At the beginning of March I returned to Munich, where it all began. The trip was fantastic, really great. I tell you more in a moment, but now let’s focus on that moment when I returned home.
Let’s go back in time to 4 March. It is 9:30 PM, I just drove 7 hours to get home. Both of my kids are asleep – or so I hope. It turns out my 4-and-half-year-old daughter felt lonely in her room. She wet herself – an increasingly rare occasion – and went over to her brother’s room. I found the two kids huddled together, both smelling funny. Yes, my 7-year-old son also wet himself – a very, very rare occurrence. So after spending a great week in Munich I arrived home to change bedsheets and pyjamas and tuck the kids back to sleep.
To be honest, I laughed at the whole situation. And I believe this event perfectly sums up my PhD journey: it’s great, it’s plenty of fun, it is easy to be self-absorbed, but at the end of the day, the everyday activities still prevail.
But I am not wallowing in self-pity, far from that. It’s nice to experience both sides of the story – one, which is about fulfilling a dream, through obstacles. The other side is a very hectic life with two kids (plus 8 if you count those who attend our private learning group) and plenty of activities.
So back to Munich. The last time I was at the Deutsches Museum, I was a very young and very naive person. The world of motoring research just opened up for me. This time I was far more experienced. And, without bragging, I can safely say that I nailed it. I spent a week there, found plenty of materials – evidence, literary review, even photos. At the end of the trip, I thought, it is possible to write a standalone PhD on just cars at the Deutsches Museum. So this was a very reassuring trip.
Next one on the menu is in Berlin. And that trip will be a mix of the two worlds: I will spend most of the week holed up at Technikmuseum Berlin. But on Friday my lovely wife will join me and we’ll spend a weekend together, celebrating our 10th wedding anniversary.