I am currently sat around a table at a good friend’s house in Windsor London.
My friend owns a creative firm that specialises in animation videos, among other things. Her and her team are huddled around her kitchen table while renovations are being completed at their offices across the road from Windsor castle. I am here writing this blog and kicking off a new online community for women in Green Tech.
Christine is amazing. I am so glad we are friends.
Our kids are around the same age, and our social, environmental, and general philosophies are very much aligned. I remember being quite intimidated by her when we first met several years ago. She’s beautiful inside and out, warm, clever, driven, calm, and optimistic. Don’t even get me started on her husband and kids. AMAZING people. Just being in their home feels like a big warm hug with a hearty helping of giggles and gafaws.
She collected me from the Heathrow yesterday which was the first time someone has been there at the arrivals gate in the past few weeks. SUCH a great feeling to have someone waiting for you with open arms. I’ve been watching people come and collect friends and family at arrival halls all over Europe and Scandinavia. Each time I land and there’s no-one there to meet me I bravely trudge on to find my next train or taxi and settle in to my new surroundings. Having a local come and get me was an absolute treat.
The thing is, thanks to social media and my real life networks, I have friends and colleagues all over the world and in every city I visit. Three times now, I have been messaged by people who just happened to be in the same far flung city as me for one reason or another. Two friends were in Berlin at the same time on business, and another friend and EV/Green Tech enthusiast was in Amsterdam and heading back to Dubai the day before I was due to leave. SMALL WORLD!
So I have been galavanting around the planet with my little 12kg suitcase, and my wonder woman backpack and leather hobo bag. I watch parents herding their screaming children through security checkpoints and customs desks, and I heave a huge sigh of relief to be traveling so lightly and without our four kids.
I seriously thought I would miss them more than I do. We FaceTime regularly and I talk to them on the phone a lot thanks to Vodafone’s roam like you are home product that gives me full access to my family and friends here in Europe and of course back home in New Zealand.
I’ve had a chance to really get to know friends and colleagues and meet new and amazing people in the EV and Green Tech sectors. People are genuinely interested in what we are doing, and the passion and enthusiasm we share is perpetuating and very obviously contributes to a virtuous cycle of friendship and collaboration.
The thing about this trip, is that I have had plenty of time to myself, and you know what, I like being by myself. I like watching people, I like not having to negotiate with the entire family what I’ll be doing for lunch. I like putting my earphones in on the train and ignoring the world around me aside from staring out the window and watching the world zip by. I like deciding to chat to the person sitting next to me on the plane, or just leaning onto the window and having a nice little hour long nap on a flight. I like not knowing what I will be doing or where I will be eating or sleeping until the day before I get somewhere. I like meeting strangers, I like connecting with friends, I like wandering around a city all by myself and documenting my adventures on social media. Every moment of this trip has been a blessing, and the ups and downs have all served to recharge my very low emotional batteries.
I get to be as alone or connected as I choose on a daily basis. It turns out that I do like people. Strangers and friends I crave contact and conversation, but I still adore taking quiet moments and being my own little island, just a passive observer trudging around from place to place.
Added bonus at the moment is that it is Spring in Europe, so gardens and parks a bursting with colour and saturated in birdsong. Touches your soul just being outdoors on days like these.
So I should probably get back to what I was doing I suppose… I just wrapped up talking to my GM and he’s been an absolute rockstar in my absence. I am very excited about getting home to cheer him on and help him get our PR firm to the next level.
In the meantime, I am feeling very content and even a bit smug for working with some creative geniuses at the same table.
Have a great day, whatever you are up to, and thank you so much for reading!