Wednesday, November 5, 2008

PETER WARING - Travel,Work and Politics

1. Can you describe a favorite travel memory? It doesn’t have to be extraordinary - simple is good, too – but what is a memory of some travel experience that you treasure?

I have been really fortunate to have enjoyed some wonderful travel experiences - from flying around the streets of Bangkok in a Tuk Tuk late at night to trudging through snow in the mountains of New Zealand or simply having a quiet ale in a small 'pub' in Wales. As someone wise once said, 'Travel is life lived intensively'. A favourite memory though is having climbed a mountain with my then girlfriend, now wife, in Tasmania (southern state of Australia) - we were alone (no one for miles) and it was the most perfect day and we felt like Gods.

2. What is something you’ve learned from traveling - a lesson that you’ve tried to carry with you in the rest of your life?

I agree with Rick that this is a great question. I think I have learned that the world truly is remarkable and wonderful in everyway - and that people generally have the same hopes, fears and dreams.

3. I’ve been doing a bit of reading about work and careers lately, and came across this quote: “Jump, and a net will appear.” What does that say to you, if anything, and does it apply in any way to your own life?

Rick persuaded my wife to jump into a job in Asia and 5.5yrs later we are still here! So this has certainly been true for us - though not just a net, more like a ladder to bigger and better things. The experience has taught us to consider alternative possibilities for our lives which I think is healthy.

4. Here is another quote about work and life choices that I recently discovered: “I must simplify my life, and whittle down what I do to the things that I am absolutely the most passionate about, or else I risk being stuck in mediocrity.” Similarly, what does that say to you, if anything, and does it apply to your own life?

Perhaps this is true but it is also life's diversity and multiple possibilities that enriches the experience. Also seems contrary to the renaissance notion of excelling across a range of arts, intellectual pursuits, sports and so on which I find appealing.

5. The U.S presidential election is on Tuesday. By the time you have to answer this question, we’ll know the outcome of the vote. How do you think the result of this election affects how the world views the U.S.? (Or, if you prefer, how you personally view the U.S., or how the U.S. might view itself?)

Like Rick, I was also moved to tears by one of the best speeches I have ever heard. Full of history, graciousness and hope, I found myself choked up by the sheer emotion of what this moment in our collective consciousness means.

I don't know anyone in Singapore or Australia who wasn't hoping for an Obama victory. I think his victory has restored our faith in the promise of America and our sense of kinship with American people. Maybe I'm being overly optimistic but this may signal a new golden era in America's position in the World. I for one will go out of my way to buy American (equities included) as hope has replaced fear and it is clear that America is energised to face the significant challenges of this time - I think the rest of the World will also see this and begin re-investing in the US and its great promise. The power of this victory, is unlike any other - nothing can stop an America inspired by that creed 'Yes we can!'

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