Currently, I am in Auckland New Zealand where I’ve been speaking about podcasting to the Global Speakers Summit. This conference of 250 professional speakers has met for the past four days in one of the world’s best cities. We’ve come together to teach each other about best practices, new technology (yes, even in speaking, technology is changing the way we do things!) learn how to better our craft of stage presence, content creation and best of all, make a ton of new friends.

In the 19 years that I have been practicing family law I have attended an ungodly amount of conferences, summits, workshop retreats, training weekends and events of all sorts put on by highly trained, extremely professional individuals, and I can say with great experience and certainty that the Global Speakers Summit organized by the Global Speaking Federation was undoubtedly the best, by far superior, and most enjoyable experience of my life.

This trip originated for me out of a desire to better myself as a professional speaker. I’ve been speaking for about 20 years now and when the chance came up to be of service to the GSF by sharing my knowledge of podcasting and how it can help professionals and companies expand their community, create celebrity and open doors that were previously closed I jumped at the opportunity.

Plus, it was in Auckland, New Zealand. This city is one of the most beautiful places on earth. The city reminds me a great deal of Santa Monica for its proximity to the water, it’s small-town feel and its tremendous international cuisine. One of the things I love most about our small town is that we have such a great variety of restaurants and authentic chefs who bring their hometown with them. For example, Samosa House on Main Street has cooks and chefs from India, which adds to the authenticity and quality of the food.

Here in Auckland I was wandering down Hobson street and feeling hungry, as I came across this tiny Indian restaurant called Namaste Infusion Kitchen. It was about three hours before the final big dinner of the Global Speakers Summit so I just wanted a little something. I ordered a samosa and a tea from the young man behind the counter who promptly disappeared in the back. About five minutes later this strikingly handsome man comes out and asks me if I wanted black tea or Indian tea – of course I had to have the Indian tea.

Twenty minutes later he returned with my tea and samosas. Moments later he sat down at a table opposite me with his lunch and kept smiling at me. We struck up a conversation and eventually, I asked him to join me. His name is Vishal Kumar and he is the 27-year-old owner of this 14-seat little bit of India in downtown Auckland. He came to New Zealand with a degree in hospitality that earned him his first job – washing dishes. Eight years later he owns this restaurant and is on his way to greater things.

I had a lovely time chatting with him about his life and experiences, his journey from Phagwara India to New Zealand, and the joys of the restaurant business. This was exactly the sort of experience that I knew I would have while traveling. This is one of the many reasons why I want to be a global business speaker. To learn about the world and others.

It’s fantastic to be in New Zealand and meet the amazing professional speakers that I’ve met. I’ve had a wondrous time and have made friends I’m literally going to travel the world with. Next month I’m off to Johannesburg S. Africa to speak at the Professional Speakers Association South Africa conference on podcasting. A few of the people at this conference are going to that conference as well. One of them is my new Scottish Author friend Maggie Georgopoulos who wrote a book called Up a Ladder In a Skirt. It’s about being a female engineer in the workplace who is also dealing with bipolar disorder and her climb up the corporate ladder. We’re both headed to Johannesburg and I’m sure I’ll have some eye-opening experiences there.

One of the things I found, as I’ve wandered through the streets of Auckland was a food court of Asian Cuisines. As I made my way from stall to stall, I realized that I’ve had the benefit of trying most of the cuisines, in my hometown. There was Thai, Japanese, Malaysian, Vietnamese, and Korean all in one place. I knew what they were, and the differences because I’ve tried them at home. I suddenly realized that Santa Monica is a far more global city than I previously thought. We are lucky to live in a place, where we can literally sample the world’s cuisines within a few blocks of our house.

Most of America does not have this level of international awareness. It’s part of what makes Santa Monica so special. It’s a bounty that we should cherish and recognize.