If we can all agree on one thing, it’s that this line of work demands a lot from us. Becoming good at what we do requires an “always on” mentality. The entire industry can shift direction in a matter of days and any prolonged downtime is risky. If you’re like me, you’re always thinking of the next vacation you would like to take, knowing that it might not be a possibility until all of your clients’ needs are met and Google decides to take a few days off. That just ain’t gonna happen, so you’re just going to have to pack up and hit the road. We’ll still be here when you get back.
For these reasons, I compiled this list of Five Vacation Destinations for SEMs based on two criteria; proximity to unique or interesting cultural, geographic or social attractions, and tangential relation to search to justify the tax deductions for “business travel” expenses. Enjoy.
1. Eemshaven, Netherlands
According to this report, Google may have taken up residence in a giant new server farm built in Eemshaven, a seaport very near the northern-most tip of the Netherlands. Aside from cooling towers and megawatt generators, the town also boasts an impressive collection of wind turbines and pastures. If it looks anything like this Flickr set, you can spend your days touring the countryside then hop aboard a cruise ship to your next destination…
2. Necker Island, British Virgin Islands
A beautiful, 74-acre island privately owned by Sir Richard Branson, founder of the Virgin empire. Now speckled with luxury villas and resort facilities, this island is off-limits to everybody except invited guests, paying customers (a mere US$46,000 per night) and passengers on Branson’s Virgin Galactic space tours. The connection to search? Virgin Galactic was co-founded with Microsoft’s Paul Allen. Okay, a little bit of a stretch, but quite the ideal vacation nonetheless.
3. Accra, Ghana
Vacations don’t always have to be about relaxation. Sometimes working vacations can help bring relief to parts of the world that few of us even know about. Look at Google.org’s involvement with the Believe, Begin, Become business plan competition in Ghana, then look at the beautiful scenery that surrounds Accra. So much need in such a beautiful country can make it easy for even the most sheltered of travelers to make a difference in the world.
4. Milan, Italy
For the fashion-minded, zip over to Milan to be a trendy attendee at Fashion Week. Yahoo! has teamed up with Elle magazine to create and distribute mobile content for anybody searching for news, photos, blogs, and runway reports from the event. Using Yahoo! oneSearch,
tourists fashionistas can access all that and more from one co-branded site. The future of mobile search is here, and it’s hot!
5. Dubai, United Arab Emirates
If you haven’t been keeping up with the non-stop development going on in Dubai, you need to check it out. Dubbed the “8th Wonder of the World” the Palm island is the new playground for the rich and famous, which also happens to be visible from space. Flanked by a larger palm and a map of the world (yes, made out of more islands), Dubai is quickly replacing many of the world’s top luxury destinations. These amazing feats of engineering would not be possible without gobs of oil money and a Ruler that is also the Prime Minister and Vice President. Talk about cutting out the middle man! In addition to becoming a top tourism destination for Europe, Asia and Africa, Dubai is also investing heavily in technology and tourism which is necessary considering they are most likely going to run out of oil in the next 20 years. Dubai is likely to go down in history as one of mankind’s most remarkable growth stories, if it doesn’t collapse under its own weight before then. Oh, and they have their own search engines too. A little international expansion fact-finding mission might be just what the doctor ordered.