I started a new job four weeks ago.
(It is not my usual policy to blog about work-related things as I think it can get you in a whole lotta trouble if it’s misconstrued but bear with me, the job reference is incidental).
During two of those weeks, I have been travelling to visit some of our manufacturing plants as part of my induction – in the South of France and the Czech Republic.
I haven’t travelled for a couple of years now and I had forgotten both how fascinating and wonderful, yet challenging, it is.
My trip to Mont (near Pau – Pyrenees) in France reminded me how truly beautiful the French countryside is (soft, soft sunlight bathing the bald hills and ploughed fields), how unbelievably good the food is (I have no words, only noises, to describe it) and how difficult it is to be brave enough to use the smattering of French words I know – and I mean smattering as ‘bonjour’, ‘merci’, ‘au revoir’ and ‘Parlez-vous l’anglais s’il vous plaît?’ about covers it!
And then last week I went to Pilsen. As a first timer to the Czech Republic, I was more than a little perturbed to hear the pilot announce on our arrival in Prague that it was a chilly minus 9C – I know many of you just snorted derisively but it’s the coldest place I’ve ever to been to – leading me to wonder whether I could actually wear everything I’d packed in my carry-on all at once. But the 40min cab ride to the factory had me warm and toasty on the inside. And at the same time, I tried desperately to resist pressing my nose to the cold window in childish delight as I watched the snowy fields and dark green fir trees straight from the pages of fairytales flash by.
Unfortunately time didn’t permit any tourist-type nosing about on my part but I’ve returned with the spring in my step (and both a disgusting cold and case of mild sleep deprivation – who ever sleeps well in hotels!!??) that exploring new pastures has always given me…
…as well as a fervent appreciation of my own bed.
Ah travelling…in more ways than one, it’s good to have you back!