IBM has offered me an opportunity to work in Mainz, Germany, for a temporary assignment. You can imagine how I felt when I spotted that email, lurking in my inbox, especially when you consider that my family name Braren is German, and my last long overseas trip was to northern Germany, when I was 11.
The work there has a little something to do with virtualization. Sign me up! I don't know any German language, but the technical writing I'll be doing will all be in English. Phew!
I haven't driven a stick shift car since I was 18, so time to brush up on those skills. Glad my Dad taught me how. Don't worry Germany, I'll keep my tiny Hertz hatchback over in the slower right lane, out on the Autobahn.
Can you tell that I'm excited about this challenging adventure, and look forward to this great opportunity, a mere 4,000 miles away? Newark NJ to Munich Germany, on Lufthansa, overnight on Sep. 17th.
The timing does mean I can't possibly make it to the Home Server Show Meetup 2014 in Indianapolis this year, boo hoo me. I did get to have fun there last last year. Maybe I'll do a Google Hangout at some point.
I'll be staying in Austria near Mittenwald Germany from September 18th to 20th, then onward to Munich through September 21st. Next, it's eastward to Mainz on Sunday September 22nd, for most of the rest of my 4 week stay.
Hope I can take advantage of downtime on those middle 2 weekends to get out and meet some folks, especially when you consider Germany is in 3rd place for overall site traffic to TinkerTry, with the neighboring much smaller Netherlands in an impressive 6th place for worldwide traffic ranking.
If you'll be anywhere within a few hours drive of me, please let me know, since I'd love to try and get out on evenings or weekends to meet you. Please just Email, Tweet, or Google+ me soon. I'd love some restaurant or tourist advice as well.
Admittedly, I haven't quite squared away the nano sim for my Verizon iPhone 5 quite yet, still working on that. But you can bet I'll be bringing some gear with me, to make that Mainz hotel more of a home. This will be the longest I've ever been away from home, in my life.
So it's back to preparations for the big trip for me, beefing up my home's infrastucture, cleaning up after some recent data disasters, and training the family on keeping things running smoothly while I'm away. Like my VPN, for example ;-)