Kathy looked at my passport. She looked back at me pausing for a moment. For a second I had that sinking feeling in the pit of my stomach.
Was there something wrong with my passport? Had an alert flashed up on her computer screen that I couldn’t see?
Would I be able to travel onwards? Would customs officers soon appear behind me and whisk me away into a small holding room?
It’s amazing the thoughts the smash through your head while checking into an international flight.
Thankfully it was none of these.
Kathy asked, ‘Are all your family home and safe?’
I replied, ‘Sure, they’re at home probably watching Peppa Pig.’
I thought she was talking about my wife and son in the UK. And yes, there was a very good chance at that given moment Peppa was streaming on the TV.
But after a second it clicked. Kathy was referring to my family in Australia. And she was talking about the Aussie bushfires.
Not wanting to appear like an idiot, albeit it was probably too late for that, I replied again. ‘Oh you mean back in Australia? Yes, for now they are all safe. Thanks for asking.’
What Kathy didn’t know was where my family were from. All my passport said was Australia and issued in Melbourne. They could have lived in the city or one of several places nowhere near fires.
But the severity and significance of the devastation hit a nerve across the world. And the abhorrent behaviour of the political elites wasn’t far off their minds either.
Here I was at Heathrow Airport about to check into a flight to Las Vegas with an Aussie passport, and people were offering genuine concern for the safety of complete strangers. Times like that give me greater optimism about our future.
On the balance of things, most people care about others. And given a chance and the resources, would help complete strangers. It’s that optimism that excites me about our future and the opportunities that will come over this next decade.
It’s this kind of optimism about what society can achieve that makes me so excited about the week I’m about to have…
A couple of times around the world
For what it’s worth, I do have family near the bushfires in Victoria. I check on the Victorian emergency notifications website probably more than my family does.
This is one of the downsides of what I do. Being away a lot, living and travelling around the world means not being around when I would like to be. Thankfully I can check up on things daily via sites like the emergency site and just message them incessantly on WhatsApp.
And when I say travel a lot, I mean it.
In the space of just over a month, I will have completed 84,622 km in flight distance. That’s more than twice the circumference of the Earth.
It’s also a bit over 113 hours in flight time on planes. That’s more than four and a half days crammed into what I sometimes like to call a giant flying germs bus.
I will have crossed into and through 18 different time zones, several times each. Ask me what day it is? It might take some time to figure it out. Ask me what time zone my body is on? I won’t be able to give a definitive answer.
This is the not so enjoyable part of what I do. Long times spent in transit, at airports, on planes, in cars, on trains, travelling. It’s not glamorous, it’s not easy. It’s hard graft. A sleep-deprived existence.
But it’s not like this all year at least. January 2020, the start of a new decade, is just a crazy month. And right now, I’m just halfway through it all. Still loads of distance to go, endless hours crammed into economy seats not designed for someone who is 6’3 and 100 kilos.
But it’s so I can get to the places where I need to be to do what I do best. And that’s hunting down, uncovering and delivering to you (and to my paying subscribers) the best investment opportunities I can find on the planet.
And that’s exactly what this week is all about.
The CES trade show and conference
I’m writing today’s piece from the Las Vegas strip. I’m about to pack up and head over to the Mandalay Bay hotel and casino. It’s the first set of events that kicks off the CES trade show and conference.
The world’s leading and most pioneering technology will be on display this week. I hope to get around the 2.9 million square feet of exhibition space and see as many of the 4,400 exhibitors as I can.
I will be attending media events, company announcements, keynotes, and conference streams. I will be diving head first in tech like AR/VR/XR, autonomous vehicles, breakthrough connectivity, cryptocurrency, drones, consumer devices, medtech, healthtech, babytech…maybe even a little sextech!
In the past CES has unveiled some of my biggest and most successful ideas and opportunities. I expect this week to be no different. And thanks to my co-Editor Ryan Dinse being on holiday this week, I’m going to bring you everything I see, every day, right here in Money Morning.
But as it’s Sunday in Las Vegas, almost a full day behind Melbourne time, there’s not much to give you today. The good stuff kicks off tonight with the CES Unveiled event.
Make sure to keep an eye out for Money Morning every day this week for all the excitement, the real stories, and the opportunities that CES will deliver in 2020.
I think this could be the biggest one yet, and the perfect start to the new ‘Roarin’ 20s’.
Editor, Money Morning
PS: Our publication Money Morning is a fantastic place to start on your investment journey. We talk about the big trends driving the most innovative stocks on the ASX. Learn all about it here.