I suspect it might be the vestigial memories of night bus journeys from Lagos to Abuja back in the day, but my favourite journeys over the last couple of years have been on trains – spotting a rainbow just outside Edinburgh on the way to a job interview in 2009, returning to the North East of England for a weekend of introspection in 2010 and being surprised by the breath taking beauty of a sun bathed Forth Road Bridge, in November no less! Something about watching the grey granite of built up areas segue into lush greenery, and blue clouds, usually leaves me a little awed.
All week I have been working at an offsite location – grateful for the chance to work at a much slower pace, and to take the train from my city to the smaller neighbour next door. On one of those days, I end up sitting next to a man dressed simply in a tee-shirt and pants, with a jacket bearing the logo of one of the behemoths of my industry on his arm. We strike up a conversation over tea. It turns out he used to work as a Reservoir Engineer at that company until two years ago when he quit to ‘follow his heart’; his heart being training emergency responders.
He says he earns a little less these days and it took a full year to complete the extra training he required. He adds though that he treasures the spare time he has – which he spends volunteering and hanging around his children, as opposed to peering at 21′ monitors pretending to optimize reserve recoveries.
If I believed in omens, I would imagine that some fate orchestrated this meeting to remind me that nothing is too good to let go off to start anew; knowing myself I’d still probably leave it till late….