It’s one thing to enjoy what you get up to do every day. But to get positively excited about it? Some would say it’s only a very small minority that achieve that. Reflecting recently, I’m pleased to say that I must have found my way into the minority.
“But all you do is drive people from A to B everyday” I hear you cry. In essence, yes, that’s exactly what we do. Although granted, I think that we add a little more to that – arriving early to pick up our clients, always being friendly and courteous, conversing with the clients should they wish us to and getting them to their destinations on time, every time – effectively going that extra mile and putting our customer service one step ahead of your typical taxi company’s.
Whilst some of our journeys are routine, others certainly aren’t as I’ve mentioned in our previous blog post – “There are the usual jobs… then there are the unusual”. Our more regular trips however are taking families to airports, on the first leg of their often long journeys to go on holiday. As part of that, we get to arrive at our clients’ house to be met by what is usually a very excited family. Especially so when they have children who have been counting down the days and weeks until their holiday and for who it may well be their first visit to an airport or flying on an aircraft. Usually the children have been up since the crack of dawn – and the adults greeting you whilst still rubbing their eyes and yawning says that they weren’t allowed a lay-in either!
Luggage gets loaded, final passport checks are done, seatbelts are fastened and we set off on the road. It’s at this point, en-route to any of the regular airports that we visit such as Gatwick, Heathrow, Luton, Stansted, London City or Southend, that the excitement builds. Parents glad that the packing is done and the journey is now in the hands of one of our experienced drivers. Children buzzing about the arrival at the airport, seeing the planes and the anticipation of their first flight, albeit unknowing of what this experience will be like. And it’s hard not to share in this excitement. There’s something about going to an airport that for me will never become dull – such a hive of activity and hustle and bustle. So on that journey down in one of our cars, it’s hard not to share our own stories of holidays past with the family that we’re taking down!
Of course, we arrive, help our clients out with their luggage after sorting a trolley out for them and wave them on their way into the terminal. Then, there’s the return journey to come. Fine for us, it’s the normal thing that we do on a daily basis. But when we return to collect our clients, it will naturally be after a wonderful holiday and the journey home will be the start of the anti-climax. More often than not, most of our clients have fallen asleep within the first 20 minutes of leaving the airport! That palpable excitement has long since vanished…
But the closer we get to home, wherever that may be, it becomes evident that that excitement has been replaced… with the longing to get home! I recently posted on our Facebook and Google Plus accounts a picture of the Bury St. Edmunds Sugar Beet Factory. This sight, when I come across it as I drive along the A14 back into Suffolk, is one I’ve always associated with being “nearly home”.
I asked whether this was true for other people and the response was great – not only was this a familiar and welcome sight to many, but other landmarks cropped up too. “The Tesco and Toys R Us as you round the final corner before hitting Ipswich on the A12” commented Ben Shotbolt. “The BT Tower at Martlesham” followed Ruth Leigh. Karen Blake also simply said the “Suffolk sign on the A12”. And for Kim Norman, it was simply “all the fields” – certainly a welcome sight after the built up areas of London. Charlie Dalton also added, almost patriotically “For me it’s the twin BP service stations at the Rowley Mile near Newmarket that stand sentinel as a gateway to Suffolk”. Finally, Carl Lamb reminisced back to Suffolk’s past history by stating the old “Claydon cement works chimney” between Stowmarket and Ipswich.
So it became clear after this and after so many comments regularly heard from our clients in our cars, that once you’re nearly home and you see a familiar sight, the anti-climax of coming back from a holiday is briefly halted. Hopefully our picture above will remind you of the sight you most look forward to on your journeys back to Suffolk. The longing to be in your own home – relaxed, cup of tea in hand – is more common than I’d realised. But after all… home is where the heart is, isn’t it?