Wednesday, 1 June 2016

Work Trip To Greece

I've been offline a bit more over the past few weeks, partly due to a busy schedule, partly due to illness, but mainly because I had to go to Greece for work!  I normally don't even leave my office much, so this was quite an event.  I was presenting my research at an international conference, on the beautiful peninsula of Halkidiki.  I'd had to leave my house at 2:30am and reached the hotel over 12 hours later, but my was it worth it - this was the view from my room.
 
Greece May 2016   
I'd arrived by shuttle bus from the airport with some other delegates, which was a good chance to get to know a few people.  At check in we were given a glass of prosecco, and we chatted a bit more and arranged to meet each other for dinner in a few hours.  I took the chance to shower, change and explore the hotel grounds, knowing there would be little free time in the packed schedule.  The Meliton hotel we were in is part of the Porto Carras 5* resort, which has a golf course, beach, winery and marina among its facilities.  It's huge!

Greece May 2016
Above: The Porto Carras Meliton Hotel overlooks the pretty marina

Greece May 2016

Greece May 2016

After a quick early dinner, the conference began with some opening speeches, a keynote address, and then a welcome drinks party at the marina where I played a game of find-my-complete-stranger room-mate (who was lovely, phew!).  It was a stunning setting, but I was laughing at myself and some other Brits who'd assumed the weather would be hot - it was decidedly chilly and none of us had packed warm clothes!  I'd only taken carry-on luggage you see, thinking for just a few nights I could manage.
  
The next few days were pretty intense at the conference, with sessions not finishing until 6:30pm.  On a professional level it was fantastic.  My presentation was well received, and I had some good feedback and interest in the research.  On a personal level, I met some wonderful people, and had a lot of fun.  A group of us even managed to escape the hotel one evening, taking a boat to the town of Neos Marmaras where we drank cocktails, ate fantastic Greek food, and had some great conversation.
I have never found networking events easy, and I was very nervous before this trip.  There's definitely a lesson here about pushing myself out of my comfort zone!  The conference was such a good experience that I'm already planning to present at some more events, including a conference in Paris next year. 

Greece May 2016

Greece May 2016

Greece May 2016
    
It was a good trip, but a fair trek for just three nights, and I picked up a nasty cold and chest infection on the flights and have been battling it for the past two weeks.  I've finally got my energy levels back to approaching normal this week, hurrah!  I'm not sure I would like a job with regular international travel, it takes its toll.
 
Do you travel much for work?

11 comments:

  1. Wow, what a view! I have to say this would've terrified me. The thought of flying on my own is bad enough, then going somewhere where I don't anybody and even worse, standing up in front of people giving a presentation. Yep, that would be so far out of my comfort zone I think I'd crumble! Well done you for being brave xx

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  2. What a gorgeous place to be! I adore Greece, it's been far too long since we last visited.
    Glad the conference went well and that you had a nice room-mate. Hope you're both feeling loads better now. xxx

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  3. Wow, I wish I got to work in places like this!

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  4. Wow, gorgeous photos! I think it's fantastic that you get to travel with your work, and to such a stunning location! ❤

    xox,
    bonita of Lavender & Twill

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  5. Not cool on getting sick. I hope you are feeling better now.

    What a great opportunity to get to visit Greece. It is one of those places I didn't manage to visit when I lived in Europe and I still want to get over there.

    bisous
    Suzanne

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  6. What? It gets cold in Greece? I don't believe you! I wouldn't have packed anything warm either!!I'm glad it was such a rewarding trip and that you may do more - we've got to get our work perks where we can ;) It's a long way to go for a few days though, yep! I'm not a good traveller so I couldn't do it, but I admire those who do xx

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  7. There are probably far uglier places you could be sent to for a conference, right? Work things aside, I'm glad you got to enjoy some cheeky cocktails and fabulous Greek food. The idea of going to a foreign country and then bunking with a stranger sounds very daunting, I'm not sure if this is something I would be able to do myself, so good on you for managing well and giving a successful presentation.

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  8. I'm so very sorry that you were stuck down with such a bad cold and chest infection as a result of your travels, dear Porcelina. That sounds just brutal. Fingers crossed that you'll soon be right as rain again.

    On a more upbeat note, congratulations on presenting your work and the great feedback you received, as well as for planning another trip in the vein to Paris next year. That sounds so exciting!

    Many hugs & healing wishes,
    ♥ Jessica

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  9. Well done on a successful presentation. Such a relief when everything goes off without a hitch! And you managed to sneak a little bit of free time too so that's can only be a plus!!

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  10. Wow, very fancy! And Paris for your next one - I am envious. Escaping the hotel for a night sounds like a great plan.

    I hope the infections have all cleared up now.

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  11. That's so amazing and wonderful that you got to go to Greece for work! The view from your room is so beautiful! Glad everything worked out though I'm sorry you got a cold coming back! All in all, it sounds like it was a great trip!

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