Tag Archives: on the road again

How to kill time in Beijing if your flight’s delayed.

Hi folks!

Been a while – yes; but I’ve been busy. More on that…

So, you know how business trips for me are pretty much always intense, hi-tempo, tight-schedule, action-packed affairs? Well, guess what? This summer that “template” transferred over to my summer holidays. And I couldn’t be happier for it!…

In almost three weeks – first with colleagues and then with family – I visited a full 10 locations, staying in hotels, villas – even tents! Put another way, for 18 days we stayed in one place on average 1.8 days. More specifically: Beijing; Shenzhen; Guiyang; Nairobi, plus another six overnight stays across Kenya (the final one being next to Diani Beach, where we decompressed for a few days after all the tourism-till-you-drop:).

I said above I couldn’t have been happier; however, not everything went smoothly. Luggage went missing, and there were flight delays of several hours. Fortunately, the first such delay we found out about in advance of setting off for the airport, so we killed time whiled away the time leisurely at Lake Houhai (situated near the center of Beijing, some two kilometers north of the Forbidden City)…

Read on…

Atypical adventures – pt. 6: VIP volcanoes, cockpit cruising, and an airborne anomaly.

Sea-based, then (low-land) land-based extraordinary experiences – done.

Next up – time to go higher…

First – proviso: I’m no serious mountaineer into tricky climbs requiring special equipment and training. I take my mountains volcanoes seriously, of course, but I’m always one to take the paths up an incline (if there are any paths), preferring to take a meditative-contemplative approach to volcano climbing/trekking…

I’ve scaled some of the more famous volcanoes around the world, but most of them – like Kilimanjaro – have almost become mainstream these days. So let me tell you about some of the more exclusive/exotic ones I’ve either climbed – or just visited and beheld (entranced!)…

First up – Krenitsyn volcano on the Kuril island of Onekotan, which I mentioned in the first post in this series ->

Read on:…

Flickr photostream

  • Thailand
  • Thailand
  • Thailand
  • Thailand

Instagram photostream

Seoul > Tokyo > Singapore > Bangkok > home!

Finally, my Asia-Pacific tour (KoreaJapanSingaporeThailand) had come to an end. My physical body, if it could talk, would probably say “and thank god Buddha it’s ended too!”, since the tour sure was physically draining: flights every ~three days, and nothing much else besides work-work-work in-between. However, my mind would never say such a thing. It’s what I do, and what I love doing. It’s on trips away like this one when I feel fully alive – completely in-sync with the rhythm of life.

Bye bye Thailand! We’re heading home!…

Read on…

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Tokyo–Singapore: out the window – curious aerial views galore.

Today, aviation theme…

Window-seat air travel can be strange. There you are, ensconced, with plenty of thoughts whirling around in your head, but your brain doesn’t pay any attention to them – it just keeps looking out the window. Then, something aerial-awesome comes into view. Thoughts? What thoughts?! And then the hands reach for the camera almost automatically, and it’s “here we go again!” At least, that’s how things played out recently when flying on the short flight from Tokyo to Singapore, in this here mid-size airliner:

Right from the get-go after take-off the views out the window were fantastic. First up – the Japanese strong work-ethic, preciseness, and space-economy were in full view as far as the eye could see ->

Read on…

Japan three-dayer: Tokyo – lots of work, then Kamakura.

The flight from Seoul to Tokyo takes just two hours. Above Korea it was cloudy, so there wasn’t much worth looking at – or taking photos of – out the windows. Just as well really, since it meant I could concentrate on some admin catch-up (mostly checking emails) – the kind of thing that always gets neglected on a business trip with a busy schedule. On the plane I was undisturbed for most of the way (save for the flight attendant, who kept asking if I’d like another drink:). Nearing the end of the flight, I took my first look out the window to find that the cloud had cleared and Japan was clearly in view down below ->

Read on…

Our financial results – a ~sneak preview.

Hi folks!

As per usual, having only just seen off the previous year in blog format, it’s February already!

So here we are – in 2023; I wonder, will it continue the trend of being “roaring” – but not quite like the Roaring Twenties of last century? You know – first covid and the lockdowns, then you-know-what. Whatever next? I just hope there’s less roaring, and more… purring – and a lot less geopoliticism…

All this geopolitics, though – it has had one interesting effect on us here at K: it’s forced us out of our comfort zone. It made us adapt, quickly, to the new macro-reality we found ourselves in. We’ve been working harder than ever before – not quite in panic-mode, but not far from it, and we’ve ended up stronger, nimbler and smarter for it. Just as well – for who else is going to do much of the heavy-lifting in building the secure digital future we all deserve?!…

And all our hard work really has paid off: despite everything (though the official figures aren’t in just yet), we managed to maintain sales of our products practically at the same level as in 2021! Sure, we took hits in both North America and Europe, but those were made up for by boosts in all the other regions of the world. In a word: woahski.

// Photographic digression. Why? See the bold below… ->

So, like, how did we manage it? Two main ways really: first – because we’re awesome, obviously; second – we’re kinda getting used to thriving through ****storms! For let’s face it, they’re becoming the norm for us. Crisis management – what’s that? It’s simply “management” now ). Yes, of course we’d prefer calmer seas, without all the geopolitical thunderstorms we’ve zero control over. Instead the seas are as choppy as heck. So we adapt, we toughen up, we get our sea legs, and steer the ship as best we can to ride out the storm. What else can we do?…

Read on…

My annual review: the year – twenty twenty-two.

Hi, dearest readers of my modest blog (about business, travel, technology, cybersecurity, and a lot more besides that I consider interesting, pleasant, and sometimes even painful)!…

It’s somewhat unbelievable but… here we are already in mid-January 2023!

The year 2022 – oh my goodness: a tricky one, to say the least. What is it with this darn decade already anyway? First we had covid and lockdowns kicking things off; then, just as all that was finally coming to an end we get… you know what. For us here at K, that’s meant living and working amid a new reality. Tough as it’s been, we’ve managed to get out of our comfort zone, enter all-hands-on-deck mode, and overcome the new difficulties that get in the way of getting the important stuff done: building a secure digital world – despite the geopolitical s***storm that’s completely out of our control.

Still, for all its trickiness, I’d be fibbing if I were to say that 2022 didn’t feature also some great and memorable personal moments, like business trips around the world, meetings, conferences and spots of tourism, which – as per tradition now since 2011 – have been carefully logged on the e-pages of this here blog.

And now the time has come (also as per tradition (since 2014)) for my review of the highlights of the passing calendar year – mostly for me personally (+ some for the Kompany – but a dedicated post on those will follow shortly)…

If we don’t take into account online events, my schedule in 2022 wasn’t exactly the fullest, but at least it was a lot busier than full-covid 2020 and then post-covid 2021…

As per (yet another) tradition, I’ll start with my travel statistics:

The number of flights I took in 2022 was way down on my pre-covid ~centuries – in all just 60. This is around the number of flights I started taking way back in 2007-2008 when I first began practically living in a plane. Those 60 flights translate to around 240 hours up in the air last year. And as regards which airlines, I flew most of all on Aeroflot – 14 flights, then Etihad – 9, then Qatar Airways – 8. First-time flights were made on planes of both Egyptair and Royal Jordanian.

As to the number of countries I visited at least once: nine. Most were in the Middle East – three times in each of Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, and Turkey. South America featured too: Brazil and Chile:

My +1 countries for the year: Egypt and Jordan. They bring the total number of the countries I’ve visited in the world to 102. On the road I was in 20+ cities, staying in around 40 hotels (not including those we stayed at on our Magadan-Yakutsk-Baikal road trip).

Read on…

The long road home.

Hi folks!

Been a while, I know, but (as some/most of you know by now) the first week of a New Year in Russia is always a non-working week. And – suddenly – oh my goodness: it’s January 9 already. Back to work!…

Now, where was I?…

Ah yes – South America; specifically – Brazil, then Chile.

After our day of graffiti-gazing in Valparaíso, the time had come for us to head on home. Normally, such a trifle would hardly warrant a post of its own, but, normal – what’s that? I’ve forgotten…

Back in those forgotten times, flying from Latin America to Moscow was doable in a day + a night + a day. Of late: a day + a night + a non-day + a night. Thus, we flew out of Santiago in the evening, took a connecting flight in Sao Paulo, night-flight to Dubai, then an evening flight to Moscow only to arrive there early morning. Not straightforward, not normal, but that’s how it is.

These pics were taken not long after we left Santiago. I thought we’d be passing Aconcagua on the left, but I was sat on the right side. However, it turned out we were flying round the tallest mountain of the Americas the other way – so I did have a window view after all! Hopes duly up… but… then I realized why they’re stricter than usual regarding belting up when flying over the Andes:

…For it’s clouds like that can mean bad turbulence. I mean – look at that column that’s risen up like that (next pic). Not normal. Probably due to how the air has been pushed up so abruptly due to the steep mountains not far below ->

Though the ride was somewhat bumpy, the views just kept getting better:

Is that Aconcagua? Mid-left? ->


I didn’t find out. Still, whether it’s Aconcagua or not – simply gorgeous:

One thing’s for sure – there’s been some serious volcanism going on down there in millennia/billennia past. I’d noticed this when we visited Christ the Redeemer of the Andes – that the rock was clearly of volcanic origin. The view from up above only seemed to confirm this ->

We pass over the Andes, and here’s Argentina. But… desert? ->

Yep – mini-desert! Learning – and remembering – geography: always best done by being there yourself, or at least in a plane up above!

Briefly, a rainy Sao Paulo – from where we fly out again at 1.30am ->

On the screen in front of me I switch from the map to the media menu; there’s an intriguing documentary on offer, but I opt for some shut-eye instead…

The flight was a very long one, but I’ve zero photos to show you. Yes – it was dark outside for much of the journey, but also – I was sat right above one of the wings, and the plane being a gigantic Airbus-380, that meant the only thing to be seen out the window was that (just as gigantic) wing:

Many an hour later – Dubai.

A few more hours later – back in the air flying north to Moscow.

And that, folks, I do believe, finally, really – is it: my South-America December-2022 tour – done and dusted. All the pics therefrom – here and here. And now – given it’s almost mid-January 2023 already (what?!) – back to work!…