Ok, the first thing I needed to do was unload my dogs. And for three weeks, this is no easy task. After considering doggy camps and extended doggy daycare, a generous relative came forward and offered to take them off my hands (yay). Once that was arranged, and my landlord agreed to watch my cat Sylvester, I was ready for my extended London work-cation.
I arrived on my birthday, which just felt right. Thanks to Clarity CEO Sami, my Marylebone Airbnb was perfectly located and ample for one, down the block from all the essentials including Sainsbury’s and plenty of luxuries including some of the best Indian food I’ve ever tasted.
My most 5 significant non-professional takeaways from this incredible visit:
1 Don’t put your Oystercard away after getting on the Tube. You’ll need it to get out.
2 Vegans are much better off in London than they are in NY.
3 There are old pound coins and new pound coins. If you had them left over in your bag from your last trip to the UK, they’re probably old.
4 Everyone has a story about an interaction with the Royal Family.
5 Always look both ways when you’re crossing the street. That way you’re bound to be right at least 50% of the time.
My most important professional takeaway was really more of a management learning, applicable at work and in life.
The best way to overcome cultural dissonance is personal connection and time spent together. Understanding – and this is ever so critical in our world today – is deepened when people take time to know each other. So, by far, my biggest professional takeaway – in addition to a few more tactical lessons – is to reach across the pond and get to know our international colleagues ‘up close and personal.’
P.S. My dogs were really happy to see me upon my return, as were their caretakers, needless to say.