Solo travel via high speed train, only 20 euros for a first class upgrade. Bring it on. My journey starts after a quick cafe creme and pain au chocolat with my business advisor (and pourer of delicious rosé) in Nimes. I spend the morning staring out the window at the countryside amazed at how much ground the Hibiscus story has covered in a very short time, how thankful I am to have awarded myself this year to plan my business and prepare for the year ahead and not rush blindly into ‘getting some stuff made up and flogging it’. This has come at a price, I’ve sold my house, I don’t have much equity left, I’m no longer a property owner, a major decision but during this recession I can’t keep up the pressure of a mortgage burden and the associated costs of running a house in London. I’ve joined the growing ‘renters’ community, the short term news is good – lower personal overheads, the opportunity to travel and get REAL inspiration, meet people and widen my horizons, the long term news is not so great. I have no property to sell and so I have to think about how I’m going to support myself later in life, c’mon and work Hibiscus! …before I get too serious about my retirement plans it’s time to change trains in Paris. I jump in a cab, loving my 20 minute glimpse of Parisian boulevards and dive straight into Brasserie Terminus Nord for lunch. I wish all travel was this civilised. On arrival the maitre’d greets me, whisks away my suitcase, installs me at my table where I happily work my way through a half dozen oysters, an ice cold glass of bubbly and an excellent fish soup. Smiles all round as I head across the road to the Gare Du Nord and part two of my train journey. Forget the retirement plans this afternoon, a siesta is where it’s at before my arrival in Amsterdam. I’m a devotee of The Four Hour Work Week so siesta’s are a cunning part of my business plan as well.
On the train from Nimes to Amsterdam via Paris, with an attitude of gratitude today….