talk too much. You are in standby/hibernate mode and you don't worry about anything, just waiting for you to reach your destination. During these times what I like doing the most is just listen to music. The only problem I had about the long flights is my knees. This is the first time I traveled to the US with my knees injured, and boy did they hurt throughout the flight. At one point I thought I'd need wheelchair assistance. Good thing the pain subsided when I elevated my feet (I just stepped on my shoes). I also had to stand and stretch up to subside the pain on my knees. 😣

There are two kinds of friends around you -- those that real, and those that are not. I realized that it is important to know who your true friends are. Friends don't lie. Friends are concerned about your well-being. I've mentioned before in the blog that my receiving love language is time, and I believe it also applies to my language for friends. I will be forever thankful to my friend who really made an effort to spend time and to accompany me every day. I can't put into words how I am really really thankful for that. She definitely made this trip less lonely and "disturbing." Friends will tell you the truth even it hurts you, because in the end, they're all after for training you and letting you be aware that yep, there are harsh realities that you have to face in life. I gradually accepted that this is not my fault. I am not the problem. This is something that is out of my control. I just had to release these negative energies and move on (yup those morning walks and night conversations really helped me cope). 😊

Going wireless is the future! For this trip, I got to purchase some gadgets that completed my no-wire set up. I first experienced it with the bluetooth keyboard that I purchased a few months ago. Now I am extending the wireless setup on my mouse and headphones! Now I don't have to always untangle those stubborn wires! #freedom

Nature really relaxes and resets my soul. I appreciate the greenness now more than ever. My hotel has a lake in front of it, and every morning I would see ducks quacking and serenely swimming in the waters. I feel so relaxed just looking at them. Also, I discovered this jogging track nearby with such beautiful greenery view. I got to walk around these area during the cool peaceful hours of the morning, and I got to say those moments were my favorite parts of the trip -- having some alone time with nature during the crack of dawn.

There will never be enough food. One thing I like about going on trips like this is trying out new food! Darce and I went to Asian restaurants mostly and I loved every one of them. My favorite discoveries are plum wine, yuzu aladdin sake, saba shioyaki, and that curry hotpot in the Taiwanese restaurant. All our eating adventures deserve its own post, so watch out for that!

Pictures, or it didn't happen? Nah I realized that's not the metric to say how much fun I had during a moment. There were lots of unforgettable moments and conversations that happened that would be ingrained in my memories for a while. I connected with influential people, strangers and old friends. The fact that they would recognize me when they see me from now on is the best takeaway that I got from this trip. Also, comfortable silences with another person is a gift from heaven, especially for a socially awkward person like me. :)

Lyft is heaven-sent! Can I just express how easy it is now to travel around SF? All thanks to Lyft. Hehe. I couldn't imagine going around San Fransisco and San Mateo without a car. It's a good thing we have this kind of technology, I can go to different points of the city within minutes riding a posh car!

I felt that the Universe took care of me. There were circumstances that could have gone the wrong route. I just got so lucky. But I guess I won't gamble it next time. This is the last time I would do that. 😅 Also, I define being lucky as being on the right place at the right time. Well, luck is with me during this trip (Felix Felicis in the works again, eh?). I'm just so happy I got to accomplish this one task -- I didn't dare hesitate to do it when I saw the opportunity. Looking back, I realized it was the only opportunity I had. If I held back during that time, I wouldn't have another chance again. So yeah, I was so so happy I was able to accomplish that. 👏 I also learned that most of the time, things are not as worse as I think it is. It is definitely scary to face the unknown, but never seeing it and overcoming the fear is more disturbing. There were some moments wherein I tensed up with fear, but I braved and did it anyway. And guess what, it was not as bad as I thought! Each time I realized that, I gave myself a nice pat on the back. 😀 Good job self! Keep going!

Really, you'd think you already know everything about a person, until you realize you don't. I don't know him enough, but my first impression with him is that he's the kindest person around there. I hope he gets through this. I wish to see him again, because I know he brings happiness to someone I know. 😊

I'm so glad I got to do this trip. More posts (and photos) soon! ^_^

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