Pond Hopping


Ever do something so regularly that you just begin to accept it as part of your life … And then it disappears … And then it comes back and you forgot how difficult / special it is?

Next Tuesday I leave for 10 days in England.  It includes a pretty aggressive work schedule including bench-marking plants & practices in my company and attended a Nadcap meeting (that’s an Aerospace Quality thing).  Part of it will be in Manchester but mostly in London.  There is a weekend in he middle there but with my current backlog it is way too likely I will spend it doing work.  This will be the seventh time I visited England, all of which for work purposes, going back to 2002, and including what I still call the most incredible trip of my life.

The thing is, it’s been since 2011 since I last spent time there.

Not only that, this is the first time I left the country since 2012.

Think of something you used to do but haven’t done in five years – like riding a bike, right?  Or like falling off a bike?

It’s almost eerie to me how low my attention is being put on this trip.  To know me is to know I travel a lot for work, and it should go without saying that I am used to it.  It’s pretty typical that I don’t do much to prepare.  I usually don’t pack until the morning of a trip, unless I have an early morning flight and don’t want to take a chance on oversleeping.  I have a second of everything I take with me (a second razor, a second hair brush, a second charger … and a third, forth, fifth, and whatever number I am sure to forget at a hotel).  Prep work is minimal and pushed to the last minute.

But this is international.  I mean, all those international things are done – like my passport is still good for six years, I don’t need a visa, and it only took a quick visit to Target to stock up on plug adapters.  International travel is still Different (with a capital D).

Yet in my head, I got to what I expect – more specifically the weekend in London.  Of the literally hundreds of buisness trips I have taken, if you to ask me what my favorite trip was – it would be the 2005 UK visit which included Birmingham, London, Sheffield, Almost getting blown up on the tube, meeting Brian Dennehy, catching the Eurostar to Paris for the Tour de France, the jack the ripper tour, getting kicked into a bar, Phantom of the Opera & Le Miserable live, tours of Stonehenge & Bath, ‘To the Wives’, and that is just to name a few.  If you were to ask me my second favorite trip – 2002 UK in Derby and London.  If I ever made a top ten (which don’t make me, cause you know I would), England would show up an awful lot there.

I don’t have exact plans for my downtown yet.  In part because I haven’t worked on them yet being … well, lazy.  Part of it though is that I want to see what the weather is like.  Nearly every trip that included any time in London during the summer, I ended up in Hyde Park – the Central Park of London (or I guess you could say Central Park is the Hyde Park of NYC).  There are just some places in the world where you go that makes you feel good – Hyde Park does that for me.  So you can expect that will happen sooner or later.

I don’t know if I will have many blogs about my experience over there – cause it sure doesn’t seem I do a good job of keeping up with this blog does it?  Still if I get the chance to, be sure to look for my little hop across the pond soon.


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