I had the opportunity to travel to Germany this past week. The cause was presenting at the LEAD Graduate School and Research Network at the University of Tuebingen’s bi-annual retreat. My friend and colleague at that university, Christian Fischer, invited me, and I was excited to accept the invitation. I presented one of five keynote presentations.
In the weeks and days before traveling, I had some mixed feelings about travel. Our son has had a cold for the past few weeks, which taxed us; the weather in Knoxville was beautiful; and it was a lot to ask my wife to do while I traveled. But, before traveling, I also anticipated that when I arrived, it would be worth it.
It was. It has been a tremendous experience, personally and professionally. Some highlights:
- Seeing my cousin and his wife and kiddo in Munich
- Arriving in the city of Tuebingen and walking through the beautiful city center
- Getting around Munich by train and taking the train from Munich to Tuebingen
- Observing subtle but also notable differences in culture: how the Germans I’ve eaten with always clean their plates; how people are willing to disagree (constructively); how recycling is sorted
- Exploring the location of the retreat center, in Untermarchtal
- Getting to know people outside of the presentations—including at a campfire (at which John Denver and similar songs were song—to my surprise!)
I have more time on this journey to go, but I’ll stop for now. Special thanks to my wife (with a hat tip to my mother-in-law who is visiting my wife!) for helping make this possible.