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I decided some time ago I wanted to try to get to SAP TechEd in India.  After 2 successful forays to Berlin for TechEd EMEA in the past 3 years, I felt I could stretch further and get to India. Those in the SAP Community who know me are aware that I detest Las Vegas: the gambling, the drinking, and the overall unsustainable excess. And with the China event being held in Mandarin, the choices I had, as an SAP Mentor, were Spain or India. Given the high tech revolution in India, the number of SAP Community members I’ve met online that reside there, I decided that was my goal for the Fall of 2011.

This will be a solo trip, the longest journey by myself (so far), and I’m frankly a bit apprehensive.  I contacted a travel agent through my office; while they take a lot of the worry out of making travel arrangements, the price one pays can be daunting.  I’ve gone back and forth in the negotiations a couple times, asking for details on the costs (“Sorry, confidential”) and mentioning comparable tours easily found on the internet (“Never heard of them”). To leverage my global connections, I’m posting this on SCN for feedback and advice.

Couch Surfing?

Marilyn Pratt and Mark Finnern of SAP have given me invaluable advice and guidance over the past several years, each challenging me to contribute in new ways, but also to experience more of the world than I might otherwise have dared.  I’ve talked to both of them about this trip, and about the term “couch surfing” being a low cost way to find lodging throughout the world.  I’m torn between the thrill of being a do-it-yourself traveler and logistician, and turning the mental keys over to professional guides to enjoy the moment.

Abesh has been a great help, offering to let me visit him and his family, prior to SAP TechEd.  But I don’t want to rely entirely on his attention (“squirrel!”) and wear out my welcome.

Below is a table with the latest itinerary proposed by the professional(s).  I’ve usually tried to find an offbeat hotel or motel in cities I visit (I will tell stories about some of them, but not on the record). One reference web site described “Legacy Properties” as those built some time ago, well maintained or restored, offering more character than luxury.  That’s  what I’m looking for!  More on how to get back to me below.

 

SCNotties – Bollywood Edition!

Since this blog is being posted on SCN, and the primary justification for my journey is to do SAP TechEd in a new location, with the vacation/holiday being my dividend for putting forth the effort to show up and signify, Mark Finnern mentioned something about the SCNotties awards when we talked.  I had thought about how the 2011 edition will be communicated, judged, and recognized, and here is the first hint: SCNotties Go To Bollywood.  We’ll accept 30 second or so videos from those who plan to attend TechEd Bangalore, and we’ll also have a second contest to be done ad hoc during the conference.  Watch the SCN wiki for more details as I work with  the Community team on this cinematographic extravaganza.

 

Sample Itinerary

 

Date

Depart / Arrive

Hotel  Name

22 Oct 2011

Arrive Delhi

The Connaught

23 Oct 2011

In Delhi

              ”

24 Oct 2011

Depart Delhi

 

 

Arrive Agra

The Gateway Hotel

25 Oct 2011

Depart Agra

 

 

Arrive Jaipur

The Ramada

26 Oct 2011

Depart Jaipur

 

 

Arrive Udaipur

The Lotus Resort

27 Oct 2011

In Udaipur

               ”

28 Oct 2011

Depart Udaipur

 

 

Arrive Jodhpur

The Park Plaza

29 Oct 2011

In Jodhpur

              ”

30 Oct 2011

Depart Jodhpur

 

 

Arrive Delhi

The Connaught

31 Oct 2011

Depart Delhi

 

 

Now what?

How can you help a lonely SAP Mentor find his path through the land of Mahatma Gandhi? If you have general comments about getting to and from SAP TechEd, or the SCNotties awards, drop a comment onto the blog.  If you have specific recommendations of alternate accommodations, are willing to be a short term tour guide (a couple hours, or an afternoon), want your picture taken with me On The Road, or have other comments of a transient nature (and, especially, your contact information), drop me a note via the usual channels found on my SCN Business Card. Don’t put critical comments about the above accommodations in either place, please.

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11 Comments

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  1. Former Member
    Jim,

    I live in California but have some friends in Pune. If you wanted to go there, I am sure they’d let you stay with them.

    Otherwise, what a great idea and blog, and I wish I could offer up more. Can’t wait for the blog series on your experience.

    Best,

    Natascha

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  2. Chris Kernaghan
    Jim,

    I don’t think it needs more than the subject – being in Capgemini with a lot of Indian friends, with your permission of course, I’ll put this to Yammer to make sure you get good coverage.

    Thanks

    Chris

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  3. Former Member
    Jim, DM me your phone number on twitter and I will give you some ideas.

    But here is one thing you should know – please be careful about the water you drink. Not all bottled water you get there is safe. Best bet is to get it in your water bottle from your hotel.

    I might be in India around Teched time, and if that happens – I would love to show you some of the coolest spots in South India, especially Kerala – we call it “God’s own country”

    Cheers
    Vijay

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  4. Shabarish Vijayakumar
    Jim,

    The teched event happens near whitefield in banglaore. check out accommodations near this place. One option might be – http://global.premierinn.com/in/hotels/bangalore-whitefield.action

    there are lot of cab services around so commuting will never be a problem… TechEd event covers the food but i will surely recommend that now that you might be in India… check out the local delicacies. As Vijay mentioned, water is always a concern for travellers… i wudnt worry abt it too much frankly… Get yourself bottled water and u sud be fine…

    if u r indeed plannin to tour, dont miss south of India.. its majestic… and make sure u do travel into the God’s own country (i am from there and we joke abt being the devils own people)… all in all… Have fun!!

    Shabz

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    1. Jim Spath Post author
      Shabarish (and Vijay):

        Thanks for the feedback.  My general rule about not drinking bottled water will be severely tested on this trip, with the known risk of intestinal issues from “unsafe” drinking water.  More to come on this topic.

        I’ve found a hotel in the Bangalore SAP Labs vicinity, through my work travel center, which makes one less reservation to make.

        It’s impossible for me to visit every recommended destination in the limited time and budget I have, but I appreciate everyone’s fervor about “don’t miss” spots!

      Jim

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  5. Trond Stroemme
    I contemplated going to Teched India a couple of years ago, as the registration fee was just a fraction of the European or American one (around 5%, if I remember correctly!). That, in itself, offset completely the extra cost of flights and 5-star accommodation (Travelocity seems to be a nice & simple place to buy your journey, btw).

    My only question would be the content – does the Indian edition have the same tracks as the “western” counterparts, or is is a “slimmed-down” edition? I seem to remember there being some significant differences in the tracks when comparing Berlin to Bengalore last time around. Also, are the same key speakers present at both sites, or will attendees of Madrid or Las Vegas have the additional benefit of coming face to face with a more substantial portion of the SAP/SDN community?

    That said, with affordable flights from most corners of the world into India these days, I wouldn’t be surprised to see an increasing number of people gravitating towards the (still) considerably lower-priced India Teched in the coming years ๐Ÿ™‚

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    1. Jim Spath Post author
      Trond:

        From what I know, the content is richest at the U.S. TechEd, with EMEA and India less but nothing to sneeze at.  In many ways, I usually contribute more than I collect during the event, but that’s OK, as the rewards are reaped later when the need arises.

        SAP Mentors (in good standing) get a complementary admission to one TechEd per year, and if SAP would not have provided this, I would not likely have paid out of pocket anyway. The business case for my excursion is creative, let’s say.

      Jim

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  6. Kevin Wilson
    Jim,
    What a great opportunity afforded to you. It sounds like I don’t have to tell you to grasp it with 2 hands and run with it…
    I wish I had thought of a similar blog 1 month ago as I head off to Waldorf tomorrow for my first trip to SAP’s offices.
    Enjoy…
    Cheers
    Kevin
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    1. Jim Spath Post author
      Dewang:
        Thank you for the warm welcome.  My draft itinerary is based on what the travel agent has proposed, and I’m not sure how far out of the way Gujarat is. My challenge is that I have received several invitations to “visit my town” but it will be impossible to accept all of them.  I hope you understand.
      Jim
      (0) 

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