Have software, will travel

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A recent trip to Korea to provide some hands-on support for a client was just the start of a great adventure for two Cougar cats.

We have a special team here at Cougar. It’s made up of people who not only love a challenge, but have a strong adventurous streak as well. So, when they have a chance to combine the two, it’s a bit of nirvana. That’s just what happened last month to Andy MiAndy Michal Travels 2017 - 1tchell and Michal Lukanowski, two Project Engineers at Cougar who travelled to Korea, Cambodia and Vietnam.

The duo set out on their trip to provide some assistance to a client in Korea. Andy and Michal were on hand to make additions to software needed to ensure a tool used in making computer chips can operate in a vacuum.

The temperature was cold when they arrived in Korea, and over the tw
o weeks that followed a lot of snow fell. However, they were almost too busy to notice, working long hours to ensure the software additions worked perfectly. Each evening they did get a reminder of where they were when their Andy Michal Travels 2017 - 2gracious hosts would take them for a meal each evening.

Despite the long hours and the lack of sightseeing opportunities, the pair enjoyed the work. “The project was a challenge, but a fun one,” says Andy. “And despite the fact we are pretty focused when we’re working, it was great to be able to put our skills to work in a different environment…a nice change of scenery, despite the fact we didn’t get outside much.”

But that was to change. With the bulk of their work done, they set off to the warmer climates of Cambodia and Vietnam. The pair made their way throughout the two countries — hiking, kayaking, biking and riding mopeds — with an occasional fellow adventurer joining them for a day or two along the way.Andy Michal Travels 2017 - 4

“We enjoyed the entire trip, and would definitely go back,” says Andy. “But there were a few  highlights for me in Vietnam. Kayaking through Ha Long Bay was a truly amazing experience, and riding our mopeds around Cat Ba Island was unbelievable. And it might sound strange, but mud bathing in the Dark Cave in Phong Nha-Ke Bang National Park is an experience you should not deny yourself if you go.”

Andy Michal Travels 2017 - 7“In Cambodia, we visited the Angkor Wat, the largest religious monument in the world,” says Michal. “What a spectacular place.”

While the pair managed to see a lot during they stay, their travels were well sprinkled with food stops. “We have to admit, we now have a soft spot for Vietnamese food,” admits Michal.

“We did eat a lot of Pho, which is a delicious type of noodle soup,” agrees Andy.” But truly everything we ate was amazing – we never had a bad meal.”
Andy Michal Travels 2017 - 6While neither of them speak Korean, Vietnamese or Cambodian, they did learn to say thank you in each language. “Language wasn’t a limiting factor at all; we met so many interesting people along the way,” says Andy.

Like true adventurers they have their next journey plan to new locations. But both agree there’s still so much to see and experience in Cambodia, Korea and Vietnam that they will definitely return.