When I was packing to leave for my Executive MBA Class trip to China, I started to feel a good amount of foreign travel anxiety. As a grownup who has taken international business and pleasure trips on my own, I was mentally preparing for one of those trips–where you do all the navigating, planning, and getting to the hotel on your own. That anxiety disappeared when I encountered a half dozen of my fellow students waving and cheering in the Starbuck’s seating area at Lambert Airport. I had forgotten I wasn’t going alone!
The whole class of about 50 are coming from multiple directions–the Denver cohort on their routes, some of the St. Louis cohort on different routes, some arrived before today, some are coming tomorrow–but it turned out that my United flight from Chicago combined with a second United flight that left minutes after ours included about 20 of my fellow EMBA classmates, plus a couple of spouses. We got to the hotel about an hour ago.
We took a bus chartered for our group from the airport to the Shanghai Marriott Hotel City Center.
It took a surprising amount of time to get to our hotel–about two hours. On the way, Frank provided some Chinese and Shanghai history as well as an overview of the agenda for the week.
I was relieved to reach my room in the hotel. We’ve been warned numerous times not to drink water from the tap, not to eat foods washed with local water, to beware of pickpockets and kidnappers.
It felt wonderful to walk into a lovely, well-appointed room. There are unopened bottles of water, western electric plugs, and TV in English.