This was my third LAOTNTOUR, my first was in 2011 and then again in 2012. This year I have tried to pick a few countries that I have not visited before and 3 of the 5 are new to me.
Francisco Munoz is amazing, he has co-ordinated many user conferences in the same time period and then populated them with different ACE Directors each with a unique itinerary. Finally he has accepted help from Nelson Calero who I was honoured to meet in 2011 and been friends ever since.
My little bit was Panama, Costa Rica, Mexico, Guatemala and El Salvador. Costa Rica and Guatemala being 2nd visits.
The journey to the region was via Miami and I hope this time I have completed the right channels, the first time I flew in via Miami but out via Madrid and it caused problems with immigration on a later visit to the US.
Thanks to Gurcan Orhan and his magic spreadsheet, I can tell you that my journey covered over 14K miles, 45 hours in the air, 11 flights, 8 different hotels (1 twice) and 12 presentations. you can listen to his even more impressive stats on this video he made with Bob Rhubhart OTN Arch Beat. I also need to thank Gurcan because he selected flights that left at rediculously early times on each leg but meant that we got to see a little bit of all the countries we visited. I hated him when my alarm went off repeatedly at 3.30am but forgave him each time.
My fellow travellers provided company on the apparently endless journeys and made me laugh with their antics. Any of you who have taken part in one of these tours will know just how important that is. For most of my tour I was accompanied by Gurcan Orhan, Glenn Schwartzberg and Brendan Tierney all on their first OTN ACED tours, so I felt the responsibility!
The conferences gave me the opportunity to share my thoughts on Oracle applications and learn about how people use them around the world. I love to talk to exisiting users and future professionals and share just a little of my passion.
I can't thank Francisco, Nelson, the ACE Program at OTN (especially Vikki) and the individual user group leaders enough.