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      January 20, 2020

      Greetings from Southeastasia!

      It is not a question of giving life more years, but more life for the year 

      (Alexis Carrel)

      My family and I are very lucky to follow this saying and give us a year full of wonderful memories and experiences. We do a sabbatical for 1 year and travel with our two children through countries that we have never visited before. We have been in Southeast Asia since October and traveled so far to Thailand, Myanmar and Bali (Indonesia). We have already experienced so many amazing things, so that it is difficult to summarize all highlights. Nevertheless, I try to mention a few of them:

      The most impressive city:

      Our arrival in Bangkok from Europe was impressive and overwhelming at the same time. Bangkok is a vibrant city with its many street food stalls, the tuk-tuks, the countless temples and palaces etc. At the same time, it was overwhelming and difficult for us to feel really comfortable considering the heat, the chaotic traffic and the unfamiliar culture.

      The most beautiful beach:

      Thailand has dream beaches – we were able to enjoy two particularly beautiful ones on Ko Lanta (Long Beach) and in Khao Lak (Coconut Beach).

      The best Continental encounter:

      My family wondered why I really wanted to take a Continental-shirt with me. The answer was given in Khao Lak. When we stopped in a cafe there, we met Continental colleague Reinhard Exner from Schwalbach, who identified me as a colleague because of the Continental-shirt. @Reinhard: It was nice to have met you, maybe we’ll see you in Schwalbach next time!

      However, of course, we are happy when we see a Continental sign on the side of the road. Then the kids scream out: Conti…!!!!

      Most beautiful temple:

      This is difficult because all temples – both in Thailand and Myanmar – are very impressive with their gold, the many gemstones and decorations. We particularly noticed that the temples here are not only a place of prayer, but also a social center of the community. Here you meet, sit together, play football, do fitness or acrobatics, sing or dance. A real place of encounters and community!

      Cultural highlight:

      Every year on the 12th full moon day of the year the light festival “Loy Kratong” and “Yi Peng” takes place in Chiang Mai (Thailand). This festival is well known for the flying paper torches (“Yi Peng”) and the small light boats (Loy Krathong) that are let out on the water. An amazing picture! The magic is particularly evident at the opening ceremony of the Buddhist monks in the temple “Wat Pan Tao”. The monks meditate in a sea of ​​burning candles – a breathtaking atmosphere!


      Most beautiful landscape:

      Myanmar will remain in our memory. One reason is the beautiful landscape of this country. The ancient temple city of Bagan offers us a beautiful backdrop. 2000 temples, stupas and pagodas embedded in a steppe landscape. The sunrises and sunsets offer us perhaps the most beautiful pictures of our trip!

      Educational highlights:

      We had the opportunity to visit two schools. In Myanmar we were spontaneously invited by a Buddhist monk to visit a primary school and to have a conversation with the school leader and the teacher.

      In Bali we visited the Green School – a school made of bamboo, which caused a sensation worldwide with its alternative school concept.

      Animal highlights:

      In Khao Sok National Park we were woken up by monkeys in our tree house, walked through the jungle and saw elephants, large caterpillars, butterflies and tarantulas. Of course, also mosquitos, leeches and other unpleasant animals have “introduced themselves” to us.

      Biggest swing:

      When you travel to Bali, many take a picture with a huge swing. Of course, we couldn’t miss that.

      We are grateful for the things that we have already been able to experience together and look forward to those that will come. Next stop will be Australia. It’s also supposed to be a beautiful country. 😉

      We wish all our colleagues a Happy 2020!

       

      This article was written by our employee.

      Alexander

      Head of Human Relations for the Technology Center Tires in Hanover Stoecken

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