Greetings from Madrid. While many of my friends are starting their new semesters and greeting their eager new students I'm waking up in Spain. I have spent the last two afternoons speaking to students and faculty members from the law school at the Complutense University of Madrid. It's funny because until I arrived on Sunday evening I had never met anyone living here. So how did this happen?
I love Google Flights. It's a great tool for searching for short airfare sales. It's how I got a flight to Istanbul in November for under $600 on Korean Air and this flight to Madrid on Alitalia for under $500. Once I bought the ticket I reached out to my network to see if anyone knew any professors in Madrid. Luckily, one of my former coworkers at KAIST knew several professors here that he had met during their time together in Boston years ago. He reached out to them and let them know I was coming and interested in giving some talks. Now I'm staying in one of the professor's apartment and have been enjoying many lunches and dinners with the other professor.
In order to make this possible, several things needed to happen. 1. I needed a wide network of friends with international connections. 2. My friends needed to trust me enough professionally to feel comfortable "selling" my services to their friends who had never met me. 3. I had to ask.
I'm taking the train to Lisbon this evening but I can honestly say that my four days in Madrid have been fantastic thanks to the warm hospitality that I have received and the amazing professors and students that I have been fortunate enough to meet and spend time with. What's next? A talk in Surgut, Russia in April. How did that come about? Stay tuned and find out.
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