Many of you who follow my trials and tribulations, the challenges offered up to me as I make my way through life as a self employed cake artist, may think I lead a wonderful jet setting life. Well let’s put that right, myself and many other cake and sugar artists travel the world sharing our skills and knowledge with thousands of people each year, on paper or should I say social media it looks as if we all lead glamorous jet setting lives.
Now don’t get me wrong I’m not complaining as I love my life and if I wasn’t passionate about my artistry I wouldn’t do what I do, it would be far easier to use the numerous qualifications I have to get a steady 9-5 stay at home job……but that’s not for me, I’m a gypsy at heart, I was born to travel.
Travelling as much as I do has to have a heck of a lot of planning, what do I have to prep for class or a demonstration, what can I take into other countries, do I need certain Visa’s for travel, what products are available in my destination country and can they do exactly what I’m teaching, do I need any injections or shots, do I need a translator, culturally what confectionery is used to celebrate what events, are there specific taboo colour schemes, do religious boundaries mean that I can’t be in the same room alone with the opposite sex, are there laws against physical contact between the sexes, are you allowed to use a camera in the classroom, is the country safe to be a person alone or do I need to be chaperoned everywhere I go? And these are just some of the things to consider before accepting a booking or sending out a class quote. Once agreed then it’s down to the logistics of flight time tables, hotels, transfers, luggage allowances, medical and travel insurances etc.
Then comes the days of travel, back and for to the airport can vary depending on where you’re flying from but the airport can be a bit of a nightmare if you’ve never been to an intentional airport, self check in sounds great but if it all goes wrong you’d better pray that the ground staff have time to help you and that they’re friendly. I find airports very stressful nowadays, there once was a time when I was like a kid in a candy store knowing I was flying somewhere, I love people watching and airports are great for that, making up stories to fit the people you pass, never knowing their destinations or reasons for travel, will I see a celebrity on my flight, will I like the person sat next to me on the plane etc. Now all I worry about are the lines for checkin, is my luggage the right weight, the lines for security and am I going to be pulled to one side for a random check, will my flight leave on time, will I make my connections, do I have to travel between terminals to make a connection and how do I do that, will customs an immigration in the country I’m going to stop me for questioning? It’s a bit of an emotional roller coaster and since I’m a little OCD and can get a bit panicky if I don’t think I’m in control I’m normally a nervousness wreck until I’m checked into my final hotel.
And there are other cake and sugar artists who travel more than I.
But at the end of the day I’m a very lucky man to have a career I love and to lead the life I choose, but next time you see me in class, the day after I’ve flown 28 hours to teach a class you’ll understand why I’ve got dark rings under my eyes and I’m a little frayed at the edges.
Okay, I’ve finished and I’ll see you at an airport soon