Eyes Wide Open
by Claus Mikkelsen on Mar 22, 2006
I think I’ve recovered. That is, from a 2-week excursion to Latin America, courtesy of my employer. In those two weeks I enjoyed time in Buenos Aires, Sao Paolo, Bogota, and Mexico City with a weekend jaunt to Peru and Machu Picchu (you expect me to sit in a hotel room and do e-mail all weekend?). (Dear Expense Account Police: the weekend trip was personally funded!!)
So, this was my first long trip there in 8-10 years and I must say I was very impressed with the changes in all five locations. Colombia, especially, struck me as achieving the most dramatic changes now enjoying impressive economic growth, low unemployment, an enviable education system, great restaurants and nightlife, and wonderful people. Isn’t it time we removed this country from the penalty box? It’s truly delightful! And at the other end of the spectrum, Machu Picchu hasn’t changed in about 500 years, I hear, except they now have a new transmission tower so we can all use our mobile phones while enjoying the ruins. This is progress?
But at the risk of turning this into a travelogue (which I would love to, but might be deemed inappropriate for an HDS blog), what struck me were the changes overall. I hardly recognized some of the places and it’s like seeing a 14-year old niece for the first time in 10 years.
Because of this gap in time, I’m now allowed new observations, assessments, and opinions. This is a luxury we don’t often appreciate when we see things every day. I believe I mentioned in an earlier blog that my father would only buy cars from the same manufacturer. Did he ever open his eyes to see what else might be available? I think not. Things change over time, products change, people, places and, therefore assessments.
Hopefully our customers take fresh assessments of products whenever they buy (you knew I would swing this story around to storage at some point, didn’t you?). This hasn’t always been true, however, where many customers would continue to buy from what they are used to, without opening their eyes to the alternatives.
But things do change. What was “best” 10 years ago, or even 2 years ago, may no longer be. Keep your eyes open and whether you’re buying or traveling, look for the best available.
Good luck on your trip. We frequently visit Huatulco, Mexico and are actually looking into purchasing property there.