Monday, June 23, 2014

New Blog for New Travels

Hey Friends and Family! I've started a new blog to catalog Landon's and my travels during our European Adventure! It's called Mack Travelling in the spirit of our other brewing blog Mack Spirits that has basically gone by the wayside since we got BeerSmith.

So here's the story:

In the summer/fall of 2013 Landon applied for an internship with ABB in Baden, Switzerland. ABB is an international company known for their work in power systems, robotics, and propulsion. If you've ever taken a cruise and you may have noticed that the cruise boats often begin moving by propelling themselves directly perpendicular to a dock. ABB makes the propulsion system that allows such huge ships to move in any direction. Landon learned about ABB through school at an engineering career fair and because they have a sales office on NCSU's Centennial Campus and their US headquarters and research facility is in Cary, NC.

The principle investigator (that's a science term, not sure what he's called in engineering) was very interested in Landon primarily because of the safety training he's received both in the military and at KoneCranes. Originally, however, they wanted him to come from February to May. Obviously, this wasn't possible as Landon was in class during that time. Thanks to some unpredictable and lucky (for Landon) events, they decided they could use him from May to August. From the time he was offered the position, Landon had less than two months before he left! He actually moved his last exam up by almost a week so he could get to Switzerland on time! He won't return until two days before classes start for the fall semester.

Landon has been in Switzerland for almost 8 weeks now and has really started enjoying his time in Europe. He is loving the project he's working on and really feels like he is making legitimate contributions to a very meaningful and high-value product. He (obviously!) misses having companions (me, duh.) to talk to on a regular basis and share his amazing experiences with but overall he is really enjoying his time. Since he's been there, Landon has visited most of the major Swiss cities as well as Rome, Brussels, and Cinque Terre (Italy). He's kept "journal entries" for all of his travels and I will try to upload those once I can get to his pictures.

Shortly after Landon left, I booked my trip to visit him. While booking, I somehow miss-counted my weekends. I wanted to have four weekends to travel with Landon, but somehow I ended up with five! I'm extremely lucky to be a self-employed contractor for the US EPA and can generally make my own schedule as long as I work X hours during my contract year. I also work on an awesome team that encourage things like travel and adventure! The Swiss are so awesome that they are actually giving Landon 6 paid vacation days even though he's only there for three and a half months. We're using those days to make long-weekend trips to Madrid, Berlin, Prague, and Vienna. While Landon is working, I'll use my Swiss Pass to travel all around the country and experience all the different cultures that coexist within a country that is close in area to the state of Maryland.

We will both have cell phones for emergencies but the best way to contact us is via email. We will, however, only be able to check our emails when we're at Landon's apartment or have other access to WiFi. I will try to update this blog on the train home from all of my inter-Switzerland travels but again, I can only post when I have WiFi.

We're looking forward to our travels and can't wait to come home and share our experiences with all of our friends and families.

PS, the blog background is the Matterhorn, one of the tallest and most famous peaks in Switzerland.

And here's a random picture so I can see what it looks like with the layout:

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