Well, on October 8 I wing my way back home to New Zealand on Emirates via basically every airport in the world. Well, Dubai, Bangkok and Sydney. No idea why they couldn’t fly me Christchurch to Sydney, Sydney to Dubai, Dubai to Rome. Anyway.

I’m going to miss Rome, there’s no doubt about it. I’m not dreading going back to NZ at all. I know of a Twitter colleague who is holidaying in Sydney right now and just doesn’t want to return to Christchurch. Mind you, being in all those quakes and tremors, yep I can understand that a bit.

I’m in the swing now of working and really feel the work is worthwhile – working for a specialised agency of the United Nations. I’ve made some friends, including the woman I report to. She’s French and a lovely person. People now say hi to me at work. I’m an old hand at catching the metro. And the baristas at the coffee shop down the hill now know that when I come in, it’s a cappuccino and a cornetto.

And despite the chaos of Rome and the rudeness of Romans, it’s a spectacular city. You’re surrounded by history. The Italians have an innate sense of beauty and style. Even the Italian language is a beautiful thing.

So part of me doesn’t want to leave here. I know that back in rural NZ, the variety and choice won’t be there. I’ll wake up everyday and instead of working to help reduce poverty; I’ll be riding horses and playing with Zeph and Zsa Zsa. Okay, I’m not complaining. I’m just saying it will be a bit hard for the first week or so I guess.

But there are loud mutterings that another contract will be offered in 2012. No firming up on this just yet but I will continue working virtually for five days in the months of October, November and December. Then we’ll see.

I arrive back in NZ on October 10 and have a quick turnaround, flying out to Malaysia on October 15 to train knowledge management consultants in a Malaysian organisation. I love Asia but it will be a shock after living in Europe I’m sure. Then it’s off to Thailand to spend some time with my Thai family who I haven’t seen since 2005. A blogging pal of mine in Singapore, Marc of Creative Spark, has given me the names of a bunch of funky cafes to visit in Bangkok. So Lalida and I are planning to go to each one, as well as a restaurant her mother loves. I’m looking forward to this trip as it will entail no work!

Then it’s back to New Zealand and who knows what. That’s the fun part of life isn’t it – not knowing what will emerge.

I'll miss being able to pop into the beautiful churches in Rome. Every single one is a feast for the eyes.

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