I’ll always remember one particular cartoon from the famous English cartoonist Giles. Dated from the very early 70s, before the 01st Petrol crisis of 1973, it showed a spritely man starting the new year full of good intention, upright, back ram-rod straight bracing the new year with optimism and a pocket full of resolutions.
The image changes to show the same man bending over forward with the weight of all the woes and worries of the world on his shoulders, like some Sisyphus of old … it was only January the 04th !
Personally I gave up on new year resolutions. Not that I’ve become resigned or pessimistic – its not in my nature – just more pragmatic and hardened in the face of the umpteenth financial, ecological, climatic, global warming, or what have you crisis, cultivating optimism and realism in my little secret garden that only one or two share with me.
Actually it’s almost Easter and that says a lot, given the title of this entry, but I’m darned if you’ll see me bending over as though the weight of all the world’s woes and worries are on my shoulders! Oh no, although to be honest doing the job I do – which basically I like a lot – there are days when you really feel like staying in bed.
Alas, the bank manager is literally just down the road and happens – by some quirk – to be my personal advisor. Actually its no quirk, nor the result of some 6 figure bank account – double alas – but there you go everyone has their responsibilities and thinking you’re not totally chained to them, even though you are, is what helps you through the day.
I briefly mentioned my job but I’ve fixed myself a rule not to talk work in this particular blog, preferring to do that in another blog elsewhere…because this one is linked to my social and professional networks and you never know who can drop in … except that since my last travel entry I actually managed to go on a business trip, end of January, to Houston, about which I wrote a page in my website http://albatross133.tripod.com/Files/Houston.html. Really quite a funny trip with some lasting memories notably of your humble servant alone on the Freeways and Tollways of Houston…yeeha!
The connection travel with work is notably because my job occasionally requires physical travel and face to face meetings that fill a role and serve a purpose that virtual communications and Halo 3D meetings can’t.
Last trip I went on was in 2007 when I went to Shanghai to meet the team there and I was excited at the thought of another business trip. This time it was different, though. It was client facing and the challenges were different but globally it was a 2 fold success: 1) because logistically it went off without a hitch and 2) because, as with each trip, I came back personally bigger and stronger.
When I compare my personal travel log to that of certain of my professional acquaintances I’m a long way behind them and from the looks of it that doesn’t really bother me, although a couple more trips to a couple of places I’ve earmarked would do me fine.
The question is though, where is the dividing line? At what point do you realise that the magic and challenge of travelling has gone and it has turned into a chore?
When you start to regret that its keeping you away from your loved ones? When you feel constantly worn down due to lack of sleep and too many time zone changes? When you have that semi permanent grey taint of a chain smoker? When you feel like the travelling salesman of Arthur Miller fame?
As far as I am concerned, while others I know are starting to look like that, I’m not and still relish each trip I go on because whatever the phase of life you are in you have to take each and every occasion to make your life a better one. Perhaps its just me… I just love writing reams about my trips and little things that happen to make them memorable and worth writing about…but here’s to the next trip!