Travel and Trade

This week I am going on a work trip. Flying.

It’s been a while since I have flown somewhere for work. I suppose technically my first work trip was when I flew into the Soviet Union December 1991.

Since then, I’ve had to fly around for jobs that require photo badges. My 2nd work trip was to Washington DC. I try to think of what that destination has to offer, what that spot has that’s different from where I live, and experience that.

D.C. was easy. My colleague and I went to the Smithsonian.

Some places take more thought. This week I’m going to Atlanta, to visit Coca-Cola headquarters. We don’t have much time. Maybe the headquarters of Coke Corporate is a sufficiently unique experience. I can check that box. Still, I’d like to see what more is there.

I’d like to try what foods they have that are special. I hear Georgia peaches are good, but I don’t think peaches are in season. I’ve been to Atlanta before, and I ended up with a man at a piano in a hallway, talking and singing. He was very good at playing, I wished I could remember a song to play as well, but I was shy. I mostly sang.

He was actually from Texas. But when I told people later what we’d done, they said that was very Atlanta.

It was fun.

How do they do things differently? What do they know that I don’t? How could we help each other?

Trips should be fun. I get to travel hundreds of miles away–paid for by someone else–I want to taste and see what the world has to offer.

Mat Ridley (author of The Rational Optimist) talks about how trade is what made our far back human ancestors beat out the Neanderthals for dominance.

We shared what we had and what we knew. And the world got to be better and better for us. Good ideas can spread through trade, he says.

I agree. If a person can hold it in their hands, try it out for a long time and come up with their own opinion about it, that’s pretty convincing.

I am looking forward to seeing what Atlanta has to offer me this time.