Hey, guys. Had a great past few weeks and wanted to post about one of the best trips that I have had in along time!
So, I just got back from 10 days abroad over in Europe where I traveled to three different countries and just had a really spectacular time! This trip did a great job helping me unwind and disconnect a bit which encouraged me not to work on vacation, which I know a lot of us tend to do.
So little recap: I came to Cannes, France last week for the world’s largest real estate conference, known as MIPIM. Over 30,000 people travel to the south of France, at Cote d’Azur in Cannes, where the famous film festival is, to participate in this massive event. One of the things that is so wonderful is that it’s everybody from every walk of life, from every capacity. This is just a really great roster of who’s who in the real estate industry; movers and shakers from investors, developers, C-level executives, owners, managing directors, you know, municipalities, countries, project managers, you name it. Having all of these experts in one place, open to learning and teaching alike, is what makes the event so incredibly insightful.
Our goal was to build our network in order to try to find new investors to be on the front lines of new trends, and to catch insights and information being shared by the biggest decision makers in the real estate industry. Again, these are people that own or manage a combined asset base of several trillion dollars across the world market. So, pretty impressive.
As you guys know, I go to a lot of these events, and this one had one of the nicest settings I have seen in quite awhile. We had parties on the beach at night as well as cocktail hours and parties on big 140 foot yachts. There were some incredible panels and discussions which consisted of amazing speakers and guests. And let’s not forget the unbelievable French cuisine! In a country known for food, how could I not mention that. It was just a lot of fun and overall, an awesome experience.
So this is our third year now at this event, and as an after conference tradition, I like to try and host a group of friends on a trip to Monte Carlo, which is the chief city in a little principality just east of Nice, called Monaco. You’ve probably heard of it. It’s probably the wealthiest jurisdiction in the world.
This small principality is home to some of the high class extracts from the world’s wealthiest. We stayed at the Hermitage there and went to the casino, where dignitaries and royalty from all over the world have frequented for centuries. These are black tie entrance only and fun fact: some of the James Bond movies were shot here! We had a great meal and then I made my way north to a little ski village called Saint Gervais on the French Alps. And let me tell you, there is nothing more breathtaking than skiing from between the peaks of the French Alps.
If you’ve never skied the French Alps, I highly recommend it. The views, the scale, the grandeur is unlike anything I’ve ever seen. I’ve skied in a lot of different places that were all pretty incredible, but this was one of the best so far. While I was there, I got to meet up with a good friend from our graduate school program at NYU who was skiing there with his family. I rented a really cool Air BnB, a renovated chalet with a cool hot tub and amazing view of the surrounding Alps. I also got to spend a little bit of time in Geneva, Switzerland, and then flew home yesterday to New York City.
Now back in Saratoga Springs, I would like to share some morals to this story; some things that I want to share on how I travel and what I think everybody should try to do more of, which is this: travel. Bottom line. Experience new cultures, new places, new locations, new people, new cuisine, new experiences. Create new memories, especially in a foreign country, if you can.
You see, the culture, cuisine, and politics of other countries and other people is so insightful. It’s so inspiring and after experiencing all that the country has to offer, we can form a new perspective on our own way of life here back home. It’s also very interesting to learn about what drives people. You know? What they do for fun. What do they do for work? What are their purposes and their big whys in life? And you only can really do this when you get outside of your area. Right? Your stomping ground, your comfort zone, your place, your market, your town.
In my own experiences, I learned that I get the most energized and the most excited by going to other countries and experiencing these other cultures. So, do that and do more of that if you can.
Secondly, experience new people. Create new memories and live new experiences because that’s what life’s all about. I met some amazing and extraordinary people, both foreigners traveling and also locals living there, in the various countries and towns that I went to. These are people that I’ll probably stay in touch with for years to come.
I also drank some amazing coffee. I’m not an alcohol drinker, so I enjoy my coffee. Big connoisseur. Throughout the day at various really cool quaint coffee shops throughout France and Switzerland, in the Alps, I had the pleasure of dousing my tastebuds in coffee unlike any that I had ever tasted.
Along those lines, I indulged my stomach in the most incredible French cuisine. From fresh fish to nutritious veggies and delicious meats, my inner gourmand foodie was in heaven. There is nothing like good food prepared in new ways, because trying new things brings a fresh perspective. So make sure you do that; experience different types of cuisine. The different ways and processes of making food that might be untraditional to us back here in America are incredible and I urge you just explore these areas.
I found great joy in just getting out, renting a car, driving to small towns and just exploring; enjoying soaking in the view, and really spending time unwinding and relaxing and getting back to some of the basics.
Why do we work so hard? It’s to have the time, funds, and ability to have experiences and create memories. And I’m blessed and grateful that for me, in my businesses, I’m at a place now where I can get up and go travel for two weeks at a time. I can clear the schedule, and rely on great teams who I can trust and be confident that they can keep the businesses; pushing things along and making some money, while I’m on R&R.
So, that’s it. Amazing, amazing trip. And now I’m just getting adjusted to the rainy, early spring weather here in New York. Have a great end to your week and a great weekend; remember to get out there and travel, experience new people, places, cultures, and cuisines, because that is what life is all about.