Transition times: opportunities and risks

Dam Square Amsterdam
Dubrovnik, Croatia

This is a planned (and pleasant) transition week for me. Lots of work — we have three Canadian publications to send to the printers by the weekend — and then, this time next week, I’ll be on a flight with my wife to Washington, DC, onwards to Amsterdam, for a three-week vacation that will take us as well to Croatia and the Adriatic Sea.

This trip has been in planning for about 11 months, about the time that Aeroplan seats would first become available for the following year. My goal: To find the most luxurious but inexpensive routing possible. Vivian, meanwhile, said: “Why don’t we go to Croatia?” ?This surprised me, because I associated that country with the wars at the break-up of Yugoslavia 20 years ago; but I’m always ready for some adventure (and Croatia is now quite safe, and in fact, is considered to be a major tourist destination for western European travellers.)

Then, I set out to use my airline fare-busting skills, eventually finding two first class seats (in a three-class plane) to Amsterdam, with connections forward to Dubrovnik and returning home for $750.00 each in cash plus a massive number of airline points. I like travelling in first class seats, especially when the cash cost is cheaper than the least expensive economy fare.

Getting away, of course, requires co-ordination, with staff and contractors in Ottawa and elsewhere. Blogging may prove to be challenging — this is more a vacation than a business trip; and researching the arcane aspects of Balkan or European construction industry practices and marketing methodologies will be a challenge, especially since English isn’t the first language in the countries we are visiting.

Of course, planned transitional weeks/events are much more enjoyable and, obviously, easier to manage than circumstances outside our control and planning, whether it be in business or personal life. I suppose the most stressful examples of this sort of conflict occur when the unplanned transition coincides with the schedule for something good you had planned. (No one looks forward to health problems blowing away a vacation.)

A good sign that things are in order is that we can take time off on planned vacations, and have confidence things won’t fall apart at home in our absence. The uncertainty that occurs when you travel to strange and distant lands also encourages creativity and I expect, will generate some innovation and inspiration for our return.

Now, though, I must return to work. We have publications to produce.

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