Hello again! All has been fairly quiet on here, since the dim and distant past of 2016 and the Australian experiences, which all seem a long time ago now. Anyway, the blue bag came out again, and it was time for another Nuffield trip!
This one, over the last couple of weeks, has (if I’m honest) caused me loads of stress. It’s been mental busy at work. Launching a new website and a couple of campaigns for FCCT, spending a fair bit of time teaching which I love but needs preparation, and getting my literature review and methodology, and survey written for my Masters to name but a few things that needed doing. Let’s just say its been busy.
It probably all started from the fact that in the heady early days of enthusiasm and excitement when we were naieve new scholars, I had made some contacts and got some meetings sketched out for the America leg of my trip. I had always known that I had wanted to come and see what they were doing, explore a bit more about their extension programme and how it works on-farm, and also see how climate change was affecting American farmers (and more importantly what they were doing about it). In my head therefore America was done and organised.
To cut a long story short, it is only thanks to the fact that my mum stepped in at the last moment (2 days to go) to help me sort my arrangements out that I am here and still in one piece (thank you mum xx and I know that now I am 35 you didn’t think that you would be having to do this!).
Anyway by (very late) Sunday night, all was packed ready, and after a (tearful) goodbye to the children and husband (which hasn’t got any easier yet), I intrepidly set off on another adventure.
I’d booked a cheap airfair with Wow Air who were offering bargain deals and flying from Bristol to New York at an amazingly cheap rate. I was feeling quite proud of myself, until I read the reviews on Trip Advisor. FFS. All elation drained out of me as I read the pages and pages of feedback about the terrible time that everyone had had with Wow air. I had nightmares for two nights about the fact that I would be stranded in America with no bag, no clothes and no help.
But do you know what? It was fine! Bag didn’t get lost, border patrol let me in and I’ve just completed day 1 of meetings in Washington which meant finding a bus station at 2.30am downtown NY and managing to get there without incident (no mean feat).
And as I write this now, on the bus back to NY after an amazing day, I’ve realised that all that stress and hassle is so worth it. Nuffield gives me access to the most amazing people (spend the day with some proper big wigs in USDA), gets me into interesting situations (being ‘detained’ by the police in the USDA today) but also has made me stand up tall, realise I bloody can do it, and get on with it. And that’s the magic of this amazing (but slightly crazy) journey that I’m on.
Bring on tomorrow, I’m attempting travel by car tomorrow, watch out!