London calling

London
London

I went to Europe with my mum and her best friend when I was three years old. I have five memories of that trip: the entrance to one room in the Tower of London, the house where we stayed in London, a street in Italy, a roadside in Germany and the grey of Buckingham Palace.

They are like very short films – snapshots of strange moments in time.

And now, on the eve of my 40th birthday, I am finally going back to Europe. I have wanted to go since I was a teenager. After I left home at 17 I was a traveler. I’ve lived in Byron Bay, Sydney, far north Queensland, India, Fremantle, Darwin and now Melbourne. I’ve been to Nepal, Indonesia, Malaysia and New Zealand. But I didn’t make it to Europe. My one-way ticket to London via Delhi in 1995 became a return flight to Australia to get married.

And with the birth of my son in 1996, my traveling abruptly ended and my career journey began. I have spent the past 15 years studying and working to build a successful career in communications and provide my son with the best education I could. But high quality education comes at a price and I haven’t needed a passport for more than a decade. With my son now in Year 11, the time to dust off my backpack is coming soon. In fact, out of the blue, it has just arrived.

I am attending the 2012 International Social Media and PR Summit in Amsterdam on April 11 and 12. The speakers are brilliant – Carla Buzasi, editor-in-chief of The Huffington Post UK, and Stephanie L. Schierholz, NASA’s social media manager,  just to name two.

I wouldn’t know about this conference if not for social media. It is being organised by @PRDaily, based in the US, and has reached me in Melbourne through twitter. This is no surprise. Such is the  power of digital PR. I follow @MarkRaganCEO and not only does he tweet great content, he also took the time to comment in my blog. My registration is evidence that interaction is indeed the key to consumer engagement through social media.

It is also no surprise that my dream trip to Europe has come through my career. Maybe it is reward for all the hard work I have undertaken in the past and continue to undertake every day. I am incredibly grateful to have a manager who values my work and is prepared to invest in me. And I’m taking a little of my own time to visit London and Paris… again.  Bon voyage! 

9 Comments Add yours

  1. Volker Janssen says:

    I travel to Germany on a regular basis – we might meet accidentally on the other side of the world one day…

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  2. Volker says:

    Hi Summer, I wish I could go to Amsterdam for a conference. If I was in your shoes I would certainly take the opportunity and add a couple of days to my itenerary. The great thing about Europe is that in most cases you travel four to five hours to end up in another country. In Australia you travel four to five days and you are still in the same country. As it seems you are a city girl (Paris and London again). There are so many beautiful places around Europe. I’m from Hamburg in the far north of Germany and it’s definitely one of the nicer places. But in terms of culture and history I would recommend Prague, Berlin, Barcelona, Florence, Lucerne*, Vienna, Dresden and Lisbon, just to name a few.

    *my personal all-time favourite

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    1. Hi Volker,

      Thanks so much for taking the time to comment in my blog. I would love to go to all the places you mention! Especially Prague… My grandfather (dad’s side) was from Czechoslovakia so I’ve always felt drawn there. And I’ve heard Florence is wonderful. It seems this trip is more about my mum’s side of my family. They came from London, France and Scotland. No time for Scotland this time 🙂

      I’m already planning my next trip to Europe… The Czech Republic, Italy, Germany, more France, Russia… 🙂

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  3. Sum this is fantastic!!! How beautiful to complete another circle in your amazing life my dear friend. The summit sounds incredible, and I’m sure you’ll tweet and blog about it so we too can vicariously share your journey and experiences. This trip is certainly indicative of your dedication and commitment to both your well earned personal and professional development. Bon voyage!

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    1. Hi Bron, thank you for your kind words and your happiness for me. Life certainly provides some wonderful surprises 🙂 I’m not sure if I’ll tweet or blog from my phone in Europe – I’m guessing it will be very expensive on my plan! But I will definitely post about the conference and my travel adventures when I get home 🙂 xxx

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  4. frenchfry36 says:

    Bon voyage indeed! 30 days to Paris for us 🙂

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    1. Yay! Maybe we could meet for a coffee in Paris 🙂

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  5. Pathika says:

    Summer. This is very exciting news. Not sure how many days you have in Paris but we had four and saw so much in that time because we bought a two day bus pass on the double decker system that has four buses that travel in interconnecting system. If you buy late in the day a ticket for the next days at after 4/5pm you get that part of that day for free and can go for a ride until 6/7 and get your first great evening view. It is fabulous and makes everything accessible with a great vie ad same time. You just get on and off as you wish and change direction as you wish in a clover leaf system. There are also brochures that tell you where the outdoor market is each day. This is a truly amazing huge proper market that moves location. Don’t miss it. It has everything including food to eat now. Head for a good brochure stand straight away. Polish your camera lense and take a spare sd card. PS I still have a photo somewhere that PETA took of a house in Crete I always used to say I want to make a house out of doors and she found one. Have a fabulous time and walk heaps. X x x

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    1. Hi Pathika,

      I will have about four days too. Thanks so much for the travel tips. I got a copy of the Lonely Planet guide for Western Europe yesterday, so I’m devouring that and refining my itinerary for Paris in springtime 🙂

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