Wednesday, 23 March 2011
If you are not a regular reader of this blog, there are two things I want to tell you about myself.
First, I love to travel.
Second, I am almost desperately seeking a way out of the rollercoaster ride that it is my chosen career.
I don’t like to write about my job, because if I were to do so, I would let rip and almost certainly write an extreme post about everything that is wrong with it – and it might get me into trouble.
As a result, I bury my feelings in a box inside my head and get on with my life. However, just for this post, I am going to open that box, slightly, and let a little bit of information about my career escape into cyberspace.
Actually, thinking about it, the information I am going to impart to you is one of the good things that keeps me going in my chosen profession: my job requires me to travel.
Thanks to my job, I have worked in some fabulous places: Holland, Singapore, Switzerland, Trinidad, America, Canada, Hong Kong, Russia, China and South Africa to name but a few.
I have had some very interesting experiences in those places and the prospect for further travel is always there. It is by far the best part of the job for me.
So I stay – at least until I can figure out another way to achieve the same ends without the pain. Sadly, the pain still exists, and two recent events have sliced open the wound and poured vast quantities of salt into it – along with some acid.
Both events are similar and involve friends of mine.
The first of those friends is a guy I used to work with who we call Chopper.
Why do we call him Chopper?
Those of you whose mind, like mine, tends to edge towards disgusting reasons are wrong. We call him Chopper because within his first few weeks at work, he managed to be involved in several incidents where innocent people were injured. To be fair to Chopper, only one of them was his fault – and it was the first incident.
Chopper was playing five a side football with another colleague who had only been working at the company for just two days. Chopper, a very competitive guy, took a swing at the ball but instead of making contact with it, he hit the guy’s leg and took a chunk out of it.
Chopper was, obviously, mortified. The poor victim had to be taken to hospital and was off work for a week or so. The seed was sown.
A couple of weeks later, he was playing table tennis with another colleague when his opponent’s Achilles tendon snapped with an audible ping. Chopper was wholly innocent this time and once again a sporting opponent found himself in hospital. This time the poor guy was off work for weeks with his foot and ankle in plaster.
The final incident occurred at work, when Chopper was walking up the stairs. Coming down was a member of the HR department. Our story is that she realised that she was about to bump into the thug who liked to injure people and hurled herself down the stairs. What really happened was that she slipped and fell headfirst towards Chopper. If he hadn’t been there, she would have surely injured herself quite badly. Thankfully, Chopper caught her and saved the day.
The legend was born out of these events – the victims were “chopped” by the Chopper. The name stuck.
Anyway, back to the point of the post. Chopper and his partner have decided to take a leave of absence from the rat race and move to Greece for at least six months. The reason? They love Greece and want a break from the absurdity and stress of corporate existence.
And I am insanely jealous. It is a risk for them but Chopper is adamant that he wants to do this. He leaves next week.
And he isn’t the only one doing this.
We live two doors away from a young married gay couple, Luke and James, who have opted to do something similar but even more adventurous. These guys are in their late twenties and have decided, while they are still young enough, to go on a massive adventure. They are heading to New Zealand via India and the Far East. Their journey will take a year and they plan to settle in New Zealand for a few months, working to keep themselves going.
They left a couple of weeks ago.
I am even more jealous of Luke and James because they are embarking on a wonderful journey, a journey that I would dearly love to make myself.
The problem is that I just can’t make that final step to do something like that. Part of me tells me that I should just say “To HELL with it” and escape for a year or two. Sadly, there are many reasons not to do it, not least of all my two lads who are about to reach a landmark period in their lives. My eldest is about to go to university and my youngest will be doing so in a couple of years. I need to be there for them and give them all the help I can – which means working and saving and struggling on.
Besides, their happiness is more important than my dreams.
Mrs PM shares my love of travel and would also willingly travel the world with me but she too has reasons not to. And of course, I simply couldn’t go without her, even if I were free to do so.
Consequently, I have to drudge on – at least for now.
Maybe one day I will do the same and just pack it all in to jet off to a land of adventure.
Bon voyage, Chopper, Mrs Chopper, Luke and James – I am deeply envious and I hope you have a really good time on your travels.
And of course, my own dream is still alive – and I shall travel in short bursts with work and on holiday.
One day, dear reader, one day.