Soft landings and the Brain Science of Adventure

The Adventure Begins

My global adventure began not with a bang but with a soft landing which made my brain happy. It reminded me that you must pack more than your clothes for the trip. The most critical item in your luggage is your support network. The week leading up to my leaving my home and my husband for 3 months (the longest we have been apart) was emotional. Leaving always creates a sense of loss even when the adventure awaits.

Because it was the first time travelling on a dual passport, I was waiting for some customs official or airline official to tell me I had screwed something up and “sorry, we won’t let you in”. I am happy to report that the process was seamless. One thing I know from all the travel I have done is that the experience starts the moment you close your suitcase. Little things like a shower in the Bidvest Lounge before you leave and choosing the best seat on the plane are vital. On both legs to Dublin, I was in the front row with lots of legroom and space to stretch and, thankfully, sleep.

Cross the Emotional Bridge of Change

Any journey of change means moving away from what you know, and there is a mental and emotional bridge you need to cross. Having a gentle landing to catch my breath and allow the emotion of leaving to dissipate is the perfect start to this adventure. It got me thinking about the value of my support network on life’s journey, especially in a world where change is constant.

Instead of jumping straight into business, I met up with my life-long friend Kerry to spend a few days in rural Ireland simply catching my breath, drinking copious cups of tea and getting valuable advice for the journey ahead. You cannot put a price on a friendship that spans a lifetime. We decided not to do the touristy thing. This week has been about friendship, great conversation, and just allowing the anticipation to build. 

As I cross this bridge, I notice the impact on my mental, emotional, physical and spiritual state. Your inner critic and cognitive dissonance is strong. I am reminding myself to stay in the moment and make each one count, to allow my inner critic to be a motivating force and to break things down into bite-size pieces to make the crossing more manageable.

London Calling

Moving to London, with no issues at Gatwick,  I was welcomed by my dear Uncle John (who has to be the most technically savvy nonagenarian I know. He has been my “home-away-from-home” on my travels to the UK, and I am grateful for another soft landing to establish myself. As a remote worker, I only need a roof over my head, a shower, a bed to sleep in, a coffee machine, access to a transport network and fast wi-fi. Everything else is negotiable. I have already had an online mastermind and several meetings as I was at my desk at 7 am for a South African client.

And then, there is my global LinkedIn network which I have been building consciously for the last five years. It has been so good to connect and reach out to my network. So far, I have already set up five meetings. These meetings are about taking online connections to the next level, not hard sales. It is about understanding the business environment I am stepping into and where the low-hanging fruit lies to start activating work in the region.

These support networks have allowed my brain to process change as gain rather than loss, and it has kicked into high gear and is happy to support the new phase of our lives. Today I started with the basics – bank account open and setting up my local mobile and data access tomorrow. I can then get my NHI number sorted, assisted by Sable International, who have walked this journey with me and whose support has been invaluable. The adventure continues.