Off – September 2, 2008

Dear Readers,

…And I’m off. Off vacation, off and running, off for another season on the road, hopping back and forth between continents like some sort of international bunny rabbit. (Thankfully, hopping is where the comparison ends.)

Travel-wise, this trip got off to a good start: on the first flight, I was bumped up to first class, and on the second, I was put in an aisle seat in a very spacious exit row, with an empty seat next to me. I slept well.

Yet, my curse follows me. This is nothing magical, mind you; it’s simply the curse of modern development, a penchant for construction in and near the hotels I stay in. It seems that, in at least every third hotel I check into, I have to switch rooms once or twice during the first day because of noise. I don’t mind the sounds of daily life – cars, buses, people, conversations, TV, radio – but I don’t warm to constant, invasive, loud white noises (jets, drills, air hammers, fans, etc.), especially when I’m trying to practice or nap. At this hotel in Geneva, sure enough, drills buzzed into action in the middle of my afternoon practice session. One room change solved the problem, though, and now all is peace and quiet.

Going back on the road after three months off, I wasn’t sure how I’d feel. Would I get right back in the swing of things? Would I get tired easily, miss the routines of home, or not be able to focus? Would jetlag hit harder than normal? To tell the truth, I wasn’t sure I wanted to get on my first flight yesterday. During my layover, I wished I could go home. But once I arrived in Geneva, I felt rested and comfortable, ready to work, and content to be amongst foreign languages again (even though this is a French-speaking area, its residents are multi-lingual). And then, today, I experienced probably my most productive post-international-flight practice day ever. I can see all of ’08-’09 stretching out in front of me now – and it’s going to be jam-packed, busy, and challenging – but even on my first day back at work, I’m looking forward to what’s to come. There will be no moping here. I’m glad to be back.