Travelling alone for work…! So, what type of plane is this? So… go to the conference in Sydney they said… it will be useful they said… a great opportunity to learn and build your network, plus your team are presenting at the conference. Well, no one told me that I would have to fly on THIS! And alone!?!?!? Totally not impressed and any opportunity to drive in the future I will be taking it 100% of the time lol… well, I know that probably sounds very dramatic, well I did actually type this paragraph on take off, so this is the narrative to this face.
Once we had levelled off and I got into the Chris Brown Indigo album, it was not actually that bad.
So, this was the first time flying alone, I was excited and scared at the same time. But then I remembered that this flight was for a few hours and my daughter is 18 years old and had just done it alone, 3 months ago and for 24 hours so I really needed to pull myself together.
You know it’s going to be a bumpy ride when your water comes sealed. Didn’t eat the non vegan snack for obvious reasons.
The landing was not too bad, it was actually quite nice looking at all the Sydney lights. Well what I could see through squinted eyes and my hands over my face anyway!
I worked from home all day on the day of travel; The team and I have 12+ reports due for our funders over the next 10 days, so gave us an opportunity to try and get as much done as possible. Now I say 10 days; well a lot of us are at a 2 day conference this week, so it’s really a 3 day week for us and next week I have a 2 day planning meeting and will be *DRIVING* 5 hours from Canberra to Dubbo and back to Canberra, which will mean three days actually spent on a two day meeting. So, it’s a two day week really. If you minus the three then add the two and carry some toil… hmmm… Those 10 days have quickly reduced to five…
I can’t complain too much, the team are truly out of this world and do such amazing work. They will be completing these reports whilst at the same time managing the daily operations. I did say they were pretty amazing people.
I arrived in Sydney at 18.20, because we took off a little late. I got an Uber from the airport to the Rydges, Surrey Hills, Sydney. I dumped my stuff and headed straight out for a walk. I am aware that with the conference and reports due this week, I might not make my two Orangetheory workout sessions this week and might only manage one. I was also aware that I had worked from home today and had only done 6,500 steps as of this point. There is an Orangetheory 30 minutes from the hotel so depending on conference times, I will try and squeeze one in. It’s a late start of 10.00am on day one, so I should be able to squeeze at least one in.
After my walk, I went to find some food and headed back to my room. By this time it was 8.30 so I decided to take a shower and head to bed. I started work at 07.30 so was very ready. My head was still spinning from the plane ride to be honest.
Conference day one
I decided to go for a run on the morning of day one. I was aware that I was going to be sitting down and doing limited walking so wanted to “get my steps in”. I also love seeing new places so used this as an opportunity to explore and have some personal reflection time. Just over an hour later I returned to the hotel to have a shower and get ready for the day. I also managed to squeeze in the revision of two reports for our funders so was a having a particularly productive morning. All this before 10.00am. Well I was up by 06.00am intentionally.
Some snaps from my “wellbeing run” and evening walk.
Day one of the conference was amazing! It was a great opportunity to meet new people and learn new things. These happen to be two of my favourite things in life!
One of my team also had a presentation to make which was exciting. She really did us proud! I used the Q&A session after the presentation to thank her on behalf of the organisation for everything she has done and continues to do, she really is a bit of a legend and public recognition was definitely over due.
The conference started at 10.00am, so I got there a little early as usual. The conference was in the hotel we were staying in so that was very handy. They were right after all, it was useful, what a productive day, I learnt so much and had some great conversations.
After the conference we had a networking opportunity in the roof top bar! Result!!!
The view from the roof top bar.
We had a few drinks there and then moved to the hotels restaurant for more drinks. I’m not a big drinker so half a glass of wine (with ice), two pints of water later and an hour later I was in bed.
I was already for a good nights sleep but the workmen had a different plan. “Apparently” there was some urgent work required right outside my window! So from 21.00pm to 04.00am there was banging, engines and drilling! Despite this I still managed to nod off and slept until midnight. I used this opportunity to speak with reception to get an idea of the time frame associated with this “urgent” work. They didn’t have any idea, but were very polite and offered me some ear plugs. I politely decline through fear of sleeping though my alarm. Then had a wicked idea. Ruth, you spent £300 on some noise cancelling headphones, well now was the time to put them to the test.
I found a YouTube video with the sound of rain drops, clicked play and drifted back to sleep! Wow, they really worked. Well done Sony.
Conference day two
I decided to have another early start today. I woke up at 06.00, downed a pint of water and popped my trainers on and headed out again. Although I only had half a glass of wine my body was definitely disappointed with my actions and told me so!
This time it was an hour WALK; I can assure you there was no running involved today.
I still managed to get close to my daily step target and reached 9,354 steps. As I returned to the hotel, I received a call from HR about some “work stuff”, went and had a shower and got ready for another productive day.
Day two did not disappoint! It was just as valuable as day one.
A lot of food for thought as I start developing our strategy. I made some really good contacts that can help with strategy development and operational improvements and innovation.
I left the conference an hour early to catch my flight back to Canberra. The Uber ride was eventless (sent a few emails and checked my inbox for anything urgent) and quick but security at the airport was something else. For some reason I have been getting stopped as part of the “random selection process”. Don’t get me wrong, I full support this and what needs to happen to make sure we are all safe. But I have noticed that I didn’t get stopped until I had pain killers in my bag. I really need to take them out as I don’t even take them! I brought them for my ankle. I broke it two years ago and every 2 months it swells up and I can hardly walk. Yes Ahmed, I did brake it. I know you might try and edit this out but the people need to know the truth lol. Ok, I didn’t technically brake it, I sprained it VERY badly and the doctor said sprains are worse recovery wise than breaks (so please get your little violin out and give me sympathy)…
After the “rub down” which I’m actually starting to enjoy (don’t judge me please) I headed to Victoria Secret but nothing took my fancy. I then headed to Jo Malone to have a browse; again decided against buying anything because upon arrival, I did treat myself to a new Jo Malone perfume.
I then sat doing some emails and listening to voicemails etc. Also managed to type up some of my notes from the conference and send updates to same key internal stakeholders.
I boarded the plane, had the usual panic attack on take off (didn’t cry this time) and sat finishing up this blog. I had a chat with the lady next to me about the quality of snacks and the fact there were no vegan options available as I pulled out a brown and bashed banana from my handbag. She didn’t look impressed!
That, with some sparkling water kept me going for the hour flight.
Before take off, I got a lovely message from Ahmed informing me that he would be there to pick me up. What a nice surprise, I thought J boy had gymnastics so they could not come.
The landing was ok, A little bumpy but I was just happy to back on the Ngunnawal land.
Peace, Love and Happiness