Hey tent readers, I’m Andy and I work for the CEO of the tent on one of his many business ventures. For the next 2 weeks, I will be traveling with the CEO himself on a critical sales mission that will take us from Odessa, Ukraine to Madrid, Spain, and I have agreed to share my experience via this blog along the way.
Where should I begin?…
11:00 AM, Saturday November 4th.
My eyes open slowly to find myself not in the place I had left me the night before. I’m in my underwear, on my couch, with a blanket too small for my body, and I am HUNG-OVER. While celebrating my upcoming journey the night before, I neglected the fact that there was still much to do to prepare for my 2 weeks in Europe. I had a suitcase to pack, laundry to do, supplies to pick up, and business cards to acquire, all with what felt like an acme anvil had landed on my head, type of headache. Needless to say, the day was not pleasant.
11:00 PM, Saturday November 4th.
After accomplishing all my pre travel tasks, I finally had a chance to sit down and relax with my girlfriend. We only made it through one and half episodes of “Stranger Things” until she fell asleep, but it was still time well spent, as I will be away for 2 weeks and will miss her greatly while I’m gone. Its late and time for bed anyways. My first flight of the 3 I will take tomorrow before arriving in Ukraine leaves at 7 and I don’t want to miss it…
7:00 AM, Sunday November 5th.
Welp, I missed it… Between the late night and saying goodbye to my girlfriend one last time, I didn’t leave my house until an hour and a half before my flight, which meant I would arrive at the airport with only an hour to spare. Not recommended for an international flight. Luckily, it worked out anyways because the gate agent was able to convince the airline to put me on the next flight for no charge, and I got to spend the wait in the Admirals Club, something I would not have access to in Toronto. Also, instead of having a 10 hour layover in Toronto, I would now only have to wait 5 hours. So my procrastination paid off for once.
12:00 PM, Sunday November 5th.
Made it to Toronto, and I must say it is a very cool airport. Most of the seating near the gates was all tables with Ipads and power outlets. I was trapped in the international terminal though, so not much space to explore, but it wasn’t a problem. I took a seat at the bar, and watched some Canadian football. Its not as interesting to watch when there aren’t fantasy implications on the line. After 5 hours of Canadian football and a Canadian IPA, it was time to board my flight. 8.5 hours to Austria in a Boeing 767, and I will be in Europe for the very first time.
8.5 Hours later…
I have no clue what the time is, but I have made it to Austria. In high school and college, I studied German for about 6 years, but until now I have never had the chance to use it. I put my skills to work and ordered a mineral water. The airport in Vienna is very nice. Once again, I was confined to only a small portion of the terminal because I was an international traveler, but I enjoyed what little I experienced. I am tired as hell at this point due to the jet lag, but one more short flight to Odessa and I will have a nice bed to sleep in.
1:20 PM, Monday November 6th (Odessa time)
I am finally here! We are one out of two planes at the airport, and there were no jet ways, so we had to climb out of the airplane via stairs, then board a bus to the terminal. Customs was a breeze, almost too easy. They didn’t ask me anything about why I was there. Just looked at my passport, gave me a stamp, and let me on my way. Outside I found Kameron waiting for me; we got into a cab and headed out to our Airbnb.
The first thing that stood out to me in Odessa was the architecture. Living in Pittsburgh, I am big fan of historical buildings. In my opinion, the best way to learn about a city’s history is by studying the architecture, and in Odessa you could really see the history. As I would learn the next day, half of the buildings here were either built before World War 1 and the other half by the Stalin regime. Overall, I thought the structures were beautiful and unique. I think that I will really enjoy my time here, and exploring things before we head to Madrid on Saturday, but for now the jet lag has caught up with me and I must get some sleep. I will report back later this week, once I am rested and get a chance to venture out into the city some more. Until then, do svidaniya!