I recently had my first work trip away since the beginning of 2019, almost 4 years ago.
Back in 2019, I went to Afghanistan in January and then to Ethiopia in March (in fact I was in the middle of a training in Ethiopia when I received an email from my social worker telling me about a potential match with A, who would become my daughter soon afterwards).
Since then I had a kid, then there was a pandemic, then I had another kid, so there hasn’t been much of an opportunity to go anywhere or do anything!
This December, I was asked to go to Paris to deliver a training (technically a training of trainers to train up a new cohort of trainers who can deliver our course worldwide).
It was a really fun trip and I had forgotten just how much I missed delivering training!
The girls were both very anxious about me leaving, and my wonderful mum came to look after them for the week. I think almost every night she had one or other of them in her bed! Not a whole lot of sleep for everyone and they were all a bit knackered by the time I came back.
In between all the work, which was tiring, I managed to do a short afternoon wander around some touristy areas looking for souvenirs for the girls, and had a couple of really nice dinners out with friends.
I tried escargots (snails) and they were delicious!
I also had the best crepe I’ve ever had in my life.
Lots of fun meeting new people and doing work that I enjoy, and eating really good food and even just chilling in my hotel room in the evening, watching Netflix and not having to makie sure anyone has had a bath or brushed their teeth or done their homework.
It was really refreshing!
Of course I missed the girls like crazy, and on my return I got lots of desperate cuddles and a few angry shouts and pummelling from tiny fists, especially from A who couldn’t decide if she wanted snuggles or to punish me for leaving her!
Overall it was a really good experience for all of us – it’s definitely time the girls had a few nights away from me and learned that the world doesn’t end, and it was a nice break for me.