8 Country, 15 City Trip in 17 Pics and Videos

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6,000 miles, 8 countries, 15 cities, and dozens of new relationships later…we made it! It was such a blessing to meet all my new friends and clients along the way! Thank you to Samsung USARed BullGoPro, and Bose for creating such amazing products..we couldn’t have had a successful, well documented trip without you! Below I have documented my trip in 17 photos and videos.  Enjoy!

1. This six seater Cessna 206 floatplane carried us from Orlando to Finland. Prior to this trip, I had never flown in a floatplane.

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2. During our time in Charleston, we got to meet up with a group of Charlestonians relaxing on their yachts. They were down to try something a little unconventional: tubing behind a float plane. Hey, why not?

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3. One of the most inspiring and fulfilling connections made along this journey happened at Local Works. It is a collaborative working space started by a group known as Lowcountry Local First. I had the privilege to meet many of the entrepreneurs who work out of Local Works, and they are pushing the limits in Charleston. Their businesses are changing the city from the inside out. I left Charleston inspired by their creativity, energy, and passion. I plan on continuing to build relationships with the group at Local Works. I love Charleston!

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4. Flying over this lighthouse near Boston was a special moment. My father, who was recently diagnosed with cancer, has always loved lighthouses. Since he’s gotten sick, he hasn’t been able to travel and see any of these beautiful places. In my mind, this lighthouse represents all of the things he’s going to do and see after he defeats cancer. It is also a great metaphor for the reality of life as an innovator. You often have to stand alone on the shore, beckoning others to new possibilities.

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5. Bucket list item: go to a game at Fenway Park and take a picture with the ball girl on the field. Check!

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6. My day at Harvard University was an eye opening experience. I spent the day talking with students and educators who had lots of great ideas on how business and education can work together for a better future.

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7. Before leaving the United States, we made a stop in Bangor, Maine to install an extra 150 gallon gas tank in our Cessna 206. It’s a long way across the ocean, and we weren’t going to take any chances that we would run out of fuel.

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8. Orange is the new black, right? We chose to wear specialty cold water wetsuits for the trip across the ocean. They would have kept us alive for one hour if we had happened to crash into the ocean.

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9. Flying into the tiny town of Narsarsuaq, Greenland (population 150), there were icebergs floating in the bay. My business partner Clint often compares businesses to icebergs. You see the tiny part at the top floating above the surface, but below the water lies an unseen mass of processes, people, and all too often, problems. We started Fluxxr to talk about the part of the iceberg under the water – the part that drives the business and controls its health. Seeing these chunks of ice was a beautiful reminder of why I wake up each morning excited to go to work.

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10. While this photo is beautiful, it shouldn’t have happened. We had to fly at an altitude of 1500 feet the whole way from Canada to Finland because the weight of our extra gas tank made it too dangerous to fly higher. Air traffic control’s radar picks up any planes flying at higher than 500 feet, and we forgot our GPS tracking unit in Boston. We were totally off the grid every time we were in the air.

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11. Flying at 1500 feet made for some amazing photo opportunities! Again, the tip-of-the-iceberg metaphor is so appropriate for what is going on in our business and the businesses of our clients.

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12. I learned an important lesson on building relationships from this Scottish entrepreneur. He’s known as the “Silver Fox.” His business, a traditional Scottish pub, is home to a wall covered in postcards from around the world. He’s made connections with over 300 people who have sent him postcards from their home countries. He asked me to send him a postcard with a picture of Mount Rushmore on it because he’s never met anyone from South Dakota. When I think of the Silver Fox, I’m reminded to focus on building long term relationships with the new entrepreneurs and business people I’m meeting.

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13 and 14. Scotland is home to the coolest people! He couldn’t get over Wade’s name and the fact that he was from the “US of A!” He even treated us to some traditional Scottish singing and dancing.

 

15. The hills and valleys of Norway were incredibly beautiful. I can see where the resilience and determination of the Scandinavian people originated. Making a life in these rugged hills and fjords is not for wimps. Sounds a lot like the entrepreneurial community…building businesses up out of a rocky landscape of opportunity and risk.

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16. Near the beginning of the trip, my friend David, a skeptical Charlestonian lawyer, asked what I did for a living. I explained how I spend my time, and his response was, “So basically, you sell rainbows and kittens.” I used that as my job description the rest of the trip. Here’s your rainbow David!

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17. What else do a pilot and a traveling storyteller need? Red Bull, Bose, GoPro, and Samsung kept us fueled up, on track, and entertained.

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Thank you for participating in this journey with me.  There will be more to come soon!

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