I’ve been on business trips before, but not one this far…

Well, I knew this trip was coming for a while. My bosses had been talking about it, but nothing concrete had been stated until a week or so ago. The details were finally worked out early last week, and now I’m working to get prepared.

I’m leaving for Dubai on Thursday, and will be returning the following Friday.

The company I work for has a joint venture out there, and one of the things that needs to be done out there is to get the computer systems operational and also get their databases set up and the like. While I doubt I’ll have a week’s worth of work to do, it’s better to be out there longer than necessary than have to make a return trip later on, especially considering it’s a fifteen hour flight from Houston to Dubai. I still need to get with my coworkers to decide what exact software I need to take with me, but I should have that all taken care of by the end of the day tomorrow.

Mostly, now, my preparations are something of a personal nature. I’m finishing up converting movies into an iPod-friendly format; I’m taking the iPod as well as the iPhone because the iPod has ten times the storage space, which means it can carry all of the movies I want to watch. So far this weekend I’ve converted the Lord of the Rings extended edition trilogy, The Towering Inferno, and the original Star Wars trilogy. In the next day or two, I need to pick up a couple of new pairs of tan slacks, plus maybe a new pair of shoes and a panama hat. Most of my clothing tends to be on the dark side, which doesn’t help in temperatures of 100-110 F. I also should get an airline power adapter for my iPhone and iPod.

I’ll still be online from there, of course. I plan on taking a camera with me, plus the iPhone has its own camera. I’ll make the occasional Twitter posting and site posting. I just don’t plan on doing as much Twitter posting as usual, as the data service on the iPhone will be disabled (unless I go through a wifi access point). Still, I will be checking email and instant messages. Just don’t try to call me unless you absolutely have to. ;-)

This should be an interesting experience. I’ve never travelled quite this far; ten hour flights are old hat to me, as I’ve been to England more times than I can count. I’ve never been to the Middle East before, though, and I’m hoping a fifteen hour flight is as doable for me as a ten hour flight is. Still, I’m truly looking forward to it, and plan to make the most of it. Right now it’s looking like I’ll be staying at the Courtyard by Marriott; it’s not in the center of the city, but it is close to the facility and it does have a shuttle to/from the Mall of the Emirates. Seeing as I’ll be there on a Saturday, maybe I’ll have time to look around there. We’ll see.

In any event, I’m looking forward to it. I’ll let you all know how it turns out. :-)