August 24, 2007
The nicest thing about being on holiday outside of the states is the ability to walk through an unknown street in an unknown town and be relatively sure that the majority of those around you have never seen you before or know what language or dialect you speak. What's even better is that the same applies to those around you.
That said, I personally have managed to run into people I know on remote streets in India, Hong Kong, Australia and Israel throughout the course of my travels when neither of us knew we were traveling to those areas.
When in nomad's land however, you can wander aimlessly through foreign streets, never look at a watch, miss a meal or two or three if you choose and avoid examples of technological innovation if you so choose, with the exception of cell phone usage in the streets, which is pretty much becoming dominant everywhere.
Don't get me wrong, I love what technology has done for my life, largely as a tool to communicate with people I know and care about around the world. But distance from it gives you the kind of perspective you can't get when you're baked in it 24/7. It gives you more humanitarian ideas of how it can be used when you return to the engineering factories of the companies you work with.
I highly encourage everyone in the tech industry to do a walkabout in a foreign land away from (far away from) from the tentacles of technology once or twice a year.
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