This post was originally published here

In February I went on vacation to Australia for almost a month, and had decided to throw in some work-related activities as well (fortunately I have a very understanding wife 🙂 ). I had an amazing time here, catching up with old friends, and meeting new ones. I love the integration community, and always have a lot of fun with these people. In this post, I will go into some of the work-related highlights of my vacation.

Sydney was basically our central hub throughout the vacation, where we returned a couple of times during these weeks. My old colleague Rene Brauers lives here, as does Mick Badran, so we have had a lot of time catching up and being shown around.

We also did a Meet Up organized by Simon and Rene, where I was joined on stage by Steef-Jan, my good friend and fellow MVP from the Netherlands, as well as Jon and Kevin.

When I had booked my vacation, I found out that Ignite would be held when I was in Australia, so I decided this would be a good opportunity to visit this as well. Here at Ignite, it was confirmed for me that Integration is alive and kicking, with many integration sessions. Even Scott Guthrie had a nice part on it in the keynote, which confirms for me Microsoft is sharing my vision that integration keeps getting more important in these days.

A large part of the Pro Integration team was represented at Ignite as well, with Jim, Kevin, Jon and Jeff, and they did a great session showing Microsoft’s vision on Hybrid Integration. Also Dan was here, and he had an awesome session on messaging in Azure, showing the capabilities of the Service Bus stack.

Furthermore, my good friends and fellow MVP’s Martin and Daniel did a couple of great sessions as well, it’s really cool to see how much love the integration space is getting. And of course the best thing about events like this, is socializing after the sessions are done ;-).

For a full overview of all the sessions at Ignite, you can see all the videos here.

After Ignite, we got invited by Daniel to join him for a tour of Brisbane. I have to say, I really love this place, it’s not too crowded, and just has a great scenery.

In Melbourne we did a lot of sight-seeing, and met up with Bill, Jim and Jeff, for some more socializing.

We also did a webcast here at Bill’s house, after having had some of the best BBQ steaks.

As you can tell, we had a great time in Australia, and I want to thank everyone who made this such a great experience for us. Of course, we did not only do work-related stuff, and if you ever happen to find yourself in Australia, I can definitely recommend going to the Blue Mountains, one of the most beautiful places we have been so far.