There are destinations on any young traveller’s list: Paris, Venice, New York. There are others you hope to visit if you have the time and money: Tokyo, Sydney, Buenos Aires. And there are cities that you never have any desire to go to but where you end up because your work takes you there.

In this last category I put Sao Paulo, Dallas and Sunderland. Now, before the residents of these cities send me defensive e-mails, I am not insulting their hometowns. On the contrary. Every place has its fascinations and I had a good time in all three — and many other work destinations I have been to.

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