Travel chat with Daniel Beattie, VP of Engineering
Daniel Beattie, Vice President of Engineering, handles all the open-source and ruby engineering teams within Cendyn, which means working with people located across 9 timezones – from Germany to the UK and across to British Columbia. It means he travels a lot. Here’s what he had to say about that!
Working with so many time zones means I travel a lot, but between Northern Europe and British Columbia, there’s some stunning scenery to enjoy. Also, I’m a fan of the cold. Then of course, Cendyn’s HQ is located in lovely South Florida. The contrast in the weather is fantastic – especially in January!
How long have you been traveling?
My whole life – I’ve never not had a passport. I think I get it from my parents – I’d lived in Athens, New Jersey and the UK – all before I was 6!
What do you do to avoid getting sick?
I have two kids under the age of 4 – sickness is not an option. I do not have a cold right now.
What is the best way to change currency?
I use Monzo for spending – a really interesting FinTech startup out of London. It gives you an app and a pre-paid Mastercard that you can top-up instantly via iOS. It’s not a worry if the number is stolen or cloned – but importantly it gives excellent rates on foreign transactions. Effectively it’s the mid-market rate, and the cheapest way I know. Don’t leave home without it!
Aisle or Window?
Recently, the aisle. I feel a little less trapped that way. I think I’d sit out on the wing if they gave me the option.
Tips on how to take a nap on a plane?
Oh gosh, I wish I could sleep on planes – let me know the secret.
What’s your favorite airline and hotel?
Favourite airline? Virgin Atlantic feels just a bit different from all the others, in a good way.
Favourite Hotel? ‘Hotel Daniel’ in Vienna, I think. A really cool boutique hotel that used to be a brutalist office building. They’ve filled it with greenery, have hammocks in all the rooms, and a huge ‘melting’ yacht dripping from the roof – like a Salvador Dali painting. Plus, what an awesome name!
Best way to overcome jetlag?
Heading east is the worst for me, for sure. The trick is: don’t fall asleep at the wrong time! Organise something the day you land to keep you from sleeping before night. I’ll arrange meetings or a trip out to see me through to evening when I land in the UK.
What is your favorite/worst thing about traveling?
Worst thing? All the time spent away from family. I just got off my 20th flight in less than 6 months, and it’s a lot of time to not be there for them.
Favourite thing? Seeing and exploring new places and cultures – it really does broaden the mind. Plus, it makes you appreciate what you have all the more when you do get back home!
What is your longest trip to date? (Number of nights and location)
I’ve spent a lot of time in the USA, and it feels like a second home at this point. Further afield, I did once spend 6 weeks in East Africa – climbed Mount Kenya, rafted & hiked in Tanzania and helped fund-raising for a school in Nairobi. That was a really eye opening experience.
Do you believe you do not know someone till you have traveled with them?
I don’t about that, but you can certainly make fast friends sharing travels with someone!
What is your travel horror story?
Just three weeks ago it took 42 hours to get from home in the UK to Whistler, B.C. We had unexpected stopovers in Amsterdam, Paris – and no luggage when we finally got to Vancouver. What a pain!
Favorite destination and why?
I’ve been lucky enough to visit Berlin a few times over the last couple of years, and it’s an amazing city. It’s got an obviously unique history, and that can give it a really strong off-beat feel. Makes for lots of great places to eat, drink and explore.
However, I honestly think my favourite place is outdoors in beautiful North Yorkshire. It’s where my heart is!