Apologies for my unexpected sabbatical from blogging, I assure you I missed you as much as I hope you missed me. My excuse, well I've been traveling for work these past few months and when I haven't been out of the country I've been recuperating or preparing for the next event.
In January my work took my to Paphos in Cyprus, not Syria as my Grandad thought, causing both he and my Grandma to panic. I was there for a little over a week running an event that was part contest trip/part convention for 250 consultants from all around Europe. In Cyprus I was able to practice my French and learn that you should not ask a Dutch man what he is wearing underneath his toga unless you wish to see the man's spectacular leopard-print Speedo. Unfortunately what I did not get to do was workout (despite bringing my gym kit) or in fact even go outside.
|A beautiful view of our hotel, captured by our photographer.|
Perhaps the highlight of my trip to Cyprus was giving a presentation on digital marketing and the power of social media to the 250 attendees, which included the CEO from America and Europe's Managing Director.
|Up on stage at the Cyprus Convention.|
Two days ago I returned from a three-day trip to Amsterdam. I did at least have a few hours to explore the city which included a stop to Wynand Fockink, a spirits and liquor distillery that opened its doors in 1679! In the tasting room, they pour the liquor into tulip-shaped glasses so high that the rule is you have to bend down to the counter to take your first sip. I could have stayed for hours, which would have been dangerous considering the liquor went down so easy. Whatever flavour you can think of they had, and let me tell you it tasted exactly like the fruit or sweet it described!
Besides a stop at Wynand Fockink, I learned three things in my time in Amsterdam:
- Dutch is a difficult language. It appears like most everybody in the Netherlands actually speaks English, but when they are speaking in their native tongue I find it incredibly challenging to understand. I sat through a four-hour product launch and understood perhaps five words. I've been told its similar to German, but that is just as equally confusing for me.
- The Dutch love chocolate milk. I first noticed it at the breakfast bar in the hotel where there was a giant jug of chocolate milk that kept having to be topped up. Every restaurant and bar seemed to have chocolate milk on the menu. As I was sitting in a café watching the luggage waiting for our trip to the airport I saw so many trays of chocolate milk passing my head. At first I thought the Dutch just must have a lot of children, but no these were grown men in business suits.
- Bringing a gym kit with you when you're working an event is really pointless. Although I did actually put my gym kit on and go down to the hotel's gym. I got on the exercise for about 10 minutes before deciding I really just did not have the energy. It happens every time I'm traveling: a) I check online to see if the hotel has a gym, b) stuff my kit into my bag, and c) ignore gym kit entirely. I suppose I could leave it at home, but I know the one time I do will be the one time I really want to use the gym!
Now I'm back in England, with no plans to leave the country until 16 July when I head back to Pau, France to attend a friend's wedding. In fact, I doubt I'll be able to leave the country until then considering I have to turn my passport in to renew my visa! After these past few months of traveling, I'm going to need a break.