(written April 9, 2014)
It's the eve of my return to Atlanta. I'm sitting in total darkness on the couch in my hotel room situated next to the huge floor-to-ceiling window, and only the glow from my laptop and the city in the distance are providing light. My view overlooks the pool two floors below me. Beyond the palm trees lining the pool level roof, I can see the lights of The Strip flashing and fading. On the horizon is the Palazzo, to its right the Venetian, then Treasure Island, followed by The Mirage. Right now, I could be down there, spending this time gambling, drinking and experiencing the excess that is "the real Vegas". But where I am right now perfectly suits me. Surrounded by darkness, in my pajamas, lazy and content, up and overlooking the madness, I can appreciate the strangely beautiful chaos that is Vegas.
I've never been to Las Vegas before this, nor have I travelled for work, so this trip was destined to be an adventure for me. In sum, both have exceeded my expectations.
First and foremost, I didn't really have an expectations for Vegas. I was so pumped to discover that Las Vegas is so much cleaner than I thought it would be. I understand that's kind of stupid, but honestly, I was expecting Las Vegas to be complete and total trash. Naively, I thought that was part of the allure. However, it's well-kept (even the sketchy strip malls on the outskirts of The Strip are relatively clean!). The streets are pretty clean and the people who work here generally care about the hospitality. It's sad that that came as a surprise to me.
I must say, this conference has been the best learning experience for me since joining my company. I haven't learned this much in such a concentrated period of time: in four days I've learned about myself, about those around me, about what I should and should not do to be successful, and a little bit about what I want to accomplish while I'm here. I've truly appreciated this experience and I would not have traded it for the world. I can only pray that next year, when NAB rolls around, I can score another spot on our itinerary.
I made sure that I brought my camera because I knew that on my own dime, this trip wouldn't have happened, and I know it won't be happening on my own dime anytime soon. I wanted to capture the things I wanted to remember most. So, here is Las Vegas and my favorite moments from NAB Show 2014, in picture form. Enjoy.