a9s Adventures – The Journey to DoK Day, KubeCon & CloudNativeCon EU 2022

a9s Adventures - Julian Fischer

What is a9s Adventures about?

This is a brand new format that features travel and activities of our team members in our business context. 

Learn more about events we participate in and impressions and experiences we gather around these events.

How the idea was born

Many of us spend a significant part of our adult life at work. It is an excellent upgrade in the quality of living if work is not only about solving problems – You know what they say; work to live. 

Sometimes valuable social interactions are compromised, and adventures are canceled to make time for more work, but where does living go?

I always considered traveling an aspect of adventures in general. People have focused their lives in a relatively small radius of sometimes as little as 25km in my family. 

I became more curious and always wanted to explore the world. However, traveling the world without having a goal or mission never made sense to me. It felt somehow empty.

That has changed with anynines – there is always a mission. Spreading the word about our services and sharing knowledge with the tech community provided the meaning I was missing when traveling. 

Conferences happen in different countries, and each conference is somewhat different. It has always been a pleasure to meet new people and cultures along the journey. Therefore, attending and speaking at conferences has become an integral part of my career.

On to Spain – Conferencia Rails 2011 – Madrid

In 2011, a friend and I went on an exciting motorcycle adventure from Saarbrücken to Madrid to speak at the Conferencia Rails 2011. The adventure was truly epic, and we documented it to share a little glimpse of it all.

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As anynines continues to grow, we came up with the idea to enable other team members to enjoy business adventures.

KubeCon 2022 – Valencia

When KubeCon 2022 was announced to take place in Valencia, Spain, I saw it as a calling to revisit that 2011 motorcycle adventure eleven years later. This time my dear colleague Paul Eichler decided to join. So this new journey began.

The decision for a motorcycle trip was made again at the very last minute. This time, I bought a new motorcycle for the first time in my life.

I had to learn that before going on a long motorcycle journey, the engine needs to run for approximately 1000km to make the first oil change. This procedure is essential, as BMW engineers explain. The purpose is to grind off leftover material from the manufacturing process and get it out of the system with the oil exchange. 

Therefore, I had to ride a minimum of 600km in the three days before the trip to Valencia. While this doesn’t sound much, the Autobahn was not an option and three days of riding were well memorized in several aching body parts. Actually, it was two days, as I had another talk at Horizon Cloud Summit, Frankfurt.


Almost There

This time, the riding schedule was even tighter than in 2011. Again, we had two days to get to the Pyrenees but only one day to cross them. The Pyrenees are a 500km long mountain range between Andorra, France, and Spain. 

Mountains and motorcycles go very well together. The fantastic beauty of vast mountains and wide canyons is simply breathtaking.

Luckily, we managed to get close to Perpignan on day two, buying us some time to cross the Pyrenees motorcycle-style using gorgeous pass roads.

Our first significant pass road was Col de Jau. At about 1500m above sea level, the altitude air conditioning works like a charm providing a nice chill after riding in some 30 degrees Celsius at lower altitudes.

I must say that Paul, with his 21 years, has, once again, impressed me. This time not with his profound Kubernetes skills but with the ability to navigate his bike through dozens of hairpin turns under sun and rain. It’s an advantageous aspect of a9s Adventures, to see young people like Paul grow in every way possible.

A quick stop at the peak of Col du Chioula at ~1400m opened a scenic view. Time to take a deep breath and memorize a mental picture that will be engraved in our minds. And although mountains are beautiful in every possible weather, that exact stunning scenery as it was will live in our memory only.

The Pyrenees provide endless spots inviting you to spend more time riding through so many fantastic pass roads. As the recording of my talk at the Data on Kubernetes Community Day was waiting, we had to limit our stay in the mountains to another quick pit stop in Andorra.

It’s incredible what a difference a few kilometers can make. From snowy landscapes back into green grass sceneries, we were finally heading towards Valencia.

First Impressions

I ordered pasta with my “perfect” – NOT !- Spanish, but I got fish instead, to my surprise. Another insight of a9s’ Adventures is that sometimes the unforeseen brings us the greatest joy. This dish was delicious.

At the end of day three, we finally arrived in Valencia. What a beautiful city.

And at the hotel, we can finally relax and meet our friends and anynines’ brilliant colleagues, Matthew Doherty and Matteo Olivi.

The KubeCon and DoK Community Day events have been excellent experiences.

I personally very much appreciated that there are many parking spaces for motorcycles across Valencia. Riding on two wheels is absolutely underrated these days, at least in Germany.

I am incredibly grateful to the fantastic Data on Kubernetes Community team. The talk recording went absolutely smoothly. Paul and I felt welcomed, and we enjoyed great conversations with the community.

Adventure Lived, Lessons Learned.

It was a great adventure and would not have been possible without the help of so many team members and the DoK Community. I feel humbled and grateful for the whole experience and the support of each.

Special thanks to Paul Eichler, who mastered his first major motorcycle trip going through four different countries. This makes me curious and excited for what other a9s Adventures are yet to come!

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