Working away from home can be fun
Working away from home is not glamorous….
When I first started in the consulting business over five years ago I was really excited about the prospect of trips away during the week. What could be better than living in a hotel, gym every evening, and breakfast and dinner on tap courtesy of the hotel restaurant (or Deliveroo)? Right?
Five months living in Coventry quickly dissuaded me of this image. Early starts to (just) catch a train every Monday morning, carrying around your life in your case, occasional gym visits (just my lack of motivation) and, as a vegetarian, usually eating the same meal every night. Yes, I ate gnocchi Monday to Thursday every night for 5 months!
I’ve managed to dodge the ‘out of town bullet’ for a few years now, so couldn’t massively complain when I was posted to Cardiff. Although I didn’t know much about the city I was determined not to be a hotel / room service recluse but to make the most of exploring a new city.
One of the most amazing drives to get out and explore has been Snowdogs: Tails in Wales. Last year, these giant decorated Snowdogs (from the Snowman and the Snowdog) appeared all round the north east – especially amusing my parents who used their semi-retirement to visit them all. Well, they do say that we all turn into our parents at some point and I have obviously reached that goal – it seemed like fate that they were now in Cardiff. Deciding to set myself the goal of seeing them all, I downloaded the app and set off.
Despite being a bit glitchy (well it is for charity), the app is great in guiding you to the nearest Snowdog. My all-consuming commitment to a goal has seen me walking the long way to work through Bute Park, taking a detour home via the National Museum Cardiff, and this week down to Cardiff Bay.
I had been to the Bay once before in the summer for a friend’s wedding when it was buzzing with people enjoying a drink and the sea breeze. There were noticeably fewer people on a Monday night in November and I had to wear my gloves and shawl over my winter coat, but it has no less of a buzz about it. Obviously the recipient of significant investment, the Bay was so impressive and made me want to come back for a mini break with the fiancé. And along the way I collected over 7 Snowdogs – so another great leap towards my goal.
Thank you so much to Snowdogs: Tails in Wales for motivating me to explore my new temporary hometown (for weekdays anyway). It’s on until the beginning of December so would recommend to anyone in the Cardiff area to get out and take a fresh look at the city. Some of my favourite pics so far are below but you can see all 48 on my Instagram feed. Also, the trail is in aid of the charity - Tŷ Hafan – paediatric palliative care – well worth a thank you donation.
So, maybe I’m wrong, it might not be glamorous but you can have fun working away from home – with the help of a few Snowdogs and a commitment to explore the everyday amazing sights. Life is a wonderland.