emotive. sabbatical: Chiara’s American adventure

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Chiara Mariani is a Senior Designer at emotive. Having completed five years of service she was eligible for a six-week paid sabbatical from work. She has just returned from an exciting trip taking in 3 countries and we asked her to talk about how she spent her time away from the office.

Describe your trip. Where did you go?
I went with a friend from London and we covered four states in North America – California, Nevada, Arizona and Utah. We started out in California, spending three nights in San Francisco exploring the city. We went to Alcatraz, the Golden Gate Bridge and Napa Valley for wine tasting. Then we drove to Monterey where we visited the Monterey Bay Aquarium, then Yosemite Park and Death Valley. I love nature and hiking so I really enjoyed the parks; El Capitan was a highlight. Death Valley was especially interesting because it is 85 metres below sea level, but it was very hot at 43C! Then we drove inland to Las Vegas, the Grand Canyon and Valley of Fire State Park. We stayed in a town off Route 66 and experienced a very American diner which was fun. We also went hiking in another canyon in Utah before leaving. We drove everywhere in West America, a total of 1,519 miles!

Afterwards I flew to Toronto for 2 days to see an ex-colleague from emotive. and then I met up with another friend in New York City. We spent 6 nights there visiting museums, galleries and sites like the 9/11 memorial. The last day was sunny so we spent the day in Central Park. Finally, I flew to Bologna to see my brother and then to Rome to catch up with old friends from my time living there.

Which was your favourite place?
Definitely the Grand Canyon. It’s stunning, and unique to America. There is nothing in Europe that compares.

Did you do anything you have never done before?
I have never been to America before, but other than that, we hiked up Glacier Point in Yosemite Park which is over 7,200 feet high. It was the highest I have ever hiked and there was even snow near the top!

Did you meet any interesting people?
Americans are very friendly so it was always easy to meet and chat to people. However, we were never around one place long enough to get to know people properly. We met some Native Americans on Route 66 that were very interesting to talk to.

If you could go anywhere in the world, where would you go next?
I’ve never been to Asia, so maybe Indonesia or Japan. I would love to explore a brand new culture.

Overall, how was your experience having 6 weeks away from work?
It was an amazing trip and I definitely feel like I made the most of my six weeks. I absolutely recommend travelling in America, I came back recharged and ready to jump back in. I would like to thank emotive. for the incredible opportunity to take an extended break and I’m looking forward to getting back into some new and exciting projects!

To find out more about working at emotive. email Harry Brooker (harry.brooker@thinkemotive.com).

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