Cháo Cá

Nothing feels better than hot rice porridge after a brutal flight with stops from San Diego to Ho Chi Minh City. I’ll be here for the entire week, visiting friends and trying to fight off inevitable jet lag after my nearly 2-month trip to North America.

It feels good to be in Vietnam.

Cathay Pacific Meals (LAX to HGK, HGK to SGN)

I’ve reached the point in my life where 24+ hour flights with stops feel like 30 minute drives to a toddler. I’m fine for the first several hours, but the second half feels like I’ve been sucked into a vortex of pain, helplessness, sore legs, slow time, and ice cream. Ice cream does always make everything better, doesn’t it?

Written from somewhere over the Pacific…

Avocado and Turkey Sandwich at Submarina California Subs

I’m one step closer to returning home, but it hasn’t come without its hiccups. Instead of a planned departure from San Diego on United during the morning time I’m now forced to leave much later tonight with American Airlines.

A couple of things I’ve learned at the airport today: 1) airport check-in experiences in large cities (particularly in the United States) are terrible; 2) electronic documentation in the form of emails, images, PDFs on the phone, etc. are generally a bad idea; and 3) everything will be okay and there are good people in the world.

During times of high stress I find it best to remember that there’s nothing we can do to change some circumstances, like missed flights or flight delays. The only thing we can control is our reaction to them, which I’ve tried to keep mostly calm.

Next steps: LAX, HKG, and finally SGN.

Local Salad, Local Catch of the Day, Red Sangria

The last dinner of Automattic’s 2012 company meetup in San Diego was tonight. It’s also the last night of my North American trip, which lasted in total 52 days and was the longest time I’ve spent away from Vietnam in several years.

Last year I wrote a recap of the company meetup because I was so new, so excited, and in many ways so uneducated about everything that goes on behind the scenes at Automattic. This year I spent much less time thinking about how I felt “just lucky to be here” and more time thinking about how our company can grow, how to ensure that it’s doing meaningful work, and connecting once again with friends and coworkers who I hadn’t seen in a while.

I continue to love the work that I do and feel that it matters. And I continue to care deeply for my immediate teammates (the Theme Team team and Team Custom) beyond professional matters. That’s all a guy can ask for.

Tomorrow I return to Vietnam; to say that I’m excited would be a massive understatement.

Hawaiian Wahoo Taco, Cioppino, Coleslaw

The Automattic Theme Team went out for dinner tonight at Blue Water Seafood Market & Grill in San Diego. My food was incredible; the Hawaiian Wahoo Taco I ate had to be the best fish taco I’ve ever eaten. Aside from the food, it was nice to have some time with my team at Automattic. We talked themes, staying healthy, competitors of, and our next meetup locations. I really couldn’t imagine working with a better group of people right now.