Up in the air

May 15, 2011

For the last many years I have travelled regularly for work, something like 80 to 100 days a year, to all kinds of destinations all over the world. That came to an abrupt stop with my cancer diagnosis last May. I had actually just been about to head off to Afghanistan for 4 weeks, which obviously had to be cancelled. Since then I have been grounded!

While I was in treatment I didn’t miss it at all. Dragging myself back and forth to the hospital was the limit of what I could manage, and when you feel ill it is a relief to be able to sleep in your own bed every night.

When I began to think about starting work again, I was a bit worried about how it would go with the travelling . As those of you who travel regularly know, it is an exhausting lifestyle and not at all as glamorous as others imagine – hours and hours spent in airports and on planes, sleeping badly in hotels, jetlag, weekends at home disrupted by arrivals and departures.  Although I felt ready to start working from January, I absolutely still wasn’t feeling 100% well.

However, for some reason I was extremely lucky, not only to have lots of projects land on my desk from 1 January, but projects that didn’t involve any travel in the first months! It has been great to be kept busy while at the same time have my strength return. Gradually, though, as my energy returned so did my itchy feet, and I was really looking forward to my first trip departing on 30 April, more or less 11 months after I had last stepped on a plane.

I’m now back from that trip: 12 days visiting both Cusco in Peru and Washington DC. It was an exhausting trip in many ways. 26 hours trip from Copenhagen to Cusco, 7 hours time difference, altitude of 3300m, long working days, then on to Washington for more meetings, before heading home again.  Yet I felt fine, and seemed to deal with all of it better than many colleagues. I also met a lot of people who I hadn’t seen for a year, some of whom didn’t know that I had been ill in the meantime. I was surprised how many of them spontaneously commented on how well I was looking! I suspect it is the new hairstyle, but no matter, it really was a boost!

My life and my health are definitely back on track!

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One Response to “Up in the air”


  1. […] but I think that’s mostly I sign that I’ve been focused on other things, in particular my travelling at the beginning of the month. At 3300m (and hilly as hell), Cusco isn’t the ideal destination for runners unless you’re […]

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