A Travellerspoint blog

Barcelona and Leipzig Bookfair

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View 2016 Trips & 2015 Trips on AndreaLed's travel map.

It's Saturday morning, 8:12 am and I'm sitting in the ICE train Leipzig to Munich. It's been a busy week: I was in Barcelona on Monday/Tuesday and then took the train to Leipzig on Thursday morning, way too early. It's been one of these weeks where the traveling has been too much, mostly because I was traveling with colleagues and that always involves going out and drinking too much in the evening. You might want to say it's my own fault if I'm hangover and tired, but unless you are either a very disciplined or a very boring person, it is difficult to stay in the hotel and go to bed early when everyone else is out and about at book fair parties. Still, at 1 am I felt like crying because I was just too exhausted and overwhelmed from the week, so I went back to the hotel for a few hours of sleep before catching the train home.

I'm flying to Egypt tomorrow morning (again 6am, what's it with the early flights??), vacation this time, 1 week beach and kitesurfing. Right now, I'm not looking forward to it at all, I just want to lie in my bed in Munich and be left alone. But on the other hand I haven't been kitesurfing for a year and am sure to get back to normal quickly after a day of doing sports and hanging out at the beach with my friends. Since I travel so much for work, actually taking vacation has been become a bit of a problem for me. I've always been someone with tons of dreams and places I want to see, but nowadays when I think of time off I just want to stay at home. I know that everyone around me understands that and, even begs me to then just do it(!), but when you've always always used your vacation to discover new things and visit friends & family elsewhere it's hard and and I'm always in conflict on what to do. Ach, too much overthinking again, I'm sure Egypt will be awesome and will take my mind off work and other things which are constantly in my head! And I love being a surfer girl!

Ok, so let me end this post by sharing a couple of happy impressions of this week when I've felt so lucky to not have a 9-5 desk job:

First of all, a beautiful view of the mountains breaking through the clouds on my flight to Barcelona:
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Just being in Barcelona. Being able to speak Spanish is one of the best things in the world for me and I go into Spanish mode within an hour and then just can't stop talking and laughing. My 2 Spanish colleagues Sara and Paola are just wonderful, I am so happy to work and travel with them:)
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Watching my colleagues and our authors present at the Leipzig Bookfair. Fairs are so busy and loud and overwhelming and go-go-go, it always is a very special atmosphere and I feel proud, important and part of something big:
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Stayed @Barcelona:
Hotel: Silken Ramblas (Rooftop pool, right by la Ramblas and Placa Catalunya)
Amazing Food: A tu Bola (best falafel I have ever had)

Stayed @Leipzig:
Hotel: Westin Leipzig (pool, gym, wonderful massage therapist and next to the trainstation)
Dinner: Pho Viet (good & lots of food, atmosphere is okay)

Posted by AndreaLed 00:32 Archived in Spain Comments (0)

How to Stay Sane when Travelling (for Work)

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So these are my facts and golden rules of work travel. I travel about 4-5x a month for work, mostly for 2-4 days in a row within Europe and I always fly to my destination. 4 times a year I am in our headquarters in Seattle where I stay a week and then usually combine it with a weekend trip to see my sister in Washington DC or my relatives in Vancouver. Last year I also was invited to 4 weddings, all within 3 months and in 4 different countries. AND one of my favorite hobbies is kitesurfing which it is a liiiiittle hard to do around Munich ;)

So to cut a long story short, I travel A LOT! And I easily get overwhelmed, tired, sick, cranky and homesick! So to stay sane and keep enjoying (my after all) privileged position, I've developed a couple of golden rules & travel quirks! Work travel newbies and especially brainwashed frugal Amazonians might believe these are optional, but let me assure, they are really important to follow if you travel 50% of your time.

So here they are!

(1) Booking & Planning!
One of the most important things you need to figure out is what your ideal travel rhythm is. E.g. do you prefer to be gone 2 weeks in a row and then be at home for 2 weeks OR do you rather travel every week? Do you prefer round trips or do you like to come home even though it is only for 1 night? I did a lot of experimenting last year and for the moment have landed with 1 week traveling - 1 week at home - 1 week traveling etc. and after 6 weeks like that I need a 2 week break at home. If I combine my work trip with a weekend (e.g. to visit friends or discover a near-by city I don't know yet) I make sure not to overdue it, i.e. the next weekend has to be at home again.

Another thing and a really important rule of mine is not to book a flight leaving before 8 am and arriving after 9 pm. On this one, you have to know that it is not very common for an Amazonian to travel and it is part of our company culture to be frugal when we travel. So many of my colleagues (who don't travel as much as I do) tend to believe they are expected to take the cheapest flight option which of course leaves at shitty hours. But flying is working! It makes a hell of difference if you fly at reasonable times, I feel so much better since I started insisting on it! When I started traveling like this last year, I got used to feeling noxious most of the time because I was so sleepdeprived. It's crazy how normal it gets to feel sick, especially if you have a personality who tends to push yourself. So, don't save -- SLEEP!

Ok, I'm going to go ahead and publish this now, because I'm flying to Barcelona tomorrow morning and need to go to bed.

Next chapter: Packing ;) Handluggage-Only, guys!

Happy Sunday from Munich xx
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Posted by AndreaLed 13:10 Archived in Germany Comments (0)

Mein München<3

Amazon & Afterwork & Alcohol

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I had another week at home between travels this week. I got back from 5 days in Luxemburg not feeling very well and am always amazed how I immediately feel better once I step through the door. One stupid question I hear all the time is: "You travel all the time, why the hell do you still have a flat in Munich?!" - Well, folks, I would claim that I appreciate being at home probably more than most people! I love my flat, it is in the heart of Munich right at the Isar river, 1 bedroom, an amazing eat-in-kitchen (Wohnküche), balcony...just love it. I'd love to get nicer furniture, but I have the typical nomad problem in that I feel that too much stuff weighs me down. I love throwing stuff away, I want to comb through my apartment for things I don't need anymore tomorrow and already feel a little excited about that:D Weirdo.

So, even though this is a travel website, one note about work first: I had A LOT going on this week and a very ungrateful boss, so here's a BIG BAD

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The weird part was that it was really great week for my team this week. We went out on Thursday evening to celebrate the end of Alexandra's internship and on Friday she got the confirmation of being accepted for a brand specialist role at Amazon in the UK! I really like being a people manager, it is so rewarding to have worked on someone's development for 6 months and now she is ready for an actual job at Amazon! Proud Mama :)

The other pictures are from the Kindle Alumni Reunion yesterday night (and 1 with Ralf, the bar owner of the Schampunade at the Viktualienmarkt, go check it out when you're in Munich and love champagne;)). But back to our Kindle reunion: Seeing Barbara and Birgit and Heinrich and all the others was so lovely and reminded me of the crazy time we launched Kindle in Germany on the 22 April 2011. I miss being on a launching team and I want to be that again...plan is to find an awesome job on an awesome new secret project at Amazon in Seattle by the end of next year :) Keep your fingers crossed!

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Happy weekend and more tales from Barcelona and the Leipzig Bookfair next week! And then it's finally some time for a vacation -- 1 week Kitesurfing in Egypt!

Peace out!

Posted by AndreaLed 05:38 Archived in Germany Comments (0)

Luxemburg - Lëtzebuerg

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Luxemburg, I love you. So much fun, so many friends, so much work, so many drinks.

Just a couple of pictures for today.
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Posted by AndreaLed 11:31 Archived in Luxembourg Comments (0)

London, Baby!

If you don't know which TV series I'm referring to, get out.

sunny
View 2016 Trips & 2015 Trips on AndreaLed's travel map.

Yeah, so I was in London again this week! Other than last year my priorities are Germany and the UK this year, so I'll be here more or less once a month. The Amazon UK office at Holborn is the best one in Europe in my opinion, look at the view:
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I'm here every 4-6 weeks for retailer meetings and to catch up with the team. This time I flew in for a day early on Sunday to take advantage of the city and do some sightseeing. Unfortunately I had a liiiiittle too much to drink the night before with my friends in Munich, so the plan to visit the British Museum didn't really work out :/ Oh well, I had a really nice walk to the river instead, saw the London Bridge and walked to St. Pauls from there (about 15 min walk). St. Pauls is a beautiful little cathedral and I was in luck to walk in just in time for the end of an organ concert.

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Travel Details:
- Hotel: Barbican Hotel London (has a pool, gym & sauna, nice breakfast, metro station Barbican)
- Transportation: Heathrow Express, London Metro (get an Oyster Card if you visit London more frequently)

P.S.: ;)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6-ma0ZDQ6Ig

Posted by AndreaLed 08:03 Archived in United Kingdom Comments (0)

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