Thursday, May 25, 2006

Getting ready for the summer!

My return to to work after admits weekend has been surreal. First, I come in on Monday just to find out that my two team mates have fallen ill with scarlet fever. In fact, it turns out I had infected them the week before, since I went back to work after a few days of illness, thinking I had tonsilitis! Apart from that, the leadership seems to be a bit nervous and I had my partner shouting at me for some alleged wrongdoings. Do they think they can motivate me to work by shouting at me if I'm leaving in five weeks? I don't think so!

Luckily, today is a bank holiday and I get to plan my life after management consulting. I'll have about 6 weeks off before I move to London in mid-August, so here are my plans. For the first one or two weeks of July I don't have any plans, I'll just sleep and hang out, enjoying the summer in Hamburg, maybe going to the Hamburg beach at the harbour. Coincidentally, I finish work on June 30th and it's my sister's wedding on July 1st so I'll definitely have a great motivation to celebrate!

From July 10th to July 26th, I'm planning to take an intensive Russian course. I was happy to find out at the admits weekend they have extended their portfolio of languages offered and are offering Russian, Mandarin and Arabic next year in addition to the usual suspects. It seems the first two terms we'll have 4h per week so I'm very enthusiastic about that, it sounds like I will have a good chance of finally reaching some level of competency in Russian. I don't think I'll ever get such a great opportunity to learn a language again.

From July 26th to about August 10th, I want to go hiking somewhere sunny. I have had such an unhealthy lifestyle over the last two years that I really just want to be outdoors on the move all day for a long time, getting exhausted and breathing fresh air. Some days all I breathe is hotel air, taxi air, office air, airport air, airplane air... no wonder I'm constantly falling ill! So the two favourite options I'm considering are:

Hiking in Switzerland

I was going to go to Zurich anyway where two good friends from my old student days are doing their PhDs, so today I realised it wouldn't make much sense to go all the way to Greece, if I'm going to Zurich anyway I might as well stay there and go to the mountains from there. The good thing is my friend there goes hiking every weekend so she should be able to tell me all the best routes and nicest spots to enjoy lakes and mountains. I'm especially curious about the Italian part of Switzerland (see picture), since I only know the German part so far. This is my preferred option.

Surfing in Portugal

Somewhat less relaxing than hiking, the very exhausting option is to fly to Portugal and take a surf course. I learnt surfing in the Sopelana surf school near Bilbao and extremely enjoyed it (at least once I managed to stay on the board after catching the wave!) but haven't had the opportunity to surf since then. Surfing was much more exhausting than I had ever imagined, so that's exactly what I'm looking for. They even seem to offer surf courses where you do yoga on the beach every morning, a weird combination but also pretty cool!

What should I do? Maybe both?


Forrest Gump said...

both is best, but if i were you, i would go to portugal..

Benny said...

1. Why russian?
2. Sunny? come to brazil!
3. quit your job at once.

-tvu said...

I'd recommend surfing. Learning the sport is tough (swalling lots of sea water), but once you build up the your strenght (get use to taste of sea water), it will be extremely fun and very addictive. I longboard after work on Fridays. It's better then going to a bar and getting drunk...although that's not a bad idea neither. Go surfing.

RusGirl said...

If you need help with Russian - gimme a shout! :)))

As for advice about holiday - I would have chosen both options ;) Visiting friends is really great - but surfing (with family!) is also a very nice thing ^)

angie said...

thanks for your advice!

Benny: Russian because my husband is Uzbek and I need to learn one of the two languages to be able to communicate with his family. Uzbek is too difficult. I already speak German and Spanish and to some extent French so I find it more useful to learn Russian than say Italian or Mandarin.

I wish I could quit my job already! Problem is I'm in a 3 year program (work 2 years and get your salary over 3 years), if I quit now I would lose a whole annual salary that I definitely need at bschool so I'll stay for a few more weeks to complete the second year.

Rusgirl: it would be very nice indeed to have a Russian penpal! I'll come back to it! So are you definitely moving to Oxford in September?

futureguru said...

All the best with your Russian! people in my year who have taken languages say it is their toughest subject , since it takes a lot of time and work!! Enjoy the break...both options sound fantastic!

Patxi said...

What about Hawaii? I know it is far away, but I fell in love with the Big Island over the Weekend.

BTW, I do quit my job at once, or more specifically, this Friday :D



Moe said...

my vote is for surfing in portugal

Moe said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Ellen said...

Manila, Manila!!!

Hahaha! I know it's the farthest thing from your mind right now. I just realized I might've sounded too patriotic, trying to invite everyone to come to the Philippines! (I just wrote a comment on Jorge's blog!)

Enjoy your pre-MBA vacation!! Too bad I won't get one!! See you in 2 months!!! Yeeeeey!!! Can't wait!