Thoughts from an A330 (my last wi-fi free zone)

Hong Kong and the journey so far

I’m currently sitting on roughly my 19th plane and 10th trip in four months since moving to Hong Kong following the move into the regional position for Weber Shandwick. What a journey.

I still enjoy the middle of plane flights because you can have your toys on, but no one can contact you.  While I hear this is all set to change if they bring WiFi on board, hopefully I’ll have the sense to opt out.  And any colleagues, friends and clients might excuse my absence.

Absence, and a sense of impermanence – though, not a wholly accepting state of  contentment, I’m sorry to say my spiritual friends – is certainly how it has felt.  It’s not a static feeling, nor is it a negative one.  It’s a changing dynamic where by I’m always away from a loved one, an office or a friend.

I’ve never been wholly comfortable travelling on my own – something about being locked inside my head when I’m experiencing things has always niggled at me – but this has certainly shown me how to progress. And it’s something I’ve always wanted to be more okay with.

It’s been an amazing journey.  From Hong Kong, Singapore, Australia, Philippines (okay maybe that was non-work, leisure I think they call it), and China: all have been incredible places.  Indonesia is next on the itinerary.

It’s perhaps even more amazing to think this thing we call digital connected it all. PowerPoint, Excel, Words documents and countless emails allows me venture around, waving my arms in the air, answering questions about social, mobile and how long a video should be.

I’m certainly passionate about I do, and I hope I can do something even more meaningful in the future.  I’ve had a couple of small instances to do some real good. But it’s not quite enough.

But for now, I feel privileged. I’m happy. Sure, not every hour or every day. But I’m happy. And I think that’s important.  And perhaps what is more important is that I get to share all this with my partner (and she’s happy, which is always better for me) and some great friends – some new, some old.

I don’t know what it all means, but even if I did? So, what? Would I do more of it? Less of it? It doesn’t matter right now. I, you, we; we just are.  Some seconds seem like forever, some hours seem like they never happened. Enjoy them all.

Jye Smith is currently Senior Vice President, Head of Strategy & Operations, Asia Pacific at Weber Shandwick. Ranked in B&Ts 30 Under 30, Jye a regular keynote speaker and workshop facilitator who specialises in digital and social media strategist.