Category Archives: Trip

Iceland

This week is a week dedicated to recruiting for ECs and job interviews are underway. As I am not partaking of the recruiting opportunity, this is a vacation week for me. Off to Iceland! Taking a relatively short, direct flight of 5 hours, Iceland is one of the most popular short-trip destinations for HBS students.

Last year’s BGIE course totally changed the way I regard new countries. Pre-BGIE, my main concern was food and sightseeing. But now, as I look at a new country, I run it through the framework we learned in the course. During the class on Iceland, we discussed the country’s response to the financial crisis of 2008. At that time, the government had a huge external debt and current account deficit, the Icelandic Krona was highly depreciated, and the declining foreign reserve balance was sending up a red flag regarding the country’s economic stability. Should the country’s long-term sovereign bond rating be downgraded? Should they join the EU to escape from the crisis? We engaged in heated debates.

After 6 years, the situation has changed dramatically due to the rapid increase in exports, and it seems that serenity and stability has returned to the country.

Now, what I’m experiencing as a tourist is an expensive currency exchange coupled with high prices (especially foods and drinks). Umm, good for them, not necessarily good for me…

Yet, I’m enjoying my stay in Iceland immensely. There is a lot to see!

Blue Lagoon hot spring

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Geyser

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Allegedly the world’s best hot-dog store (Baejarins Beztu)

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Back to Boston!

After spending a hundred days on summer vacation, I’m now back in Boston! Approximately 90% of HBS students do a summer internship, but as a part of the more fortunate remaining 10%, I was able to spend the summer having fun. Here are the highlights:

Trip

Although I have traveled the U.S, Europe, Latin America and East Asia previously, there remained a lot of countries I wanted to visit this summer. So this time I decided to travel to West Asia and Africa, visiting four countries – Thailand, India, Kenya and Egypt.

Bangkok, Thailand: a very sophisticated and exotic city. I loved Thai food and enjoyed visiting the stately temples.

Delhi, India: as I had studied India twice during our BGIE class, Delhi was one of my “must-visit” destinations. The world’s fastest growing country was super energetic, and the economic polarization of people’s lives was thought provoking.

Nairobi and Masai-Mara, Kenya: One of the best places I’ve ever visited! The Safari Drive through the Savanna was phenomenal. I’ll definitely return after retirement.

Cairo, Egypt: It was fortuitous that I could visit this city during Ramadan. People fast during the day and indulge in fantastic feasts at night.

 

Golf

This summer I finally started playing golf! For the past several years, I often felt the need to learn to play as a business tool, but I shied away due to the time required to practice, to say nothing of the time required to play a round. Deciding there is no time like the present – I bit the bullet – bought some clubs and have started to play.

I took lessons and went to the driving range and course dozens of times. However, my score is still in the stratosphere. Consequently, one of my goals in second year will be to hone my skills and improve my handicap. (Watch this blog for news on my progress – or lack thereof.)

Business development

Although I could have spent all the entire summer traveling and playing golf, I looked ahead to post graduation and invested not a small portion of my summer in business development.

The result of these labors? I’m now working with a university laboratory to develop a new wearable healthcare device. I plan to spend considerable time on this endeavor this year.

 

Anyway, the amazingly relaxing and exciting summer is near its end. I fully enjoyed the break and am looking forward to the start of the second year at HBS!


Japan Trek

Last week, from May 23rd through 31st, 78 HBS students and their partners participated in HBS Japan Trek 2014. We visited four cities – Kyoto, Hiroshima, Hakone and Tokyo, and were treated to eight incredible, exciting and very busy days.

Started in the 1970s, Japan Trek is one of the most traditional and popular treks on offer at HBS. This intensive experience not only provides us an opportunity to learn about a new country but also introduces us to and gives us a feel for a new intersection network – Section Japan!

In just eight jam-packed days, we visited more than 30 sightseeing spots, enjoyed awesome authentic Japanese food, and drank hundreds of gallons of SAKE.

Although there are other treks offered at HBS, such as Morocco Trek, Israel Trek, and Tanzania Trek, Japan Trek is definitely the most valuable. Should you join us as at HBS, this is a not-to-be-missed event!

 

 


Year End

This year was arguably one of the most memorable of my life – getting into HBS, settling into Boston, and spending an amazing first semester at HBS. The year passed with surprising swiftness. Now I’m spending the winter break traveling South America to recharge my batteries. Here are some highlights:

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Machu Picchu, Peru.

Two hours from Lima to Cusco by plane and another three by train, Machu Picchu is a 15th-century Inca site located 7,970 feet above sea level, often referred to as the “Lost City of the Incas”. I coincidentally ran into two of my section mates at the train station in Cusco and we enjoyed a great journey to the castle in the sky.

 

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Uyuni, Bolivia.

A one-hour flight from La Paz, the capital city of Bolivia, is the world’s most beautiful salt lake, Uyuni. I had long hoped to visit here. The uninterrupted white terra and the mirror like shallow lake, which reflects the sky, were just spectacular. My only regret is that I forgot to buy some Uyuni’s salt for pasta.

 

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Huilo Huilo, Chile.

Taking a one-hour flight from Santiago to Temuco and then driving three hours south, the Huilo Huilo appears in the backwoods of a deep forest. This is the Eighth Wonder of the World. Who built such a magical hotel and why? In contrast to the bizarre exterior, the interior is reminiscent of a five star luxury hotel. Fortunately, I was able to make a reservation to spend the last three days of the year at this amazing hotel.

 

HBS life starts anew on January 5th with the FIELD 2 program in Shanghai.

I wish you all a Happy New Year.