Following six months of semi-isolation at home in London, UK, it is a huge pleasure to be able to be back on the road again this week, with trips planned to Berlin and Munich. Despite feeling the need to check and re check the travel guidance and to pack and repack my suitcase to ensure I have not missed the usual essential items, I also feel that buzz of electricity inside me - that eager anticipation that I've not felt for so long.
Most agents will tell you that traveling for work is, contradictorily, both a delight and bind of the job. Whilst we thirstily drink up new cultures and sights on our flying visits to the major cities of the world, we are usually not 'in situ' long enough to get an in-depth feel for a place, and certainly not long enough to recommend more than a good restaurant to eat dinner at late, after a performance. It takes multiple return visits to any city to make it feel anywhere near like familiar territory.
Agent reflections: first travel abroad
However, before March 2020, I would happily pack my suitcase once, sometimes twice a week, knowing that early the following morning I would be, once again, heading to an airport to fly abroad. Looking back, I long for the predictability and the simplicity. I had my European travel regime down to 45 minutes from arriving at the airport to boarding my plane - something in which I took great pride! I note that the current recommendation here in the UK is to arrive at the airport 'at least two hours early' - one of the many new considerations we all have to take on onboard.
Although of course I feel somewhat trepidatious about my first forays back into international travel, I am also grateful that this trip is even possible. There were certainly times in recent months when I felt that even taking a plane in September might be too ambitious, with all of the uncertainty worldwide. With further cases of Covid-19 on the rise again throughout Europe (and indeed many areas around the globe), it may be that my travels are still curtailed. These are the unpredictable times in which we live. However, for now, I will simply take the gratitude and look forward in great hope and anticipation to connecting with my friends and colleagues in Germany this week.
To all artists and agents already 'out there' on the move: travel safely, everyone.
Imogen Lewis Holland