So after 4 months of being back in the UK. After moving house. After grinding out some serious work for big clients (and managing to break my right hand AFTER a skiing trip) here I am… about to take flight as The CX Nomad once more.
This time I’m being flown back out to New Zealand by a very special someone who ended up being my first ever CMX consulting client when I quit my corporate job in 2017, to follow up on the work we started in Customer Experience (CX) Design.
I’ve been asked over to deliver the international keynote presentation, aptly titled ‘Customer Driven’ to the their team of 200 store owner-operators at their annual conference next week and do some new consulting whilst I’m out there, on the next phase of their CX journey.
I wasn’t planning on taking time out again so soon after my South East Asia tour, but when the opportunity arose, I grabbed it with both hands! Meaning in true CX Nomad style…. I’ll be taking 6 weeks out to work and play, away.
On my last adventure I proved to myself I could run my UK based consultancy business as a digital nomad.. but being literally on the other side of the world this time is likely to present some bigger challenges. Mainly driven by the 11 hour time difference! Working with my NZ clients usually means 6am and 8pm Skype meetings, so I guess that’s what it will take whilst I’m on this side of the pond, working early and late to communicate with the mothership.
Since the last time I took time out to travel, my bizz has also grown.. I have more Associates to coordinate projects with and more clients coming on board all the time! But I’m not going to let that stop me living the life I want to lead… one that fuses work and travel together to create amazing life experiences that most women my age only dream of. 💁♀️
Speaking of stops… I’ll be stopping off in Abu Dhabi (Hello again Etihad Business Class lounges) Sydney (great to see you again too) before reaching my first destination.. the stunning little South Island beauty that is Queenstown. Kia Ora! Last time we met, it was Kiwi wintertime, and I very memorably got to experience her snowy resplendence from my snowboard, atop the mountains of Cardrona Alpine Resort. This time it’s summer’s end, so I hope to see her differently in a new autumnal light. It’s definitely time to make that trip to Milford Sound! 🇳🇿
If you’ve read my bio and previous articles, you’ll know I talked at length about what it’s like the be a single, white, female galavanting around the globe. But this trip is isn’t about solo travel. On previous peregrinations, I’d been discovering myself and searching for something within. I feel pretty sorted on that level (for a change) so this time I have made plans to meet up with friends, business connections and expat pals along the way and just enjoy the ride.
I’m particularly excited to be reuniting with my best friend after Queenstown. My beloved Billie Jean, who moved to NZ last year to pursue her veterinary career, tending to the millions of livestock and small animals that grace this green and pleasant land. And, having been separated from each other since August last year, for us to spend a long weekend exploring the volcanic lands of Rotorua together (I completely missed that part out last time I was there). While Billie is at work, I plan to be working from some of the cute little beachside coffee shops on Ocean Road where she lives in Tauranga on the east coast of the North Island. The sea views look incredible. For sure it’s the kind of place one would feel inspired to write. 🌏
Then, I’m off island hopping in Fiji with my UK based pal Pete on a Wanderlands trip… I’ve had very mixed experiences of Group travel…. from the sublime Malawi Escape delivered by London based ‘travelpreneur’ power couple Helen & Al of Faraway. To the ridiculously AWFUL one I did with Flashpack which included off itinerary unwanted adventures in the Philippines such as… sexual harassment in the villages and animal cruelty on the beaches of ElNido… perpetrated by their own staff. (Yes I did complain… and no I didn’t get a satisfactory response yet.. but I’ll tell you more about that later).
Anyway… Pete and I plan to stay on Mana, one of the tiny Fijian islands for an extra week whilst he does his PADI and I work from Beach (WFB) 😆 🌴 . I have visions of sitting under a palm tree, or perhaps lounging in a hammock, and although I think it’s unlikely we will have WiFi, I’ll be inspired to write, overlooking the pale blue waters of the South Pacific.
Then it’s back to NZ for the consulting work in Auckland before heading back across the Tasman Sea to Australia. I’ll be seeing friends in Melbourne and Sydney too! Two of my fave career girls, Missy and Freya, my sisters from another mister, who are chasing their work dreams in New South Wales.
And finally, I’ve set up a meeting with someone I used to work with in my Sainsbury’s days… who now just happens to be Head of CX at one of The big Aussie retailers.
Now the reason I’m writing this post, is to set my intentions for this trip. You may have noticed I mentioned writing quite frequently….. which is an indication of the huge goal I’ve set myself in the next 6 weeks… to write ‘The Book’ 📚
In my minds eye it will be part aide memoir, reflecting on some of the crazy situations I’ve faced during a career spanning 15 years in some really big FTSE 100 organisations and part Tome.. cataloguing my views on the world of CX, lessons learned and best advice I can give to any aspiring CX leader. It will be titled The CX (R)evolution.
I’ve talked about writing it a few times, saying it was going to be written by various points…and not making it happen:
- First it was to be written in Africa last summer….but I was so busy having life changing adventures, I didn’t feel it was the right time.
- Then, I hoped it would be birthed when I got back… but it wasn’t… as I had too much going on trying to win work and wasn’t in the right headspace.
- Then I said I’d write it in my downtime between client projects in the New Year… which turned out to not be the right time either as I was building project proposals and plans left right and centre and had zero capacity for that kind of creativity.
- Then I was counting on some free time between clients over spring so that I’d have it done before the end of June…. but that wasn’t to be as I won all the clients through all the biz development I did above and ended up working flat out for the last 4 months.
- There was one more opportunity.. When I came back from skiing in April. But nope, I managed to mangle my thumb in a car door so badly (still wearing my splint as you can see in the pic above) that it required major surgery to reattach all the important bits… and I was in so much pain I lost 3 weeks of my life in what ended up being a brush with potential painkiller addiction.
One thing is for sure though, writing this blog while I was away last year crystallised just how much I enjoy writing and it turned out I’m not too bad at it! I’m planning to use the blog format to collect the short stories I will use to articulate my points so you, dear audience, will get to see my work in progress! I would so love to hear your feedback… I even have a publisher lined up ready to go.. The most difficult part for me in focus.
My bizz friends who became writers have managed to lock themselves in a room and banged Amazon bestsellers out in less than a month. Some in just shy of a week! Yet I’ve spent the best part of a year not writing mine. Like the plot of a great murder mystery I’ve always had the motivation, and the means.. but was always lacking opportunity. I’m determined not to let myself get out of it this time. I’m determined like I have with so many other business goals- TO KILL IT!
Writing this post is kind of like holding myself to account. I’ve told you, the universe and my exec coach what I intend to do… I am NOT going to let myself make any more excuses. One thing’s for sure, it ain’t gonna write itself! So I’m going ALL IN! ✈️🌴🥂🇳🇿📚🙏🏻💁♀️🌏