Back from holiday in Europe

Two weeks ago, I returned from an 18-day trip to Europe, a combination of work and relaxation. While I didn’t plan it to be this complicated, it ended up being a five country, eight city itinerary. In the coming days and weeks, I will write more details about the trip and update the pages on my website with restaurants and recommendations.

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London was a sneaky twenty-three hour layover I managed to build in unexpectedly. I didn’t have the opportunity to meet friends but did get a nice walk in along the River Thames on a blustery Autumn morning and once the sun emerged stopped by the Spitalfields Market for excellent shengjianbao.

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Barcelona was my second stop, a week to deliver training (a bit of a fudge to my previous role as technically I am not longer heading the leadership development organization at DKSH). This was my second trip to Barcelona and I had a bit more opportunity to explore than last time, when I traveled with my parents and husband. Lots of good food on this trip.

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Italy was a return some 17 years after my first visit. We went to Firenze to see my cousin and his family, Matera to see the mysterious and beautiful city of caves, and Ostuni to explore the charm of the Puglia region – the “heel” of Italy’s “boot”. This trip reminded me what the quality of life is so high in Italy: simple food, nice weather, beautiful views and friendly people.

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Vienna was a a first-time visit for me. I wasn’t sure what to expect and ended up charmed by the city. It is a bit of a set piece for some European imperial costume drama, at least as far as buildings go. This is a city and country I would like to explore further.

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Zurich was a return visit for work. In fact, I stopped into the city three times on this trip, enjoying the convenient train system to pop into the city during my layovers and then concluding with a two-night stay for work. This time I was able to explore a bit further and enjoyed some good food and friendly company.

This trip provided some neat random connections, running into people I had not expected to see and striking up conversations with strangers who happened to have connections with me in different random ways. It reminds me that this is a very small world and that traveling it helps us appreciate that which is different and that which is universal.

More coming soon.

 

9 thoughts on “Back from holiday in Europe

  1. Oh how wonderful that you were able to accomplish so much. Indeed travel is the best form of education in my life. I hope you return to Vienna. I LOVED it so much. Italy and Spain and London and Zurich all favorite places of mine, but Vienna, I can still feel the music of that place in me. Looking forward to reading more of your travelogue.

  2. This trip sounds so fun! I marvel at how you can manage the side trips during layovers – I’m always afraid I would not make it back in time to catch my connecting flight – and having to go through security again and again!

    • I did take on a new role four months ago. Am now the Global HR Business Partner for our Consumer Goods business unit. Basically, the top HR guy for this business unit. Much more of a move into operational HR (day-to-day recruit/onboard/manage/fire) from consultative HR (training/development/leadership/talent)

  3. I love Spain but never warmed to Italy. I think I need to visit some smaller bits. I have always wanted to go to Vienna so am glad to hear you liked it. Any particular highlights you suggest as must see?

    • Hi Sheldon – if you visit the christao.net website and look under “travel” you can find my just-updated Vienna page full with recommendations and highlights.

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