I dreamed a dream of foreign shores

A dream for me has always been to work in another country. There are a few places on the list San Francisco, New York, Toronto, Barcelona, Zurich and many many more.

When I was younger I travelled a lot with work, mainly within Europe, but also to the US and some other more ‘interesting’ locations. Thankfully most of my travel these days is within the UK, no more do I have the ‘glamour’ of airports and anonymous hotels for work travel.

When I travel for pleasure, there is something about some places that you enjoy as you pass through, but know that it is just a fleeting flirtation, and you are unlikely to return. A nice place to while away a few days, but no more than this.

The flip of that is that you also go to places that instantly feel like home. San Francisco and Bruges are two that spring to mind. Step out of a cab in the city and instantly feel like I have come home. The sights and sounds, the familiar places. Just that way that you relax into life as if you haven’t been away.

Explore a little to see if your favourite places are still there, that restaurant, the coffee shop, the bar with the live music, etc. Wandering around familiar areas, looking at changes and developments since your last visit.

There is however still a hint of romanticism around all of this. It is still just a holiday, a few days from life spent in another world. The every day reality of shopping, commuting, paying bills etc doesn’t exist in this space.

With the growth of services such as Air BnB and serviced apartments there is a middle ground now between the two. Rather than the distance of a hotel from real life, living in an apartment means that a holiday can feel more living in a city.

There is still a huge part of me that thinks it would be worth the risk, applying for roles, working somewhere that would allow either a sabbatical, or with the possibility of transferring to another country for a secondment.

But, as much as it is something that massively appeals to me I can’t help but feel that I would still end up disappointed. The encroachment of every day life into my dream. The drudgery of commutes and bills. The reality of being in a favourite city but only exploring evenings and weekends. Not being able to take off for a few days etc.

Do you have any dreams that are long held, but you know you will never make them a reality?

Role models – what are they and how do we choose them

This is a post I promised a lot of people I would write a long time ago, the draft was started in March, and I sit here in June completing it. So what took me so long? This post more than ever I wanted to get right, but then I realised it never would be, so I just need to get on and post it.

Role models are a common thread in my posts, often referred to as a colleague, an old boss, or named role models. My life and career has been influenced massively by role models, good and bad. Continue reading

The buzz after stepping out of your comfort zone

There is the road well travelled, a pair of comfy shoes, our spot on the sofa, a favourite jumper. Our comfort zones, so well named. What good happens in them?

Security. Peace of mind. Normality.
But what happens when we push ourselves out of our comfort zone?
When we take a chance and do something that challenges us? Continue reading

Where are our (senior) role models?

There has been something niggling away at the back of my brain for a while now. I couldn’t quite put my finger on what it was. Until this week. Something happened which finally freed the thought and brought realisation.

It was something that I used to take for granted, but which seems to have disappeared. My role models are no longer at a senior level, some are but not many. Continue reading

Why do we fall?

Anyone who knows me knows that I am a HUGE Batman fan, from the comic books, through Adam West and on through Christian Bale to Ben Affleck (we will forget Val Kilmer and George Clooney).

Why do we fall Sir? So that we can learn to pick ourselves up – Alfred Pennyworth

As such I have been aware of the above quote for a while, and have always liked it. But, as with so many things in life, I don’t think I have truly seen it or sought to understand it on more than a superficial level. Continue reading

What is success?

Success is a strange concept, we all seek it, we all have a unique definition of it. Most of us know and want to learn and emulate traits of successful people.

People like Steve Jobs, Ed Catmull, Richard Branson and David M Kelley fascinate me, as does their success. They are/were all highly motivated people, they set goals and achieve, no matter how unlikely success may seem. Their self belief is high, but is not based upon arrogance, rather on vision and upon a track record of achievement.

So what does success mean to me? Continue reading