Where in the world has my work taken me?
As you already know, I do travel quite extensively and am lucky enough to meet wonderful people from a variety of industries in different locations across the globe. So this year, I have been taking another long tour, taking me thousands of air-miles into eastern and western directions. While a training seminar tour around the world sounds like just a lot of fun, it is work after all. And being work it also has it’s own challenges; coping with different time zones, different cultures, language barriers and such like. Yet, all that I do overcome by having a positive mindset, an outgoing personality and the sheer drive and determination in helping others and to make a difference.
During 2017 I have been ‘stuck’ in London, working for the Post Office on a SAP SuccessFactors rollout with the EC and Onboarding modules. I ran many workshops, webinars and created a catalogue of end-user support materials in print and video.
During 2013 I have been visiting:
- Germany – Frankfurt
- Malaysia – Kuala Lumpur
- China – Beijing
- UAE – Dubai
- USA – Houston
- Canada – Calgary
- Netherlands – The Hague
It has been an extremely exiting world-tour, training over 600 delegates in a variety of subjects, including CRM systems, employee recruitment and management.
Once again I have met a wonderful bunch of people from all walks of life, who were very keen to learn new skills and to ‘brush up’ on exisiting ones. Having gotten to know a lot of the delegates on a more personal level, it was wonderful to be sharing dinner with a lot of them as well as having been given the opportunity to see the cities I have visited on a ‘local’ level, rather than just as a tourist.
So what did I get up to in those locations, well apart from running training workshops of course?
In Kuala Lumpur, after I finished the training programme, I spent the last day touring the city. It was wonderful. I even utilised one of the many massage places along the high street. Not the ‘red light district’ kind of places, but the store-fronted ones where you can stop off for 30 minutes to an hour and have a wonderfully relaxing foot massage. What a great way to relax when walking around the city. I also got the opportunity to visit the twin towers as well as the sky-bridge connecting the two. What a sight…
In Beijing I was made feel very welcome and taken around town with a bunch of delegates, who showed me the ‘real’ Beijing, away from the usual tourist trails. This really would not have been something I could have discovered all by myself… Such a diverse city, where rich and poor are so close together, yet all seems to run in harmony. This could also largely be down to the ever prominant armed forces and police presence as far as the eye could see.
Dubai has been another great place to visit. The only day I had an afternoon off, I decided to relax by the rooftop pool on the 47th floor. Get this… After about 15 mins of careful application of sunscreen the sky suddenly darkened and a massive sandstorm made the sun and surrounding buildings dissapear. Everyone ran for cover. Then I spent the next 3 hours in my hotel suite, looking out the window, waiting for the sand to settle. Sadly, by that time the sun had also decided to give up and to make an exit. So I chose to head off to the Dubai Mall instead. What a place for someone to go crazy with shopping. Golden iPads, iPhones and whatever else the heart (and massive wallet) desired. So I decided to have dinner, then a walk around before taking the train back to my hotel.
Houston was a bit of a disappointment. I stayed in a downtown hotel just about 10 minutes walk from the venue of the training location. The downtown area is a rather drab looking place, that is filled with office workers and only seems to be alive between 7am and 6pm. After 6pm there is virtually nothing to do in downtown. It feels like someone chased everyone out of the place. Even restaurants close there at 9pm. When I asked locals why this is, I was told that most people live in the suburbs, and on a good day they could take between 45mins and 90mins drive to get home. Unfortuately most days don’t seem to be such good days…
In addition, it did rain an awful lot while I was there, literally from the day I arrived until the day I left. The only time there seemed to be sunshine was when I was in class… Yikes!
Then I was off to Calgary. Having had the fun of 30 degrees centigrade in Houston, I knew that Calagary was going to be colder. For days before I had been checking the temperatures to prepare myself for the change. The day before I left Houston, the Calgary day temperature was still a nice 20 degrees centigrade. Of course, as luck would have it, the day I arrived in Calgary (well 24 hours later) the temperature had dropped to just 12 degrees centigrade. Oh well, I had a light jacket and long-sleeve shirts with me, so this should be just fine. Yeah right. The next morning as I left the hotel the doorman smiled at me and mentioned that my jacket may be a little too light for the day. I told him that I should be fine as I am from the UK…
Oh boy, how wrong I had been. Just about 10 minutes down the road (yes I do tend to walk as much as I can) I was frozen through. My hands felt like ice. Only another few minutes and I will be at the conference centre venue for my workshops. Let’s hope the heating works…
I did look rather frozen I was told; which put a smile on the delegate’s faces, since it was pretty obvious to them, who the trainer was. It wasn’t my accent that gave it away… it was the red nose, my shivering body and chattering teeth. Luckily, the shops were open after the training day and I was able to rush into a branch of H & M to buy myself two nice, snug jumpers for the rest of my stay. What a good idea that was, since the temperature continued to plummet; eventually down to minus 5 degrees centigrade on my last day. Gosh, it was colder than London… and it was only OCTOBER! Is this global warming? Certainly didn’t feel like ‘warming’ to me.
After a short stop-over in London, I then jetted off to The Hague for the last leg of my tour. I actually love the city, so clean and quaint. just the bikes are a bit of a nuisance. Almost got run over twice, since they do not stop for pedestrians. They just keep driving like maniacs. Almost worse than the cars. But maybe for the next time I grow another pair of eyes?
All in all, it has been a very exciting time and I am looking forward to doing more of these training sessions. Yes, while my airmiles kept clocking up, it was a long time being away from home. Not that I mind in the slightest, but one does need time to relax afterwards.
I continue to work on my online courses for you all as well as preparing new material for webinars. In the meantime, if you wish to take any of my courses, why not visit them via these links –