Thoughts and Questions, travel

The trip is finally almost here! 🇵🇭

Finally the trip is almost here. After a long time of planning, the trip for Monel and I is right around the corner. We have one week to go and at this very time seven days from now, we will be on the airplane ✈️ heading to Manila.

We are both so very excited to be able to spend another long flight together and to be able to experience traveling in the Philippines. I’m very grateful to be able to take this time off of work and I feel blessed to have a boss who will allow me to take off some extra time off while also getting some work done while there. It will both help me enjoy more time on the other side of the planet as well as not be far behind when I get home. I am going to make sure that I completely disconnect while I am gone though for at least a good portion of the trip.

Unfortunately, we have gotten some bad news recently that Monel’s grandfather is not doing very well right now and he is ill. The timing happens to work out almost perfectly that we will be able to see him while we are there but it is a shame that he is ill right now.

I’ve been having many thoughts and prayers for him and his health so that I can get the chance to meet him when we are visiting. My outlook for this trip is very positive, we are both very excited and I am still a bit nervous, but I know that the trip will be great. I have a great person to guide me through the Philippines and I’m trying to learn a little bit of Tagalog as well, however, I cannot speak it fluently so I will need her assistance of course.

While visiting we have some extra trips already planned, which I am stoked for. Visiting Boracay and Coron will be absolutely amazing!

Stay tuned for more updates and pictures!

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Stay classy!

Adios,

-Mark

Daily Prompt, Mindfulness and Meditation

Daily Prompt – Relieved

One of the great feelings in life (for me at least) is the feeling of relief.

Relief comes at the perfect times, it comes at the worse times, and sometimes you don’t get relieved at all.

A simple reason why I enjoy feeling relieved is right in the word itself (RELIEF) which also points to release or to remove a burden from yourself. Being an engineer in the automotive industry, there are a lot of deadlines that have to be met and it can get a little hectic at times. However, once you get a big portion of a project done and have everything documented and properly released, you can sit back and say “Ahhhh”, and that is the sound of perfect relief and gratification for a job well done. 

Make sure you take some time to enjoy the feelings of relief, it is hard to say how long they will last and when the next one will come about. 

What kind of things do you feel relieved above recently?

Stay classy!

Adios,

-Mark

Daily Prompt – Relieved:

https://dailypost.wordpress.com/prompts/relieved/

Achievement, Mindfulness and Meditation, Thoughts and Questions, travel

Travels: Near and Far

Recently I was asked by Cross Country Life to put more information out about where I’ve been and the things I have seen.

There are many great places around the world that I have been. Some are for work, some are for pleasure, and well I enjoy them all of course.

To start with the shorter of the two lists, my work travels of course (I will write separately later about my personal travels this far). I have been to Queretaro, Mexico on various different occasions. in 2016 I visited 5 times and 2017 this is now my 2nd trip that I am on while writing this very post. Previous to my travels to Mexico I got to visit Shirley/Birmingham, UK and Telč/Dačice, Czech Republic back in December of 2015. Prior to that was my first true business trip while working for ZF TRW. My first trip was the great journey to Seoul, South Korea and Daegu, South Korea. That trip is the one I met Monel on randomly in our airplane leaving Chicago O’Hare International Airport. I had no idea I would be sitting next to her or that we would even end up talking at all. Now here we are, almost two years later and going strong.

Mexico

Mexico has been a wonderful place to visit of course you can see that in my post from earlier. Here are a couple of pictures from today to show you some of the things you can see in Centro Historico district in Queretaro if you ever come to visit. The food featured in the picture is at a restaurant called Chucho El Roto, pictured is the Chucho El Roto Molcajete along with the appetizer of Grasshoppers (yes, grasshoppers). It is a wonderful restaurant that I have been to a couple of times in the past and absolutely love it. The food is fantastic and in a wonderful location right downtown. Also the Aqueduct is a famous thing to see while in the city. It was built to carry water down from the mountain into the city many years ago. While visiting this time there was a festival going on and you can see pictured a clown and a tiny car (they had an old Volkswagen car show going on). If you ever have the urge to visit central Mexico, I highly recommend checking out Queretaro.

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UK and Czech Republic

Moving along to the UK and Czech Republic visit I did back in 2015 (December), I stayed in the UK for about 9 days and then went to the Czech Republic for 4 days.

While staying in the UK I got to visit a number of restaurants. One of the favorites in that area was the Miller and Carter Steakhouse. If you are in the area and looking for a good place to eat, highly recommended by me. 🙂

We also got to do some checking around the area and enjoyed looking at the different types of buildings. Another great place in the relative area is The Red Lion Tavern. It is an old style tavern but definitely worth checking out if you’re into that kind of thing. They only accept cash so make sure you’re ready for that.

While visiting over the weekend we went and checked out London, which was amazing by the way. Seeing Big Ben, Tower Bridge, the London Bridge, and various other great buildings. While visiting we made sure to get as many pictures as we could and see as many sights as we could. One of the more interesting parts of that visit was the protests outside of Big Ben.

The Czech Republic came next and that was like entering another world of its own. The language was hard to understand and driving there was difficult because of that. However, we did get around just fine in our Skoda car. A lot of open farmland and beautiful country side by the area we were staying in (Telč/Dačice). Telč has an awesome old style castle town which has some interesting little shops and things to see. There isn’t much in the town itself but our hotel Hotel U Hrabenky was awesome! Great food served at the restaurant and wonderful beers as well. Dačice is where our plant and test facility was located so we drove there everyday to work and found the drive was quite easy but there isn’t much there (even less than in Telč). If you’re planning a visit to the Czech Republic, I would highly recommend staying where we did in Telč but make sure to spend some time in Prague, I have heard it is amazing but we didn’t get to spend much time there other than in the airport.

South Korea

My first business trip was to South Korea. Obviously I mentioned above that it is still one of my favorite trips for very good reason :), I met Monel on my way there!

First when I arrived there in the airport at Seoul, Monel and I were very tired from talking throughout the entire 13 hour flight from Chicago. I loved the entire flight, but I was also looking forward to getting some sleep at the hotel near the airport. The next day I woke up to find out that the person I was supposed to be meeting didn’t actually end up coming, so I met up with two of the other people I was supposed to meet anyways and we got ready to take along train ride to Daegu (southern South Korea). In Daegu is where we stayed for the two weeks of our trip while working with our supplier on assembly line equipment. I learned a lot during that time, both about myself and about my work. Daegu is a great city and I would love to go back and visit someday. I had a friend I knew through work who lives in Korea who showed me around during the weekend and a few extra days that I stayed there. It was great having him show me around to the different parks and hiking on the Bukhan Mountain. He also showed me the DMZ (Demilitarized Zone) between North and South Korea. I will say that was a very interesting and peaceful thing to see, even though it was closed the day we went to see it.

One of the great things I loved about Korea’s restaurants is the service. They don’t come and check on you every 5 minutes while you just stuffed a bunch of food in your mouth. Instead, they have buttons on the tables (at most restaurants) and when you need something you can push the button and next thing you know, someone is at your table to help you.

The Korean people have a high regard for being hopeful and positive towards the future by placing their faith in different objects. I learned this while hiking one day with my friend and he showed me a few different instances of exactly this.

Hiking with him and conquering the mountain was amazing! I had a great time as I always do while traveling.

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Let me know what you think of this post and I hope you enjoy my future writings. I will be posting some more information about personal trips soon.

Stay tuned!

Stay classy and awesome! You Rock!

Adios,

-Mark

Thoughts and Questions, travel

Travel to Querétaro, Mexico

I am traveling to Querétaro, Mexico 🇲🇽 for work this week. I will post some pictures if it isn’t raining the entire trip. Hoping to get a lot accomplished during the week and solve a lot of issues at our manufacturing plant as well as the customer vehicle assembly plant.

If we don’t set goals for ourself each week then what are we aiming for? What is our driving force to get through the day and week? How do we justify the weekend fun if we don’t work hard and put our time in?

The answers to these questions may be completely different for many different people. But, to conclude, you should always have goals in mind for the week of professional tasks and personal tasks that have to be taken care of. 

Good luck with your journeys and look for more content coming from Mexico. 

Stay Classy!

Adios,

-Mark

Mindfulness and Meditation

Busy week of work this week, but still made time for exercise

This week was beyond busy with things at work. I had to follow up on multiple issues and discuss many different things with the customer as well as internal team members. Being an engineer can be quite stressful at times but managing that stress is very important, anyone who is an engineer can vouche for that.

Through all the busy time and stress of this week I still made sure to get to the gym every morning before work and to try and get my 10k steps in everyday (wasn’t quite successful this week haha).

Some further planning is needed yet for Monel and I with our upcoming trips and visits but we are getting there. I am very excited to travel again, obviously I love traveling. Keeping things in perspective all the time is a key ingredient to staying appreciative of the things that one has earned or achieved rather than becoming expective and getting let down when something doesn’t go according to the way that things make sense inside of the brain. This is obviously easier said than done for many people. One of the many things I have realized over the years is that no matter what is going on and how stressful things can get, it always helps to take a step back and breathe. Doing this while focusing on what’s going on and where life has brought you to can truly have an uplifting vibe to the rest of the day and week. Meditation can be a great way to relax and focus better on personal mental health. It’s like doing exercise for the brain and soul. If you haven’t tried meditation, I would greatly recommend it. Another option from meditation is what is called gratitude training or just try reconnecting with nature. I often find that taking a walk outside during a stressful time greatly reduces the stress and building anxiety. 

If you’re looking at getting into meditation or relaxation, I highly recommend the app called Headspace or another one called Zen. They are both great for getting started. There is another great podcast for meditation as well. Check the links below for a quick and easy shortcut to each. 

Stay Classy!

Adios,

-Mark

Headspace App (iOS)
Headspace App (Android)
Zen App (iOS)
Zen App (Android)
The Meditation Podcast