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And Now for Something Completely Different … Travel & Leisure

March 18, 2015, 07:00 AM

We all work hard. That’s the nature of the commercial finance industry. Whether you are occupied seeking new business, overseeing a portfolio, handling client relations, managing others as a lender, a lawyer, an auditor, etc., there is always pressure and significant dollars at risk. In order to continue to perform at a high level we each need to find vehicles to allow us to unwind and refresh ourselves so we can remain sharp when we are on task. At some point I recognized the reason for a vacation: To provide the opportunity to refresh and then return from vacation sharper and ready to take on more pressure.

Our friends at ABL Advisor have long heard stories of my travels – both travels for business, as well as travels for pleasure and have been kind enough to offer me some space to share with you some experiences and tips on travel and perhaps, some related topics all of which, we hope, will aid you in utilizing your leisure time not only for personal gratification and time with your families, but also to help you refresh your body and mind and, as a result, make you more effective at your job.

My wife and I take at least one major trip a year – usually to Europe and also manage to get some mini-vacations in between. We make it a point to visit Italy at least every other year, each time focusing on a different region. We have also covered much of South America, Israel and parts of Eurasia. Of course, we have seen much of the United States, although the world is so large with so many places to see and so little time. Since my wife retired from teaching she generally accompanies me on business trips and is a real tourist while I am working. While she is acting as a tourist, she is also a good scout to see what the must sees are in each city. When she was still teaching she was envious of my exotic business trips to places like Savannah, GA, Detroit, MI, Rochester, NY, and Elkhart, IN. Certainly Savannah was an intriguing city and I was there regularly for business around the time that Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil was published. Unfortunately I never got to see the city other than the major hotels and the Bankruptcy Court. One time I needed to be in Rochester, NY, as a day trip with hearings in their Bankruptcy Court. We had dinner plans in New York City that evening and I did not envision any problem getting back to LaGuardia with time to spare. Unfortunately that did not happen, as the hearing unexpectedly continued well into the afternoon. I ultimately returned to New York at 10:30 - after my wife and friends had finished their dinner in Manhattan. They picked me up and I told them that I am forever seeing cities from their Bankruptcy Courts and rarely seeing the city itself. I pointed out that America was built on great cities such as Savannah, Rochester, Detroit and Elkhart, and others. We all agreed and since then the four of us have taken what we call an annual Great American City trip.

A few tips before I close this introduction to this continuing column: When you plan your trip, leave yourself sufficient time to see the sights at a relaxed pace to assure that when you get home you can recall details and allow yourself time to rest. When in Europe, enjoy their tradition of siesta. We try to be busy with sightseeing at the beginning of the trip. This allows for a transition from the hustle and bustle of the business world to the restful time that you need to refresh yourself. We leave a few days at the end to stay at a beach resort to maximize that healing of body and mind before the return to the real world.

Don't be shy to engage in conversation with the locals. That is so much a part of the experience. If you travel abroad and only speak with tour guides and other American tourists you are depriving yourself of experiencing the culture of the locale you are visiting. Years ago, French was the international language but today English has become the common denominator of languages. Learn a few basic terms: Hello, good bye, please and thank you go a long way to endear yourself to the locals. My wife and I have made some wonderful friends through our travels, one of whom - a wine maker from Piemonte- just met us for dinner in New York.

Over the next several months I intend to use this space to share with you some stories and tips on travel in Europe, South America, great American cities, and perhaps, some other insights on travel planning methods, travel research methods and how to best use one’s time when on vacation. I would hope that as you follow these stories, you will take advantage of the blog nature of this column and reply with your own experiences and your own recommendations and suggestions. Keep your eye out as these stories start to appear. I look forward to hearing from you.

Jeffrey A. Wurst
Partner | Ruskin Moscou Faltischek, PC
Jeffrey A. Wurst is a partner at the New York law firm, Ruskin Moscou Faltischek, where he is the chair of the firm’s Financial Services, Banking, & Bankruptcy Department. Wurst is an industry leader known for his expertise in syndications, asset-based lending, factoring, and most other areas of commercial finance, bankruptcy and turnaround situations. He is actively involved in the documentation of commercial finance transactions as well as in litigation that may arise out of or in connection with such transactions.

He is the immediate Past Chairman of the New York Institute of Credit and a past Vice President of the Turnaround Management Association Global. Wurst is a director of the Association of Commercial Finance Attorneys and was elected as a fellow of the American College of Commercial Finance Lawyers.
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