Pandemics aside, there are many ways to travel, but travelling by coach has never been one of my preferred ones. My understanding of coach travel is jaded by historic experiences that are almost certainly out of date, and these experiences have prevented me from availing myself of this mode of transport ever since.
Shortly after leaving university, I headed off the Cardiff to study Acting at the Welsh College of Music and Drama. Even that has changed, now brandishing the new moniker ‘Royal WCMD’. It was a bittersweet experience because my partner of three years was heading off to Truro in Cornwall to teach at a girl’s school. I’m talking of a time before the A30 (which cuts its way through the South-West) was widened. Journeys between Cardiff and Truro on single carriageways would typically take 6 hours, assuming a fair wind, the absence of tractors, and a vehicle in good repair. Unfortunately for me, that was rarely the case.
Every second Friday evening, I would weave my way through Glamorgan, Avon, Somerset, Devon, and Cornwall in a filthy coach reeking of stale sweat, cigarette smoke, and diesel fumes; being tossed from side, jolted back and forth, and bumped up and down, as a heady combination of dodgy suspension, faulty aircon, and a disgruntled driver wreaked its punishment on weary travellers who had the audacity of being so poor that this was the only affordable form of transport available to them. I'd repeat the journey in reverse on a Sunday afternoon. With experiences like these, it is little wonder that I have veered away from attempting to repeat them.
Like so many areas in life, things have moved on. My past experience is no longer representative of the current situation. My world view back in 1986 is not the same as in 2021. Meeting my sister off the coach when she recently visited me was an opportunity to marvel at the luxurious comfort that modern coaches offer. They might still be the slowest form of transport, but at least you arrive with your nerves and bones intact, and your bladder empty.
Sometimes, we get locked in positions, allowing jaundiced views to take hold and remain unchallenged. We judge current events through the prism of our previous experience, or we fail to use our judgement at all, merely accepting the status quo. It is at moments like these, that working with a professional coach can unlock our thinking, transform our outlook, and help us re-evaluate where we are.
Coaching is both a supportive and challenging tool which starts from a position of complete faith in a person’s ability to change, and then works through a process of identifying what that change might look like. It helps us understand what is really happening, rather than what we merely imagine to be true. And it gives us a chance to explore new possibilities that we have previously been unable to find or may have been resistant of.
Whatever you may have thought about coaching in the past, maybe now is the time to take a closer look. The ride is exciting and it could take you to places you have never imagined you might travel to.