A visit to the home of the gap year

Okay. So my excuse for weeks between posts: March was a “peak” deliverables month in our business. While I did manage to take a weekend tap workshop with Ruben Sanchez (link) from Barcelona and started my German writing course (a story for when I have finally acquired the required German keyboard!), I closed out the full-on month by flying to London to give a speech on behalf of our business.

London river walk, 26 March 2017. Excellent spring weather – no rain!
Back in 2004, I lived in London for six months and have visited many times. Yet, my last landing in London City Airport was before the 2012 Summer Olympics and the overland railway connection! Geez.

It occurred to me that – while the United Kingdom is beyond my 360 from here (link) gap year travel plan – it actually invented the gap year itself. I take that as my reason to list a few things that always make me smile there, all of which flooded happily back:

  • The feeling of having been dropped directly into a BBC series as everyone other than me sounds, well, British
  • The sheer hustle of getting from place-to-place just before 9 a.m. in London City
  • That nearly all people in suits stride to work carrying a to-go coffee
  • The love of cheese and ham sandwiches that are basically smashed between two hot irons and called toast
  • Indian food, my clear preference to toast. (This time, Mint Leaf Lounge restaurant, just around a hidden corner, from our equally nicely-hidden boutique hotel.) British_Breakfast_27Mar17
  • Proper British breakfast that I actually ordered the first morning. “Porridge” like in a Grimms fairy tale, the next.
  • The simple fact that all beer from all nations tastes better in a pub

Of course, there’s also the Tate Modern and theater and hop-on-and-off-red-double-decker-buses and much more. This was a business trip with some hours for walking, which is what I would do anyway, anywhere. I simply enjoyed being around the people in their normal daily culture. Well worth bending that 360 km rule.

Why I put a cartoon animation – Amelia – on this blog

I had the sense that a few of you opened the last post – titled Do you remember my model? – thinking it was my personal question, not that of a 23-year-old cartoon girl! I thought it worth a note now that Amelia has made her third appearance: why is she here?

Who Amelia is not:

  • not a younger version of me or who I was at that age. Not at all. I had different priorities back then – I wanted a car and my own apartment. Never occurred to me to do branding for a living. Was for sure no fitness role model, as the jogging craze was just starting
  • not based on anyone, in fact. She’s created by our team of Millennials, plus some insight gained through workshops and research (click here for an excellent, fun GoldmanSachs example)
  • not even the backpacker I might have been, as it turns out

Amelia represents a response to my realization of how a 20+ year-old can perceive a 53-year-old: old! She provides a contrast in perspectives. Most importantly, and even fun, she gives me a reason to talk about these differences. I’ve learned a lot from the Amelia model choices that our team made. Even how they wanted her to look and dress.

In this last episode, Amelia sent me an email and asked for “inspiration.” How should I respond? I actually don’t know yet what I will say. Do you know any 23-year-olds well yourself? Feel free to offer ideas!

P.S. And for those of you who had children later in life, as many of my friends did. Imagine if you have to give this advice a decade from now. It’s a bit intimidating, no? The world and it’s options for people who may have to work the next 50-60 years has truly and fully changed…




Dance courage – winter

A lot of you voted in the poll I posted last week – What dance do you think I’m doing?  Thank you! So. As promised, here is a video of my dance experience so far. Recorded during lessons.

A big thank you goes to René Fuerstenfeld for hours of patience and encouragement just as you see him in these few minutes. He helps me feel true joy and humor in the attempt at step-by-step (pardon the pun!) progress.

OK. Here we go. What was I thinking? nabp_final-smile-1x1cm_02-web


Please vote: what dance am I doing?

I’m about ready to post a video from my actual dance lessons. That should make a few of you (who poked me about it after this initial video post) happier! But before I put myself in this rather vulnerable light, I’d like to know what dance style you think I’ve chosen. When I see as many “votes” on the poll below as I saw “clicks” on that last silly video – the results AND my real dance example will go up. Deal?nabp_final-smile-1x1cm_03web

Note: the poll is anonymous. So give it your best guess. When you click on a choice, a blue outline will appear around the bullet box. Then hit “Vote” at the bottom. And we shall see…

Do or dont; will or wont?

skatingSome of you noticed that I was on ski’s in my last post. Took a cross-country skating lesson with a friend from Zurich. If I had a “bucket list” (which I don’t actually), xc-skating would have been on it. I’ve been off and on with the classic type for decades.

After finally starting to get the rhythm via a two-hour lesson, I realized I’d have to practice a lot more to get the hang of it & just have fun. Now I have a dilemma: I’m already three hours a week in dance (1.5 x 2 days), plus an hour in Pilates and usually a short jog on the weekend. Still I thought I’d go again because, well it’s my gap year and I felt I hadn’t gotten to the bottom of it yet.

Then, last weekend it rained!

So honestly. Now I don’t know. I liked skating and dream of it’s rhythmic outdoor style. Yet the weather, with my schedule, reduces the chance of having enough time to learn the way I know it goes for me.

Last Thursday evening in dance class, I momentarily brimmed tears of frustration because I was so tired by then – from work and activity combined – that it was making it hard to focus. Frustrated because fatigue from a full-on, positive week obscured my joy in it.

Even with gap year permission, it’s hard to admit when I cannot do it all.