My colleagues in Priddy’s international sales team sometimes laugh at the fact that I can’t relax unless I arrive at an airport at least two hours before my flight takes off. What they don’t understand is that I would very much like to be as laid back as they are, but it’s a family trait that I simply can’t shake (Aunty Anita, if you’re reading this, I blame you). When travelling with work, I even try to arrive at train stations half an hour before the train I’m getting is due to leave in case I lose my ticket, get stuck in a lift or turn up at the wrong station!
Now, imagine the state of my nerves on a trip that involved 3 flights, 9 trains and 3 buses, plus a few taxi journeys thrown in for good measure. If there had been a ferry involved, I would have put myself forward to write Priddy’s next book about Things That Go!
So many transport links meant that I didn’t have enough time to arrive as early as I would like, so my stress levels went through the roof. I travelled from London to Basel, Basel to Milan, Milan to Trieste, Trieste to Venice, and back to London, all in just three days! Monday evening saw me running up Basel’s main shopping street, which as luck would have it is on a hill, dragging a suitcase full of books with one hand and frantically searching the internet for the quickest route to the train station with the other!
But I really don’t want to give the impression that I don’t enjoy my job. All of the planes, trains and automobiles were worth it in the end, as I got to meet with some of our key European publishing partners as well as enjoying a walk along the river Rhine in Basel, the view from the roof of Milan’s cathedral, and a beautiful sunset over Piazza Ponterossa in Trieste on my last evening – when I could, finally, just about relax. And the Italian food wasn’t bad, either.