planned flexibility

Cleveland Travel Blog

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I'm finding that planning a three week trip to Korea and China, which includes scheduling up to 20 meetings in 7 cities--Seoul->Gwangju->Hong Kong->Shenzhen->Shanghai->Suzhou->Beijing--with people I either haven't communicated with before, met before or both, is like herding cats.  I've already racked up several hundred dollars in airline penalties for changing flights and I still have one or two more that need to be rescheduled. 

Speaking of which, our flight over to Seoul from JFK and then back to LA is business class, which on a 747 is upstairs in the hump.  Service is supposed to be pretty good up there although the guys who went a couple of years ago were somehow able to upgrade to first class and I haven't heard the end of how great it was.  The part about gifts and foot massages seems a little far fetched but who knows.  My boss asked me how much the airfare was for the entire trip and I told him it was about $8,500.  He said, 'Oh, that's not bad at all'.  That mindset will definitely come in handy considering how much hotels and meals are in Seoul and Hong Kong. 

I've been told several times that flexibility is key on a trip like this, which I'm sure is true, and is all well and good, but I'd still prefer to leave as little as possible to luck.  All of the big things are pretty much taken care of so I suppose if a few smaller things don't get done it's no biggie.  Still, 'smaller things' on an overnight trip to Chicago is a whole lot different than 'smaller things' in HouJie Town.  Speaking of which, isn't that a great name?  It sounds like something from a Pointer Sisters song...........or not.

The business meetings should be interesting enough, but I'm really looking forward to the weekends, particularly the second one in Hong Kong.  No surprise there.  I understand the restaurants are incredible, ridiculously expensive, and quite a bit different from the, "Do you want chicken feet or duck feet tonight?" that you'd find in HouJie.  Although from what I understand webbed feet aren't all that bad.  Plus, any knockoff you could possibly want can be had for practically nothing.  And seriously, who could tell?  I mean other than the fact that you're wearing a different Rolex every day of the week.  The second weekend will be in Shanghai and the third in Beijing.  Each will probably have a different feel.  We'll see.   


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