Andrew Woods, Chief Technology Architect, S3 Entertainment Europe
- 10 May 2023 6:29 PM
Not only is Andrew a trusted advisor to clients worldwide (including executives, rock stars, and politicians) but he also has a heart for charity work, a love for the countryside, and a soft spot for dogs.
When he's not transforming spaces, you can find him enjoying the Balaton-Highlands with his wife, family and friends.
1. When did you arrive in Hungary and what brought you here?
Well, the answer is two-fold (like many great things in life). First, in 2017, I followed my heart and my Canadian-Hungarian wife to her family's homeland. And second, I recognized the exciting growth of smart technologies in Central Europe and the tremendous opportunities it presented. Now, I deliver tailored automation solutions to homes and businesses alike, all while enjoying Hungary and its tech scene.
2. Have you ever been an expatriate elsewhere?
For many years, I called Canada my home. But as fate would have it, my love for new challenges and my wife's irresistible charm led me to make the move to beautiful Budapest.
3. What surprised you most about Hungary?
The fact that they've cracked the code on work-life balance. It's like everyone here has a secret to slowing down time and enjoying the simple things in life with their family. It's a refreshing change of pace from the hustle and bustle of the UK and Canada.
4. Friends are in Budapest for a weekend - what must they absolutely see and do?
Well, if my friends want to experience the true essence of Budapest, I would recommend they soak up some sun and enjoy the terrace culture while people-watching at Kiosk Restaurant. It's the perfect spot to eat modern but traditional food and watch the world go by.
They must also take some time to relax at one of Budapest's famous thermal baths. There's nothing quite like soaking in the warm, mineral-rich waters of Széchenyi or Gellért, surrounded by stunning architecture and a rich history that dates back centuries. It's the ultimate indulgence and a quintessential Budapest experience that you simply can't miss.
And of course, no trip to Budapest is complete without indulging in some local wine. Definitely check out Bor-to-Door for a fun wine tasting experience.
5. What is your favourite Hungarian food?
I'd have to go with Gulyásleves, aka Hungarian Goulash. It's a hearty soup made with tender chunks of beef, vegetables, and plenty of paprika, which gives it its signature rich and spicy flavor. It's the ultimate comfort food and perfect for warming up on a chilly day.
6. What is never missing from your refrigerator?
As a Brit who loves cheese, there is always a variety of different types of cheese in my refrigerator. From tangy cheddar to creamy brie, I enjoy exploring different flavors and textures of cheese. It's the perfect snack to enjoy with a glass of Hungarian wine.
7. What is your favourite Hungarian word?
'Egészségedre', because it means you’re having a wonderful time with family and friends.
8. What do you miss most from home?
I have to admit that what I miss most from home are my two (adult) children, my granddaughter, and my boat. Not only do I miss having family around, but I also miss the community of my yacht club. There's nothing quite like swapping stories with fellow boaters over a pint at the clubhouse.
9. What career other than yours would you love to pursue?
I think I would have liked to pursue a career in live event AV production. There's something thrilling about working behind the scenes to create an immersive and engaging experience for thousands of people. Plus, the opportunity to travel the world and work on events in different cultures and settings would be amazing.
10. What's a job you would definitely never want?
A job that involves repetitive tasks and limited opportunities for problem-solving and critical thinking would be about as appealing as a dial-up internet connection. So, I'd say a job in data entry or working in a call center would definitely be off my list of dream careers.
11. Where did you spend your last vacation?
Not counting my "staycations" at Lake Balaton, my last real vacation was in Pula, Croatia - it was fascinating and gorgeous. Being an entrepreneur is like being a parent - you never really get a break! My clients know that they can always reach me, whether I'm on vacation or not. It's all part of the job, and I wouldn't have it any other way.
12. Where do you hope to spend your next holiday?
I plan to devote August to the most important things in life: sun, wine, and good company at our winehouse in the Balaton Highlands.
13. Apart of temptation what can't you resist?
I can't resist a perfectly cooked medium-rare steak.
14. What was your favourite band, film, or hobby as a teen?
My teenage hobby was spinning discs and making people move their hips on the Old Pier in Weston-super-Mare. They say music can take you places, but for me, it was just the beginning of my journey.
15. Red wine or white?
Red. Especially those from the 2HA Vineyard.
16. Book or movie?
I'd rather have a home cinema experience any day over curling up with a book - I like my stories to come with surround sound.
17. Morning person or night person?
I'm up with the larks, not burning the midnight oil. I'm definitely a morning person.
18. Which social issue do you feel most strongly about?
I believe in the importance of promoting responsible pet ownership and supporting organizations that rescue and rehabilitate animals in need.
19. Buda or Pest side?
Buda takes the view, but Pest takes the action. So I'm definitely a Pest-side kind of person when I'm not in the countryside.
20. What would you say is your personal motto?
As Mark Twain said, "Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn't do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover."