Yet another flight: travelling in dev rel


Your friends might think you have an exciting life of travel, while you know it’s actually just a series of identical hotel rooms and airport terminals. Nexmo’s Olia Dukova has some tips to help you break out of those four walls.


I’m a part of the Developer Relations Team at Nexmo. There are a few of us here today and will be tomorrow as well. We’re all a friendly bunch, come say hi. Right. So I’ve only got five minutes. So this is going to be a very short talk. But I thought maybe we can speak about something a little bit different. So I guess to some this might look like an eye test. I’m not trying to test your vision. If we had a little bit more time we could probably play a little game and see how many of these you can guess. But here are the codes for airports. So I was gonna talk a little bit about traveling for work.

The reality of travelling for work

Now, so how many of you have seen maybe a little bit of excitement, sometimes a bit of jealousy in your friends’ or relatives’ eyes when you mention that you travel for work? Here we go. And this is because to them, sorry, it might look a little bit like this. Whereas to us, we all know that often it’s a bit more like this. Here we go. So we’ve got perception and we got reality.

Right. I’m not gonna dwell on this for too long but actually, I recently found out that there’s an actual website where you can find out all the little tips and tricks about how to sleep in all the different airports around the world. So if you are ever stranded, this might be useful.

Right. And here we’ve got a few Tweets about all the glamour of the dev rel life, looks familiar? Right. Actually, there’s a little pre-story to this talk. So I’ve recently been applying for British citizenship. And as part of my application form, I had to list all the absences from the United Kingdom in the last 10 years. And this is the form with 11 lines on it. Right. This is me trying to figure out the last couple of years of travel. I actually ended up having, I think it was, six additional pages onto that form.    

So as I was doing this, I realized that ever since I joined Nexmo and it’s coming up to two years now, I’ve been to 24 cities and 17 different countries. And this is how it looked. So here we go. All the different cities in the world. So I’m going to give you three little tips about how to make all these little trips an actual experience as opposed to being just another flight and just another stay in a hotel.

Three little tips for your little trips

So we’ll start with this. So use your jet lag. So we’ve all been in this situation say it’s 4 a.m., 5 a.m. we can’t sleep anymore. So we’ve got all this extra time on our hands. And the first thing we do we open our laptop, and maybe we work on our slides, check the email, whatever it is we have to do, we try to fit some work in.

So my advice is shut your laptop and go outside. And maybe I don’t know watch the sunrise, maybe go grab yourself a cup of coffee, grab a local newspaper, whatever it is you need to do but try to immerse yourself in this new environment you’re in. And I promise your day might be a little bit better for that.

Right. Tip number two be inquisitive. Another scenario: so we land somewhere, we jump into an Uber, we get our phone out. So now we finally have reception back so we can catch up on everything we’ve missed. So again try to not grab your phone straight away, try to speak to the taxi driver instead and maybe get some local advice. So I don’t know ask them where they go for peace and quiet in that particular city or maybe if you see a jogger ask them if there are any interesting trails around. You could ask a barman where to go for live music. Just try to speak to locals and learn a little bit about local culture.

And this brings us to the last tip I’ve got. Try and have some fun wherever you go. So now you’ve got all these amazing advice you’ve been given just pick one thing even if it’s just one thing and do something different. Try to make this trip something to remember. You might never come back to this place ever again. So try to make it an experience as opposed to it being yet another hotel and yet another flight. And this is it from me. Thanks a lot and enjoy your trip.

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