Thirteen years and an hour ago, I arrived in this country via Philadelphia, PA. I remember it was cold, very cold. Snow on the ground and a bit gloomy. We (I was traveling with a co-worker) were told that a limousine would pick us up at the airport but it turned out to be a rickety yellow cab with bear of a man for a driver that resembled Steve Wozniak. We just probably misunderstood what "Limo Service" meant. The driver was holding up a sign with my company's name. We approached, I showed my credentials, he gave us a manila envelope that contained some documents and the keys to the apartment where I would be staying for a month.
I also remember that the driver got lost and had to ask for directions.
I had a two year contract to work as a technical consultant for the Philadelphia office of a now defunct Manhattan based tech consulting firm. In my mind, this was just going to be a really long vacation, a walkabout in the paved concrete jungles of suburban Philadelphia. A week later, I started working in tech support for a y2k based initiative (remember that?) for GMAC Mortgage in Horsham, PA.
Two years later, my H1B visa was renewed, I got my first testing gig and the rest is history.
It's been a very interesting journey since then and in retrospect, I would never have imagined the experiences and friends I've made along the way that made me who I am now. Thirteen years, forty pounds, a beautiful wife, two amazing kids and 13195 tweets later, my life has never been better. It's definitely busier but so much better. There are a lot of people to thank both personal friends and the ones from my profession, but you probably know who you are and if I haven't thanked you yet I apologize..
One thing I learned from this experience is that "change" rocks. If there's a mountain in your way, move, or move the mountain.
PS. It's 2012, where are the flying cars?