The world is an interesting place and I like a challenge as much as the next person. Being female and travelling alone on business to Lahore, Pakistan is one trip I won’t forget in a hurry. I stepped off the air-conditioned plane to be greeted with blistering heat and it was only 3am!! Acclimatising as best I could, I put extra clothing layers on to ensure I was fully covered up and went searching for my appointed travel host. If I’m honest, I wasn’t quite prepared for the security measures we were exposed to en-route to the hotel which was only a short distance from the airport; transportation was an armoured vehicle, the host was a fully trained personal armed bodyguard, we were stopped at numerous military road checks where my passport disappeared through many hands and to top it off there was literally an army guarding the hotel – to this day, I don’t know who was actually being protected – me from them or them from me!!

The hotel was charming, and this is where I learned that the world really is a very small place indeed….whilst relaxing and having breakfast another Westerner had noticed me and was curious why a female westerner was in Lahore and introduced themselves – low and behold he turned out to be one of our members, based just 3 miles from our offices, looking to export their products and services!!!!!

Lahore has left a lasting impression with me; I have never felt so safe; received so much attention or should I say scrutiny, met incredible and inspiring Pakistani business people, didn’t get sun burned in 49 degrees (a miracle) and the business trip was a success for the Chamber, now that’s what I call a result!!!!

Stef Heywood - International Trade Manager, East Lancashire Chamber of Commerce

For more information please contact Abigail Peake on 01254 356473 or [email protected]