I am posting this photo and this entry merely as evidence that I am still alive and well in Hanoi. What you see here is me “assuming the position”. As of late, that is in my office, at my desk, slaving away at the computer, either writing articles for newsletters, reading e-mails, reading reports, writing reports, writing e-mails (way too many!), managing my team or coming up with some *brilliant* idea of how to market and sell our six properties! I’m also likely to be setting myself up for a slipped disc in my neck again with my horrible posture, hunched over my laptop – but that’s a story for another day!
I really want you to know much I love you, I miss you, I am thinking about you and wishing I had the time to take a huge breath and break and touch base with each of you personally. I’m in my third week of “OH MY GOD I HAVE SOOOOoooo MUCH TO DO” mode. But I think all of us have been in this situation where a new job, a new adventure, a new chapter in life is nothing short of all-consuming. And so it is for me. I’m lucky if I remember to brush my teeth before I go to sleep (OK. That was totally an exaggeration! I only forgot to brush them on Monday night.).
As you can see I haven’t lost my sense of humor. Nor my enthusiasm for what I am doing. I am so proud to be the Director of Sales & Marketing for Apple Tree and I am thoroughly enjoying living in Hanoi (what I experience of it when I’m not in the room you see in the picture!).
My favorite 15 minutes of the day is my motorbike ride to work. The “Tang Man” (real name: Anh Tanh) picks me up at 8am most mornings. I hop on the back of his bike with my brief case between us and purse clutched over my left shoulder. I watch with wide eyes as mornings in Hanoi unfold. Sights of ladies selling produce, men setting up their barber shops against tree trunks, families of four on a motorbike, random people trying to cross insanely busy streets, buses full of middle-aged tourists, and young “cool” guys without helmets all whiz by in a blur. But the wind in my face and the sights and sounds (even the smells sometimes) are all so exciting. It’s a thrill. I can’t wait to get my own motorbike and learn the city streets.
I hope you can lend me your patience and understanding. I miss my routine of writing, of updating my blog, of chatting with you. Love and miss you oodles and will write again soon.
On the Bright Side,
If you break my life up into chapters, I’d say chapter one came to a close the day I graduated from UCSB. Chapter two would be my growth in my professional career amid a few moves within California, with final scenes taking place in Los Angeles. The five years in Japan and this last year of travel and leisure would constitute chapter three, my years of adventure and personal achievements. What comes next is a little bit of the unknown, but I want it to beautifully combine my passions and interests, as well as my enthusiasm for a successful career. Here’s a preview:
The story begins in S.E. Asia. I’m living in Hanoi, Vietnam and have a fantastic job as Director, Sales & Marketing for Apple Tree Asia in their Tourism and Hospitality section. I’m responsible for a fabulous portfolio, including a La Residence Hotel & Spa in Hue, the former capital of Vietnam. The Press Club in Hanoi and Emeraude Cruise in Ha Long Bay are also on the list. And a soon-to-be-opened boutique hotel in Luang Prabang, and The Kamu eco-lodge further up the river in Laos round out this unique and fantastic group of properties. I also dabble in some marketing for the corporate group of companies.
My day to day life includes a lot of travel, visiting the properties mentioned, but also attending trade events internationally. London, Berlin, Sydney, Cannes and others are regular visits on my calendar. I also serve as a motivator and coach for the sales teams at each property. My creativity and relation-building skills are constantly put to the test, and I enjoy meeting many new and exciting challenges.
In my free time, I have a chance to soak up Vietnamese culture, and the local scene in Hanoi. Fortunately, there is a warm and welcoming community of expats who live there. Weekends are spent taking hikes in mountain or rural towns like Sapa, or joining in on the Hanoi Hash. I’m sure I’ll even spend a few Friday Nights on the Terrace at the Press Club. I may even decide to spend an occasional weekend in Bangkok, Singapore or Hong Kong. And Japan is only five hours away, so there is no doubt I am due for a visit.
It’s a nice story, right? What I am so very pleased to tell you is that it is all TRUE! I am officially employed!!! I have been waiting a little over a week to share the terrific news, but wanted to do so after the contract was signed! The ink just dried!
Thanks largely to my friend Kurt, who I stayed with when I visited Hanoi (you’ve read the story in my newsletter), I was recommended for the job, interviewed, and got it! What is wonderful is that this is exactly the type of position I was focusing on in my search. This is a move which serves as an intriguing step in my professional career and which should prove to provide many thrilling moments in my personal life, as well!
I will be headed to Hanoi sometime in December, in time for a big trade event, ATF – ASEAN Travel Forum – which will take place in Hanoi January 5th, 2009. It’s a good time to be introduced to all sorts of contacts and friends. Of course I would love to hop on a plane today, but the brief delay allows me just a bit more time with my family and friends, time to shop for business suits (it’s been awhile!) and a chance to enjoy a few more holidays before I get caught up in the craziness of a new job.
One of the things I am most pleased with is the occasion to live overseas again. I am looking forward to continuing On The Bright Side (of course!), and returning the blog to its original purpose; sharing my passion for foreign cultures and people. I mean, I could continue to pick up on wacky stories like the eating competition I posted below, or could, instead, bring you a slice of life from abroad. Hmmm. Yeah. Clear choice for me, too! Between now and my departure date, I hope to share with you any interesting facts I find on Vietnam or Hanoi, as I am doing a lot of research to prepare for my move.
While I will be appreciating a certain handful of friends individually for helping me in my job search, I do want to say THANK YOU to all of you for your support during my search. It always helps to have a cheering section, especially one filled with awesome friends! Your encouragement provided many boosts of confidence and I feel so lucky to have you all in my life!!! In a very big way – WE did it! Yaaay!
If you want to learn more about Apple Tree Asia or any of the specific properties, you can click on the highlighted text for the links.
Be careful what you wish for, people. You may just get what you want!
Just two days shy of the two month mark after returning from my travels, and I am a breath away from being employed. Woo hoo!!!!
I am currently negotiating a contract which would land me the coveted “Director of Sales & Marketing” title within the luxury travel industry. This job would bring me back to SE Asia.
I want to share my terrific news, but wish to hold off on the details until everything is finalized. What I will tell you is that I am thrilled and excited and happy and have all of the wonderful feelings one would have when they are about to begin the next chapter of their life!
Soooo…I will soon have a hot little contract in my hands and when I do, I will spill more details about this exciting adventure!
On the Bright Side,