30 October 2017

Elyssa’s trip to Scotland June 2017

Here at AmDee we encourage our staff to travel. We are a remote company, so why not use the ability to work anywhere so long as you have internet? Our only catch, when you return we want them to write an article about their travels. No one, not even our Project Manager who also handles the blog is exempt. In June I traveled to Scotland, and 4 months later have finally put pen to paper (or keyboard to screen) and compiled my thoughts and answered Amar’s questions about the trip.

I have always loved travel. While I don’t remember my first plane trip, I do remember some day trips into New York City with my grandmother and parents when I was very young. As an only child, I felt like I had free reign in the city with my family, exploring museums, roller blading down the sidewalks, the tall buildings and the hustle and bustle. Somewhere along the way I realized that while I enjoy visiting cities, I love spending time outside and in places that are naturally beautiful.

Spending 78 days on my bicycle exploring America, coast to coast, provided me the opportunity to decide where I wanted to live when I was done. I finished the bicycle trip in Oregon, and reviewing photos I had taken still takes my breath away with the natural beauty that still exists. I then moved to Oregon for 9 months before obligations brought me back to the East Coast. Yet with all of my adventures in 2016 my parents had been left on the East Coast to track my progress via the ‘find my friends’.

So, in the rainy winter months of the PNW, I was watching a car show which mentioned a route in Scotland that is a rival to Route 66 in America. Now one thing you should know about my family, we’re a car family. Fly to visit family in Florida,  we can drive and then we won’t need to rent a car. Work taking you to Detroit, ya my dad will drive that. Want to visit college friends in Kentucky, it’s only 12 hours I’ll just drive that. So I began planning a flight and road trip to see this Scottish route firsthand.

On June 19th, my dad, mom and myself parked our pickup in the long term parking of Stewart airport and boarded a flight for Scotland. After over 6 months of planning, I had flights, hotels and the car rental booked for a week long vacation to explore Scotland and more specifically the North Coast.

AmDee: So you’ve returned from a week abroad in Scotland. What made you decide to visit Scotland?

Elyssa: Actually I was watching “Grand Tour” on Amazon. They were in Scotland, near Loch Ness, and made the mention of the North Coast 500 being the closest competitor Europe had to Route 66 in America. When I got into cycling and I knew I wanted to tour (extended travel solely by bike) in Europe. My parents had a bit of a fit about me wanting to cycle it alone so I modified the trip into a weekly-long driving tour with them as my co-pilots.

Amar: In the time you’ve worked with AmDee you’ve done a fair amount of traveling. What does it gain for you to travel?

Elyssa:  That’s right. I started with AmDee in January of 2016 and since then I’ve been across the country by bike once and car twice. I’ve been to Scotland, I took a few days to go to Boston by bicycle from New York City and I spent a long weekend in Maine. I love that Amar and AmDee allow me to travel. I love being able to work remotely. It allows me to be outside more whether I’m sitting on my front steps working, in a castle in Scotland or working in a laundry room in Maine.

I get to see new places, meet new people and think about things in ways I probably wouldn’t otherwise. I grew up right outside of ‘the city’ where you know people by sight but may never know their name. It’s interesting for me to travel to places where everyone knows everyone, and those who they don’t know aren’t looked at with concern but welcomed into the community. This is especially true when I travel by bike as I’ve been offered water, money, and places to stay when I’m on my bike tours.

But I think international travel takes it a step further though. The news in America seems to only show the worst. I’ve always had difficulty when people tell me something and expect me to blindly believe it. I want to find things out for myself. And travel has allowed me to see, through first hand experiences. Sometimes things don’t go according to plan, and yes there are some bad places but there is also far more good in the world. Some of my most memorable experiences have been the challenges. The times everything went smoothly, well I’ve forgotten those times.

Amar: Have you found this knowledge to be helpful at AmDee?

Elyssa: Yes. I don’t want to say I always wear rose tinted glasses. But having having first hand experience of how things can go wrong during travels and being able to think on my feet to overcome the challenges has made it easier for me in my role as project manager. I’m more eager to plan really meticulous details and to take the metaphorical cube that is the problem and twist it around until I can find an answer that solves it.

Amar Trivedi

President and founder of AmDee, Amar provides insight of nonprofit technology through occasional guest blogs for AmDee and others. He has been a software developer and architect since the mid-1990s.

Elyssa Respaut

Elyssa works as an occasional writer when not otherwise managing projects.