Making The Right Call...!
For many months I have had no inspiration to write a post to this blog. Mainly down to the fact, all positiveness had left me, and doubt popped it’s miserable head up above my “personal baracades”.
Only now can I look to the future and hopefully “fix the broken circle”, that this global pandemic has caused misery & heartache for many others.
My story isn’t unique by any stretch of the imagination, but it has certainly tested my resilience over the past 16 months!
I know, people have had worst experiences than mine, but this is my story.
When I decided to leave Mexico in September 2019 to return to England, I thought it would only be for a couple of months. Explaining to our daughter that I would return soon, and everything will be back to normal again.
My mum at the time was quite ill, which was also another reason I had to fly back to the UK. Subsequently she passed away in her sleep a couple of months later, but happy all her family got to say goodbye for the last time.
For me, I needed to find work, and fast. We had no means of support back in Mexico, especially with the collapse of the tourism industry. My wife and myself had worked together with tourists for over 17 years, and it was our only form of income.
I had over 20 years experience in Transport & Logistics back before I left England for Mexico in 2003, and I knew right then I need to get back into the industry. Especially if I am going to be able to support my family back in Mexico.
After sending out over two dozen employment applications to various companies and Employment Agencies, I eventually got a reply.
It was an Employment Agency in Warrington, Cheshire! At the time I was staying with my brother in North Manchester, sleeping on his sofa. This arrangement continued for about 3 weeks until I was contacted.
I accepted the job offer (Hermes Distribution), and started working immediately. Due to the location, it wasn’t feasible to commute from my brothers house to work each night.
I decided the best option would be a cheap hotel room near to the place of work. So, for the next 6 weeks I worked 10 hour shifts, 5 nights per week.
In the meantime I have to try and get help with accommodation from the local housing associations in the area.
This proved to be more difficult than I had anticipated, due to the fact I could not show that I had lived in the UK for the past 17 years. No matter how much I explained my situation, and the circumstances, they where not willing to help me.
Is this the Turning Point...?
Eventually I received some good news, and a cold call from the HR manager of XPO Logistics (now GXO). I had assumed she had found my profile from my LinkedIn profile!
I was offered an interview in Middlewich, Cheshire, and got the train down to Crewe and stayed the night in yet another hotel. Before getting the train the next morning to attend the interview.
It was a whirlwind 48 hours, and interview concluded, I headed back North to Warrington to start my next night shift at Hermes.
I think it was only the next day that I received news I had been accepted to start at GXO Logistics, Middlewich.
Time to pack my bags again and travel to a nearby hotel in Middlewich. I wanted to be within walking distance of work and my accommodation. So for the next couple of months I lived in the Travelodge!
This is a true part of my story, and puts it into perspective of just how adaptable you need to be!
Due to many of the bars, restaurants and shops being closed due to the lockdown situation, finding hot meals was quite difficult. Cold snacks and sandwiches I could just about obtain, but I needed a hot meal on occasion.
Most cases I had resorted to leaving cans on the radiators in my hotel rooms just to try and heat them up for a hot meal. Beans & Sausages, Rice Pudding, Tinned Puddings, Custard, etc where my staple diet for months.
Almost the full circle...
I think it took me about 6 months of living in hotel rooms before I was finally offered a flat (apartment) for rent.
More or less, all my earnings went on hotels, with the exception to what money I could send back to Mexico (the whole reason I am putting myself through all this). Not able to save anything for a deposit on a private rental, so the 1 bedroom flat is home for now.
There is a blessing from all this, I can cook any food I like!
I still haven’t been able to see my daughter for over 16 months, but Skype & Messenger calls have helped to lessen the heartache.
This pandemic has certainly tested my resilience for life. Without the thought of getting back to my family in Mexico, this story could well have not been told.
Yes, this is a Travel Blog!
This has been Adventure Travel of a different kind, and it’s another chapter for me.
I do get time off from my work, and I try to take advantage of the UK Countryside when I need solitude. Enjoying the scenery, the fauna, the quietness on my walks.
Grasp it with both hands, share it with the rest of the world. Its how tourism thrives!