Saturday, 28 November 2009

Saturday Archive 4

At the beginning of my driving career, I wasn't much good. Yes, I had my driver's licence, but that didn't mean I could drive. For the first three months I felt the coach was lording it over me. But slowly, as time passed, I got used to driving such a large vehicle. And one day I realised I was in charge of the bus.

Being a busdriver is however completely different to being a coachdriver. The first is just driving people from A to B, the second is driving them from A to B, but A might be Amsterdam and B might be Rome (since that's where all roads lead to).

The first couple of months I worked for the company I was usually doing the public transport runs and the school runs. Then I got the chance to do a schooltrip. Not on my own yet, but still, it was a start. Then it was a schooltrip on my own. Then I was allowed to go a bit further afield. Still nothing abroad though and that was something I really wanted to do.

In January 2003 (nearly four years after I started), I got the chance to go on a study trip through Europe. On that trip we would learn how to deal with people, how to get to know your way and what paperwork to use. Our first stop was Paris (France), our second Trier (Germany), then on to Prague (Czech Republic) and finally Berlin/Potsdam (Germany). All this in only six days, so you can imagine it was a lot to take in. Every night after dinner we would have an evaluation of the day.

This photo shows me together with our then highest boss (on the right) and a colleague. He had a soft spot for the tours part of the company and I was sad to see him go several years later, as were many of my colleagues.

The result of this week of training (fun mostly) was that I should start off easy: short trips in the local area or as third driver on a long distance trip. That last option was unfeasible, but the first was a bit easier. Ever since the summer of 2003 I have been driving my way through Europe. The trips are longer and further now, but the fun is still there (mostly anyway). All thanks to that very first study trip!


  1. It all sounds so wonderful. You get to see such beautiful country with your travels. It is nice to know that you are well seasoned before your able to do the longer trips. I hope that you truly love your job because that is a very important part of a persons life.

  2. What a great way to make a living! The coach trips sound like fun - and very rewarding at the same time.

    A few years ago I did one trip with one daughter to Scotland/Ireland and the next year to UK with an emphasis on London with the younger daughter. We spent one week of each trip driving the countryside - it was adventurous and a great way to see the country and meet the locals.


Any weighty (and not so weighty) comments are welcome!