I’ve been traveling across Asia for a few months now (and it is not over yet). This particular detour is quite different because it is a business trip, and it is a long flight all the way back to North America.
A 14-hour flight back half-way across the world (and back) is not something that one usually plans on doing during their vacation. However, an opportunity to meet some of the most influential people in tech business doesn’t come on a daily basis - so it had to be followed through. So I was on my way to Hollywood to meet some very rich people with my friend and partner Arjun and to create new opportunities for our startup: AppGeek.
Los Angeles is a city of contrasts: in part it is a home to terrible ghettoes and high crime rate. On the other hand it is an incredibly beautiful city with amazing beaches, palm trees and posh walking streets. I stayed in the better part of it (City of Santa Monica), though in a shared room with no windows, on the top bunk. It was an amazing experience. Did I mention that there was an orange tree with ripe fruit in the yard?
One of the most amazing things about traveling to America is that almost anywhere I go I feel like I am in a familiar place. And it is not because I’ve lived in Canada for most of my life. I don’t mean North America, I mean USA… like in the movies. The Hollywood has been telling its stories for a century now and I have been watching. The States are its home base (LA even more so), where most of the scenarios take place and I could not help but feeling like I’m inside a movie set.
One of the most surreal experiences was walking by the giant fallen solider mass grave (I stayed across the street). Thousands. Dead in agony or without ever knowing, in a hospital or at the battlefield, believing that they were protecting their country or forced to fight. It is simply incredible.
Have you ever seen oil pumps right next to vineyards? I have been in California and now I have. There is not much to discuss about this - I might be crazy wrong here, but it has been beaten to death: America is addicted to oil, California produces some of the finest vine in the world. It is an interesting sight though and is worth a mention.
Back to business: AKA the reason I flew to Cali all the way from China.
After spending few days in Los Angeles I was on may way to San Francisco with my long time friend and a business partner for our series of meetings. On that drive myself and Arjun learned a few things about ourselves, business world, and AppGeek (an online app recommendation system for iPhone, designed by yours truly).
It was an eight hour journey during which we had a chance to talk about the tech industry and our place in it. It’s funny that travel makes you re-evaluate yourself and what you do from a global point of view. It is especially a good practice if your business is online, operating without borders. You can not claim to sell products worldwide without actually seeing the world: how different is it from the same old hometown you stayed at for the past fifteen years. People are not the same everywhere, they never want or expect the same things. We must adjust and be prepared for change. Visiting foreign places makes you realize exactly what you are supposed to be ready for in terms of those changes.
This trip has definitely done good for AppGeek. I can’t exactly spill all the corporate secrets here but we have found a way to make the app what we have always hoped it could be - one of the best and most useful downloads for mobile devices. It will take a lot of work but we are well on the way.
After a sleepless night getting ready for a day full of meetings we were set on the way back to “City of Angels” for more. I’ve already talked about how being in US constantly reminds me of movie scenes, but have I mentioned how beautiful this country could be? No doubt there are a lot of raunchy places, but the state of California is simply breathtaking. Tired, on the long drive back we were rewarded with the amazing vistas of endless golden fields, valley oaks and a fiery sunset that has put us into an absolute aw.
I was very lucky to have my camera with me. As cumbersome and a pain in the ass to carry, it is one of the few things I own that is capable of catching something like this. Absolutely breathtaking. A probably more worthy description of this event is on ArtSocket.com: another startup of my own. You can even buy this image as a 20x35” giant eco-friendly canvas print there if you wish - it is definitely worth it if you ask me.
We had to stop driving to just get out and enjoy the view.
So there you have it, a trip to one of the sunny California, all the way from China. For business, but which ultimately turned into pure pleasure. One of the many journeys never to be forgotten.