Archive for the ‘Work’ Category

Going Back to Work

Don’t worry, our trip around the world isn’t over yet! We just had some business to take care of in Yokohama, and our return to work was only temporary. It had been six months since we last set foot in a working environment (sob story, we know), but to be honest, we were a little anxious about going back to work. In true business traveler fashion, we took the Shinkansen high-speed train from Kyoto after sightseeing there for a week. You have to have a job to take this train, as the two hour ride costs nearly $150/ticket!

The Shinkansen (a.k.a. bullet train) that we rode from Kyoto to Yokohama reached speeds over 300km/hr!

When we arrived in Yokohama, we traded in our backpacker wardrobe for business attire and prepared ourselves for four days “on the clock.” Spending several hours ironing clothes is not our idea of a fun first night in a new city, but getting dressed up in clean, pressed business attire actually felt quite refreshing. When you’ve been living out of a backpack for months on end, new clothes feel like a new car.

First day back at work!

We were in town for the 10th Annual ISSCR Stem Cell Research Convention, which brought together researchers from around the globe. We were working as private contractors manning the booth for Novus Biologicals, Amy’s former employer in Colorado. Our job was to let researchers know about antibodies and other related products that may be useful to their stem cell studies. Amy has worked numerous such conventions in the past; for Mike it was a brand new experience. He got a crash course in antibodies before arriving in Japan and did a stellar job with his science lingo. Thank you, Novus, for the opportunity to work ISSCR!

Mike helping out a curious researcher

The Novus booth was our home for four days in Yokohama.

The event took place at the PACIFICO Yokohama. This convention center is situated along the water and near some great restaurants and parks in Yokohama. We were lucky enough to have a bit of time to sightsee before and after ISSCR.

The PACIFICO Yokohama on one of the few sunny, rain-free days during ISSCR

This amusement park is situated right next to the convention center, which made it easy for us to take a roller coaster ride before the first day of the show!

View of the skyline from Yamashita Park

Our hotel was located just a few blocks from Chinatown, one of the largest of its kind in the world, which provided for some great people watching and delicious meals, and the hectic vibe actually brought us back to our recent travels in China.

The East Gate to Yokohama’s Chinatown

We seem to be ending all of our posts recently by talking about food, so we may as well keep with the trend. No business trip is complete without a fancy business dinner. We enjoyed an incredible Kyoto-style dinner one night with Amy’s former boss and a Japanese distributor. With ten courses, three types of sake and good conversation, it was a real treat to say the least.

2nd Course: squid, pike and sashimi served on ice.

All in all, going back to work went very smoothly. It was a good reminder of the hard work we did to make our dream of traveling the world come true. So for now, it’s back to life on the road and doing the work that we love, blogging about our travels. Who knows what the future will hold; we are focusing on living life in the present.


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Willingly resigning from a job that you love to go on a trip around the world for a year doesn’t sound that bad, but when it actually comes down to it, its not so easy, and definitely not fun.

Informing our employers about our pending trip was something we knew we would have to do eventually, but time flies, and November was here before we knew it.  Sometimes you have to step out of your comfort zone and take a risk in order to reach for a goal.  Traveling is ours, so we said adios stability! Shit just got real.

Both of our companies were surprised but supportive.  We will be sad to leave, and we think the feeling is mutual.  A lot of people at work have asked about our travels (we hope you’re following the blog!) and have made some great suggestions too.  It’s nice to leave a company on good terms, knowing it’s a place where you would happily return to work.

After the dreaded resignation talks were had…dun dun dun…bubbles!

Champaign Celebration

Celebrating taking a major step towards realizing one of our dreams!

Resigning was a bit of a relief, to be able share our excitement with everyone, but also a reality check, to realize how much more planning and preparation we need to accomplish before we leave.  Did we mention that Mike had shoulder surgery 2 months ago?

We did check another big item off of our to do list recently, selling Mike’s car.  Craigslist once again proved its greatness; car sold to the first person who made contact.  Score.  $$ in the bank.

The next few weeks will include a roller coaster of emotions, finalizing details, hiring our replacements, packing and moving, and yes, more immunizations.  Mark your calendar for December 16th going away party at our place.

And likely more bubbles.

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