The Trip that Changed it All

germany map

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As my first post, I figured I’d drop in a little about me and reflect on how things all got started over 20 years ago.

I was 16 years old and I noticed a large German man sitting across the aisle in the airplane from me. He had his laptop out. Curiosity got the best of me so I asked him what do you do for living? He explained to me that he was in international agriculture. He had me hooked. I was fascinated. He told me his dad was a farmer but apparently he was really smart and he took his whole business to a whole new level.

That was my lifelong dream at 16. I spoke a couple different languages, so, I wanted to do something internationally.

I loved culture. I loved languages. Truth be told I was mostly fascinated by languages. My best friends growing up were Spanish and it always seem like they could talk and some code language that I couldn’t understand.

I remember thinking I want to be able to do that.

So after about the second grade I decided I’ve got to learn Spanish. I didn’t have it mastered though until I was in eighth grade. The Spanish girlfriend definitely helped. 😉

But here I was sitting across from this international executive and all I could do what’s drool over the idea of being able to be him.

Fast forward a few years and somehow by a set of circumstances, I was sitting in a chair very similar with my laptop out working for a medical company that was based out of Europe.

Sometimes I wonder if when we think about something and desire it really wholeheartedly sometimes it seems to come to past.

So how did it all happen? Well… by the time I got through my senior year in high school I was fluent in German (because I ended up being an exchange student to Germany),Spanish and had a working knowledge of French and I almost forgot spoke pretty good Italian because I worked with a bunch of Italians in a restaurant.

So, I ran into a professor that seemed to be kind of impressed with me and he introduced me to a group of people that ran some economic development work for the city where I was living.

He told me I’ll introduce you to those folks and maybe you can do an internship. Unfortunately the internship was free of charge as you can imagine. And for a young broke teenager that wasn’t exactly what I was hoping for but it would do.

It was through that internship that I met a German man who owned a medical company. He told me that I had the right name when I went to interview with him. His middle name was the same as mine and his son’s name was the same as mine so I think that’s really the only reason I got the job and the fact that I was fluent in German and most Americans couldn’t pull that off. Come to find out all of the computer systems like word and excel in his subsidiary in the U.S. were all still in German. So, he couldn’t have hired anyone that didn’t speak German.

I ended up working with that man for six years. We’ve become lifelong friends. And he was the door that opened for me to become the guy sitting across the aisle with his laptop open smiling because he had the world by the tail.

By the way, if you are in Orlando and want some great authentic German Food, click here.