Today is the one year anniversary of announcing I was leaving (and actually leaving) Skimlinks. As I write this, I am sitting at my computer in a beautiful old chateau in Avallon, with a cute puppy on my lap, while on my second hour of a phone call to Vodafone, trying to get my phone number switched out of the company account and to my personal account. This sums up the last year quite well. Here is why:

A year of adventures

The last 12 months have seen me tick a lot of dream destinations off my bucket list: Colombia, Peru, Gallapagos Islands, Esalen in Big Sur, Holbox, Oaxaca, Tuscany, Dominican Republic, etc. Gosh. And now, my adventure continues, as I am on the start of my French roadtrip, to further explore some parts of the world I’ve always been drawn to: the Pyrenees and Basque regions. It is a very different form of travel to have a car and a dog, and I’m revelling in the novelty and creativity it forces on my planning.

A year of planning what’s next

The reason I’m on this roadtrip is partly just because. London is getting too much, and I want to escape the noise and distractions of that big city, and get somewhere I can be creative and inspired, while I work on my next plans. It is possible with wifi to mostly be able to do my consulting and coaching work remotely, so with very little impact to my ability to earn an income, I can get away from London and find some peace and inspiration. The only challenge is the loneliness.

A year of family

Family – getting one of my own – has been a theme of this year too. From being deeply in love to being heartbroken; from planning a child on my own to deciding that I wasn’t sure I could do it on my own; from deciding to bring a puppy into my life and having it transform it for the better. Yes, little Lumi, by name and by nature, has brought light into my life. She is right now snoring gently with her head in the crook of my arm as I type these very words. My heart swells with maternal adoration for this hilarious, sweet, playful creature. While not quite the same as a partner or a child, it is something else beautiful and soothing.

A year of admin hell

Unfortunately, however, this year has always been overwhelmed with admin hell. Hell. I have probably spent a month of my life, all added up, on hold, waiting for engineers, filling in forms, being transferred from incompetent human to incompetent human. I have been left with the distinct impression that big company’s disregard of customer service is an evil that I hope some divine being punishes with fiery vengeance. I have been on a call with Vodafone for 2 hours now, I’ve been transferred to 10 different people, and that isn’t counting the 6 people that the last (quite helpful) woman spoke to while she kept me on hold. Each person said something contradictory, each person said the previous person I spoke to was wrong, all of it doesn’t make sense. I am on this wonderful adventure with my puppy as I plan my next great cause, and instead I am battling with incompetence and jobsworths who aren’t empowered or educated enough to solve problems. This has been a recurring theme for this year, as I am for the first time in a long time *not* part of a big team, and having to deal with a complex world without a team, without partners, is both challenging and saddening. I miss being part of a team, and I look forward to getting back into one.

A year on from leaving the day-to-day of my beautiful team, I look forward to once again feeling a part of something important and growing. Watch this space…