Author: Patrick


Our Family World Trip was packed with adventures. Many of them have made it in some way into this blog already. However, for different reasons some interesting numbers and stories never made it into our social media or blog posts. In this post I want to mention some odd and funny stories and also give some numbers, which several of you have asked before. Kilometers we travelled In total we travelled around 57.300 km by Read more…


During our Family World Trip we learned a lot about what is useful and what is a complete waste when travelling. In this post we want to share some lessons we have learned and hope it will help some of you on future trips. One of the best advices is to pack less! It is unbelievable how few clothes one really needs. Almost everywhere we found washing machines or laundries. Most of the links below Read more…


What was your favorite (and least favorite) place? It is impossible to give a straightforward answer, because not only are most places completely different, but we also visited each country a little differently. Sometimes we stayed in hotels, two times we drove around in a motorhome, many times we had our own apartment and two times we stayed with family. Hence, to compare one with the other would not be fair. Nevertheless, the places where Read more…


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First of all: By now, we have returned home safely! The final chapter of this amazing Family World Trip was Ireland, the land of St. Patrick. It was quite a change from bustling and exciting New York City. The first couple of days we spent in the capital Dublin. After some weekend sightseeing there, we rented a car and embarked on one final road trip. From Dublin we went to Kilkenny then close to Limerick Read more…


Wow, spectacular, amazing! There are simply not enough words to describe our exciting time in New York City! It was a fantastic, yet very intense time in the Big Apple. We spend a little more than a week in the financial center of the world, but thinking about how many famous sights there are alone in Manhattan, it is impossible to see even half of it. We visited what first came to our mind without Read more…


The last three weeks we spent in and around Montreal. The city that held the Olympic Games in 1976 is located in the state of Quebec directly at the huge St. Lawrence River. Quebec State is the French part of Canada and hence the long forgotten French which I learned in school came in very useful. Indeed, I remembered much more than I ever imagined. We explored a lot of Montreal: amongst it the Olympic Read more…


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From Florida we travelled further north to the south of Canada. The first two weeks we stayed in Toronto, Canada’s largest city. We arrived just in time for the Canadian summer, which can be quite hot. Fortunately, we had a nice Airbnb with air condition in a good location just next to a huge urban park and not too far from the city centre. It helped us exploring the highlights of Toronto, like the CN Read more…


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From Costa Rica it was a short, but very early flight to Miami in the southeast of Florida. The journey was absolutely smooth this time and the kids were very excited to meet their other aunt and uncle who live in Miami. We spent a little more than a week in Florida. The first days in Miami with family, before we headed north to Orlando where we visited Disneyworld. Carolina and the kids had been Read more…


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After almost four months we are back in the northern hemisphere. Costa Rica has enchanted us within only two weeks. Although it is comparably small, the landscape is extremely versatile. Its location between the Caribbean Sea in the east and the Pacific Ocean in the west create very different landscapes and climates. It is said, that Costa Rica has one of the most versatile flora and fauna in the world. From the little that we Read more…


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Sometimes in life things do not exactly work out as planned. Whereas we have been very lucky so far, we still had to learn our lesson the hard way recently. Although we prepared our family world trip with much care and tried to think of everything, we missed one important part. Therefore, we could not fly to Panama last Friday, but had to stay in Rio de Janeiro. Despite the hassle of getting our flights Read more…


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La Boca – The Heart of Tango The weekend we went to the La Boca borough – the home of Tango. La Boca is supposed to be less safe than Recoleta or the city center. After what happened some days before on the bus we took as little as possible with us. We visited the colorful Caminito, which is rather a couple of streets than just a small street (Caminito’s actual meaning). It is an Read more…


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After a little more than two weeks, we left Buenos Aires and Argentina. The time in the land of Tango was full of different emotions. We enjoyed delicious food and stunning dance performances, were nervous when seeing some thieves stealing an iPhone from tourists in a public bus during the day, explored the city by bicycle, bus, metro and foot, and were a little disappointed by our day trips to Uruguay and a Gaucho ranch. Read more…


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By now, we are travelling for three months and we have made it to the third continent. We are in South America, precisely in Santiago de Chile. I have to admit, we felt the urge to take it a little slower here. During our stay in New Zealand we have seen a lot. That was good on the one hand, but on the other hand we were always a bit rushing. In Chile we stayed Read more…


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Another two weeks into our family world trip adventure. It seems like time flies. During the last days we have done some heavy campervan sightseeing across New Zealand’s northern island. New Zealand is a stunning country. The combination of natural beauty, cultural heritage and many different people with different origins make this country unique. In the beginning we spent some days on the Coromandel peninsula north-east of Auckland. Then we went to the center of Read more…


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Our marvelous stay in Australia has come to an end. We had an extraordinary time in and around Sydney and all of us are sad to leave this gorgeous country. The last two weeks we went on a road trip in a motorhome. It was our first ever motorhome experience. We explored the coast north of Sydney without driving too much. Nelson Bay, Coffs Harbour and Tuncurry were the places we went to before heading Read more…


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The last two weeks in and around Sydney have been very exciting. We saw much more of this beautiful city. Amongst it were Taronga Zoo, Sealife Aquarium, Madame Tussaud’s, several interesting markets and the Australian Museum. One Sunday we followed the coastal walk from Bondi beach to Coogee beach. This coastal walk was very beautiful. We also carried on with our café assessment and definitely have our favorites now. Last weekend we went to the Read more…


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We are in Sydney, Australia! We have arrived a little more than a week ago. The flight from Bangkok to Sydney was smooth. In a central and lively neighborhood we found a nice place to stay for us. Overall we will spent four weeks directly in Sydney. Thus, we have time to explore the city in a bit more detail. The Sydney Opera House, Sydney’s most famous tourist attraction, we visited right away the first Read more…


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We are about to leave Thailand and our next stop will be Sydney in Australia. The last three weeks here in Thailand have been a huge experience for all of us. We learnt a lot about and with each other. Although we only saw a small part of this fascinating country, we leave Thailand with a very good impression. I think, this has been a very good place to start our Family World Trip. After Read more…


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We just left Khao Lak – the beach town that got hit so hard by the tsunami in 2004. I remember that day exactly. I was in Goa, India, and there were breaking news everywhere. Today there are hardly any signs of the catastrophe 15 years ago. Khao Lak is a beach town absolutely dominated by European tourists. It is crazy, that more people here speak German, than in some of Germany’s neighboring countries. We Read more…


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We finally started our Family World Trip. At this moment we are sitting at a beach bar on Koh Lanta in Thailand enjoying cocktails while watching the sunset. The kids are chasing a cat and playing in the sand. Life here is much more laid back and relaxed than in Bangkok, our first stop. Nevertheless, even though Bangkok is much more hectic and much polluted we liked our first stop over there. Although we were Read more…


In less than two weeks, my wife, the two sons and I will head off for what will very likely be the adventure of our life time! All together we will go on a family world trip. For seven months we will travel around Thailand, Australia, New Zealand, Chile, Argentina, Brazil, Panama, Costa Rica, USA, Canada and Ireland. We will use all sorts of transportation, like plane, car, bus, train to completely surround the world Read more…


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About three months back I left a stable and well-paid job at one of Germany’s largest companies. This company, Munich Re, offers its employees a lot of social benefits and security. It is a good place to work with many very nice colleagues. I last worked as an IT Sourcing Manager. Within that function I was the overall project manager for a large global transition project. A position with a lot of responsibility and visibility. Read more…


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Amitava Gupta I am Amitava Gupta, working as Global Delivery Manager for IBM GBS in India for over a decade. I am a very optimistic and solution-oriented person, like to communicate with people at work or otherwise, and dream of a world where people will show more love and affection towards all animals on earth. I hail from Kolkata, West Bengal – a very crowded city on the bank of river Ganges. People from this Read more…


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Last week I attended the very interesting event “Media meets Smart Home” event organized by the Mediennetzwerk Bayern. The event looked at the present and future of smart homes in general. Furthermore the more than a dozen different speeches focused on the consumption of media within smart homes. It was a good mix of different topics that all contributed to the big picture. My personal highlights were Christiane Varga talking about how technology is changing Read more…


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Swaminathan Nagarajan Swami Nagarajan is a seasoned IT professional with 25+ years of consulting and IT experience in driving accounts for growth, delivering large programs and developing and enabling various solutions to cater to specific customers. Currently he is leading the solutions group for Financial Services that is called ORC (Opportunities Realization Cell). As part of this, he develops point solutions to specific customer needs bringing together different offerings and products, builds business cases, undertakes Read more…


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In the beginning of last week, I visited the Google Cloud Summit in the International Congress Center in Munich. Initially, I tried not to compare the event with the Fujitsu Forum in two weeks earlier. However, I could not resist the temptation, because some topics were similar. The main focus was obviously on Google’s Cloud Platform and its recent updates. Other topics related to the cloud platform were collaboration within companies, artificial intelligence as service Read more…


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Last week I went to the Fujitsu Forum hosted in the International Congress Center in Munich. The conference was a good opportunity to talk with several industry experts about the latest technology and business trends. It was also good to catch up with recent developments in technologies that have been around for some time. There were several keynote speeches throughout the three days. The quality of the keynote speeches was very high – in terms Read more…


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Yesterday I visited a software intelligence workshop organized by CQSE at the Technical University of Munich. The event consisted of five very good presentations from different industries. Thus, the afternoon was not only informative, but entertaining as well. I have worked with CQSE and their software quality tool TeamScale a lot in the past. I believe firmly, that investing in software quality pays off in the mid- and long-run. Especially in outsourcing of software development Read more…


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I just came back from the Inspire 2018. The event was very well organized by ValueLabs and hosted at The Dorchester in London, UK. The venue was absolutely perfect for this, indeed, inspiring event. Over one and half days there were several very good talks and plenty of possibilities to connect with peers from all over Europe. For me it was very interesting to discuss the challenges, needs and differences in IT Outsourcing. Especially when Read more…


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A couple of days ago, I had the chance to talk to Jon Maiden, CEO & Co-Founder of Panjango. The topic was Improving Education with Panjango. We discussed about how Panjango is on a mission to improve how we learn and educate our children. I strongly believe, we need to rethink the way we teach kids in school. Therefore, I was eager to know about Jon’s view and also his ideas on how technology could support Read more…


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Jon Maiden I’m Jon Maiden, the Co-Founder and CEO of Panjango based in Sheffield, UK. At Panjango, we’re on a mission to transform the way the world learns by building a world of experiential learning that connects learning to life and equips young people with the knowledge, skills and experience needed to find their purpose and fulfil their potential. We have already launched an online platform for schools which gamifies and gives context to learning, Read more…


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This week I had the chance to visit the trade fair eMove360° Europe. The fair’s topic was ‘Mobility 4.0: electric – connected – autonomous’. It was very interesting to see so many different innovations around e-mobility. I had several good conversations with industry experts at the fair. Coming back to the fair’s topic, I thought ‘electric’ very dominant. From an IT perspective the ‘connected’-part came short and was not innovative. The ‘autonomous’-part was hardly present. Read more…


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A couple of days ago I attended the Docker Enterprise on Tour event. The event took place at the Hofspielhaus in Munich. It was an unusual, but good venue to host such an event. Everything was very well organized. I have been interested in container technology and especially Docker for some time. I heard a lot about it and wanted to find out, whether it is just another overhyped buzzword or really a game-changer in Read more…


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In about two weeks I am participating in the Munich Marathon event. This year, the new BrazzoTech running shirt will find its way on Munich’s streets for the first time. I am excited! On this occasion I want to share my latest fundraiser initiative with you. This time I want to raise funds for the project Educating 200 Children in 4 Slums in Delhi. As I have lived some time in India, this country and Read more…


This fundraiser is coming to an end. I am very happy to announce, that together we have raised $1.000! This will help to improve the level of education for children in the Amazon region. A big thanks to everybody! In case you wanted to participate, but somehow missed it, no worries – the next opportunity is planned and will be announced shortly. Remember, every bit of help sparkles. Dear colleagues, I am moving on to Read more…


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The Preparation After the successful hike with the younger one to the Schliersbergalm a couple of weeks ago, the older one wanted to go on a hiking tour, too. That meant we had to look for a rather easy hike. I did some research and found a nice and easy hike from Bad Wiessee at the Tegernsee up to the Bauer in der Au. According to one of my hiking guides it was supposed to Read more…


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Arriving in Schliersee It is holiday season in Germany and this year this means, it is very hot. To get away from the heat at least a little, the younger one and I decided to go for a hike in the nearby mountains. Equipped with our Deuter Kid Comfort III child carrier, a lot of water, sunscreen and uv-protection wear we were good to go. We took the morning BOB (Bayersiche Oberlandbahn) towards Bayrischzell. The Read more…


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During the world cup 2018 a group of Munich Re IT colleagues from Hartford, London, Munich, New York and Princeton have placed their bets in a private world cup 2018 sweepstake. Whilst there were several office pools in each location in the past, this was the first global IT office pool. The competition caused funny, partially heated debates almost every morning throughout the duration of the world cup. After a tight and interesting race until Read more…


Lately I completed my Machine Learning course by Stanford University on Coursera. I thought it might be helpful to share my experience briefly. I chose Machine Learning because I took some courses around this topic in university years ago. Hence, I already had some (almost forgotten) knowledge and wanted to use my technical background a bit more again. Content and Structure The course itself is structured very well. The entire content is divided into eleven weeks, Read more…


The last days in India I spent in McLeod Ganj and Chandigarh. I took a Tibetan cooking class and finished the website for the Tashi Choeling monastery. They even gave me a little farewell present. I still have not figured out entirely what it is, but nevertheless I was really happy about it! In Chandigarh I stayed with my friend Anuj again and celebrated Diwali with him and his family. That was awesome. The flight back Read more…


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My India trip has reached the second half. I am in McLeod Ganj, near Dharamsala again right now. This is the place where the Dalai Lama and the Tibetan government live in exile. Unlike last time, I did not meet the Dalai Lama this time. Nevertheless, I absolutely love this peaceful place. I took a Tibetan massage course in which I learned a lot about the human physiology. Apart from that I explored some very Read more…


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After Hampi I went by night train to Bangalore. I reached Bangalore early in the morning. I slept well on the train and was in a mood as good as one can be at 6 am in the morning. However, when I got off the train station and got the first impression of Bangalore, I was shocked. I have seen a lot of India, but Bangalore made me turn around instantly and buy another train Read more…


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Sitting in an internet café on such a hot day is a relief – trust me. A lot happened since my last post. From Goa I went to Hampi by bus and surprisingly there were almost only foreigners on the bus. It was a nice change and I made some travel-buddies, because a lot of them just stayed in the same hostel as I did. That happens often during my travels, because everybody seems to Read more…


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I am back in Goa again – finally I made it! Since I was here the first time in 2004, I always wanted to come back! After seeing the Ajanta & Ellora caves near Aurangabad, I went to Pune. Pune is a thriving IT city near Mumbai. Unfortunately the weather was really bad and it rained heavily. I only stayed 1 ½ days in Pune, but could not visit any sights due to the weather. Read more…


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After participating in a Bollywood movie in Mumbai, I went by night bus to Aurangabad. I had decided to go there last minute. Thus, I only got a seat right in the front next to the driver’s cabin. Initially, I thought this is good, because I can see more of the landscape and have more leg space. I was right about only one thing: I saw more. However, driving up to the Deccan plateau at Read more…


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I am back in India! I arrived last Friday night and instantly had a lot of memories coming back to my mind. The taxi ride from the airport to the dodgy hostel, where I stayed the first nights, was impressive once again. The diversity in everything is exciting. Not just speaking of poverty and slums, but especially of colors. It seems like almost everything that can be found in India, can be found in Mumbai, Read more…


Shortly before I head to Brazil a quick overview about what happened in good old Germany during the last couple of weeks. Overall, it was an atmosphere Germany has never seen before, with German shirts, scarfs and flags literally everywhere. It is so cool that we can finally show some patriotism again without feeling like a racist. Even old people were wearing German shirts or bracelets. Unfortunately, we did not achieve our main goal in Read more…


My time in the United Kingdom has come to an end. Very soon I will go back to Germany – not for long though, but wow, eight weeks in Germany this year – sounds almost like a record. However, I get really sad – leaving this country and this city. I know I should be used to it as mentioned last time, but I can tell you it is the same damn hard thing every Read more…


After stressful weeks at university with a hell lot of assignments it is getting more and more relaxed now. There is not much left – fortunately! Two weeks ago, I came to know about a half marathon in Sheffield and although my doctors back home would get a heart attack straight away if they heard I was even considering to participate in it, I did it. Together with some friends we decided to accept the Read more…

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