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Saturday, December 3, 2011

7 Challenges in London

This week my travel adventure was in London. It was a week with several challenges.

Challenge #1: Arrive  in the midst of a large public sector strike with predicted delays in all forms of travel.
Result: Success
Method: Train and taxis precisely and unusually on time. Eurostar served me well including a little spinach pie, proper bottle of wine and a chocolate mousse so I could pretend I was not even working!

Challenge #2: Pass LK Bennett shop at St. Pancras without buying anything.
Result: Failure
Method: Scan the clothes on the racks looking much frumpier than those you saw on your friend Alison. Select a few and discover why this store is so successful. Leave the store. Suitcase heavier - wallet lighter - wardrobe smarter. 

Challenge #3: See the Christmas lights approximately 5 mins from my hotel
Result: Failure
Method: Stay in the hotel room working on your proposals instead. Venture forth only long enough to enjoy a fresh strawberry martini in the hotel bar. Go back to work.

Challenge #4: During the two day conference connect with a customer who you may have met before but have zero recognition of.
Result: Success
Method: Send him a text inviting him for drinks later, and neglect to tell him who the text is from.Curiosity is a powerful motivator. 

Challenge #5: During the conference meet a new customer only by scanning badges and hoping you run across each other.
Result: Success via miracle
Method: While leaving the conference to take the Eurostar home share a taxi with a random person who turns out to be the exact customer you were hoping to meet during the week. Invite her for a lovely glass of champagne at the least likely of places and receive an invitation to visit her anytime in Brussels.

Challenge #6: Travel home in reasonable comfort.
Result: Failure
Method: Book the only fare on Eurostar that offers zero service, no power for a laptop, in the same section as a family drinking good red wine from a bottle still in its paper bag. Appreciate the effct of the wine on the consumers is different than on the surrounding parties.

Challenge #7: Learrn something from the trip
Result: Success
Method: Attend a mobility strategies conference. Learn a lot about mobility, a little about apps, and remember to make travel reservations more carefully.


  1. Thanks Nona! I try to remember to treat the challenges in life as street theater - interesting to observe but not necessarily about you!

  2. Nicely written Melanie. I like the format.

    The project of life is to be in grace with chance. ~ André Breton

  3. Richard this will be my new motto!


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