Hello. I’m just back after almost three exhilarating months in Madrid, rejuvenated and refreshed. So what was I doing there?
Well, it’s been two years since I relocated to Australia. I decided I’d save my grand return to Europe for April 2010, so Mr D. And I could both take time off, drop in on a family wedding and make sure that we had a comfy savings cushion behind us to make the most of our long-overdue reunion with family and friends.
But last year’s spring (Nov to Jan) in the southern hemisphere proved the hottest on record, and I had a horrible vision of the Australian summer that was about to unfold before me. So I invoked my Get Out Of Jail Free card and Plan B kicked in instead: 10 weeks working from Madrid, Spain, followed by 9 days or so in Ireland and the UK to see friends and family.
The trade-offs of Plan B were that my favourite travel companion stayed at home and the emphasis was very much on working, rather than holidaying. No time for touristy treats, or even as many catch-ups as I’d like. (So my apologies to all the lovely friends and colleagues in Europe that I didn’t get to see this time. Oh, and I’ll miss my cousin’s wedding… sorry Anita.)
But the upsides were enormous. I bypassed the worst of the summer heat in Queensland, and instead enjoyed the snow, language, culture, food and all-around sense of energy and excitement that comes with living in a European capital city. Work was booming and I had one of my busiest February’s on record. Best of all, I was perfectly positioned to make the most of it all. I took a self-imposed blogging sabbatical and was very happy working long hours to justify my gallivanting. All in all, as an experiment in bi-hemispheric living / working, it was a resounding success.
I finally arrived back in Brisbane a week ago today. It’s always nice to get home, of course, but I’m already planning my next working trip for the end of 2010. The idea of never spending another summer in Australia is an appealing one… so why not? Watch this space!