This has become my little annual tradition. As the year comes to a close, I like to sit down, take stock and review the past twelve months. What were my most cherished memories? Did I visit any new and exciting places? What have I experienced throughout the year?
As 2018 is in its final hours, it is time to take stock and review these past twelve months.
I’ve added up all my flights and trips and nights away and 2018 has been a very busy year. It didn’t just feel like this, the numbers do actually confirm that.
And I have added plenty of new countries to my travel map. Back in April I asked myself whether I would be able to visit 40 countries before turning 40. But the count only came up to 21 at the time. Meanwhile I have added another 5 countries (Poland, Hungary, Israel, Slovenia and Serbia), so a 50 before 50 goal looks a little more doable.
I assume most of you don’t find it too stressful to travel for leisure? (well unless you suffer from severe flight fear) Nah, neither do I. Travelling for business however can be a different thing. Especially when travelling weekly.
Somehow the classic 9 to 5 work schedule doesn’t quite apply then. I’ve briefly touched on this during one of my very first blog posts ‘The glamour of travelling for a living’ and more recently in my ‘Diary of a one day trip’, documenting just how endless said travels can sometimes be. But this is not to say I don’t love it, because I do. But you have to be careful and look after yourself; otherwise this can grind you down quite quickly.
How can it be March already? After a sheer endless January, February seems to have passed really quickly. Yes I know February is a shorter month. But by three days, not three weeks.
Anyways… I somehow hardly posted anything in February. Not that I was running out of blog ideas or didn’t want to post more. Somehow I just didn’t get round to actually finishing any of those half written post.
So to keep you all in the loop (and for purposes of me documenting my travel adventures in a diary kinda way), here a rundown of February’s travels.
Oh doesn’t it sound glamorous? ‘Are you in the office tomorrow?’ ‘No I will be flying to Germany for the day’… But is it really?
Yes ever so often my trips are day return trips rather than overnight stays. And whilst it obviously has the benefit of me sleeping in my own bed and not dragging a suitcase around with me all day (just a very very heavy work bag), it usually means a rather long day ahead of me.
To give you a glimpse of my reality, I kept a diary yesterday, documenting that day from start to finish.
I can’t believe January is (finally) over. It equally feels like this month has gone on forever and gone by so quick.
In recent years January was a fairly quiet and slow month at work. It usually meant physically being in the actual office for most of the month with hardly any travel, but at last with some spare time to clear your desk, work your way through that endless to do list and finally get that filing done.
Somehow this year this all went a little different. I have probably mentioned it before, this year January did not have just one or two travels, I actually did five trips this past month… to five different countries.
Last trip was a trip of firsts. First ever trip to Norway. First ever flight with Norwegian Air and SAS. And – believe it or not – my first ever connecting flight. Yes, I am as shocked as you are. Despite being a frequent flyer, I have never before changed planes. I have had days when I took a flight in the morning and then continued with another flight in the evening, but never direct transit. So here I was. Ready to do this not once, but twice in as many days. No better time to tell you all the things to know about connecting flights.
Doing more than one meeting a week isn’t new. The record here is seven in a week, if I remember rightly, however these were usually done as part of one big tour stretching several days. Going back and forth several times in one week – and actually travelling three countries within that one week – is a novelty… even for me. And not one I am eager to repeat anytime soon I hope.
Last week’s travel was a rather lengthy one (being away for a total of six days), although not all (or actually almost none) of it work related.
The original plan was to go home just for the weekend to attend my school reunion (still struggle to get my head around the fact that it is 20 years since we graduated), however as plans changed, so did my travel itinerary. So instead my colleague and I flew out on Tuesday to attend the IAA (Internationale Automobil Ausstellung, aka Frankfurt Motor Show) the day after, courtesy of our German automotive client.
Well into my big batch of travels, last week saw me travelling to Sweden for a change. No, I don’t speak any Swedish (unless ‘Hej’ and ‘Tack’ counts as language knowledge), but luckily most Swedes speak really decent English, so communication isn’t too difficult.
Apart from a weekend in Stockholm many moons ago, I have never been to Sweden before I started working in my current job. In the past year I have had a few trips, however have not always had a chance to actually see anything. But what I have seen is very pretty and makes me want to go and see more of this country… so maybe a road trip at some point? We’ll see.