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Andrea's journey

Updated: Sep 20, 2021

Here I am. Back again in Oxford, writing my first ever blog. I don't even know where to start as my thoughts and feelings are really quite mixed about this.

As you might now, I left England for Hungary couple of years ago. I had an amazing time in Hungary, I also managed to do some travelling just before the pandemic hit. During the pandemic I was in Hungary, close to family, which was very comforting. Both my parents are medics; my mum is a radiologist and my father is an anesthesiologist/cardiologist as well as a clinical director and the manager of the intensive care so it was interesting to pick their brain during this time. I also saw my siblings more frequently as well as my friends from school and I also met some great people while I was there. Summer was beautiful, sunny and hot. There were plenty of outdoors activities to do. I visited lake Balaton several times as well as the hills just north of Budapest. The lockdown wasn't so severe in Hungary so I was teaching private classes face to face (hence I am so late with all the Zoom stuff).

So what brought me back? Well... first of all, it's YOU. :) I am equally excited to be back and reconnect with people. I also kept Oxford Pilates Ltd so I knew my leave was only temporary.

The way I left the UK last time was not exactly how I wanted it to be.

I first came to England as a naive 19 year old with only one luggage and my dreams. I worked very hard, supported myself throughout university, paid my own tuition fees and never took out a grant. I took on a business venture, I've run marathons, did ironman triathlon, I've been through some rough times and and made several sacrifices.... if you know me, you know that I am not the type of person who quits just because things are a bit tough.

I was pushed out of the business and the UK. That is how it feels anyway. I had Oxford Pilates since 2013. I was renting my studio space from a Physiotherapy clinic. They were the main tenants and I was subletting from them. I did set up the Pilates studio so it could run smoothly. I set up a system so reception could manage classes and bookings easily. I mentored instructors and eventually it meant that I could step back a bit and I could even have some time off. However my focus remained on teaching. One day, sometime in 2019, the director of that physiotherapy clinic, who is also a very ambitious woman turned around and told me that I can no longer rent the room from her so I had to move out. So I did. That is when I moved my equipment to The Pilates Garden in Kidlington and I left the country.

However I remained the sole owner of Oxford Pilates Ltd as well as the sole owner of the Mindbody booking software. I am still the sole owner of Oxford Pilates Ltd but I closed Mindbody in 2020. I have NEVER sold my client's data to anyone as it was suggested by the same Physio clinic in a recent newsletter. I was locked out of it as not only my password but also my login email address was changed. The newsletter which was sent out by the Physio clinic made me feel quite upset. But I also had to laugh out when I read 'she had no idea that I had any access to the contacts'. She did everything she could so I did not have access. But just so you know, I write newsletters using my Website. I have never used Mindbody for writing newsletters so I don't need the Mindbody login for that. Thankfully she has no access to my website. ...otherwise I am sure she would have taken that as well by now.

I am not a business person. I get my fulfilment through helping people. Teaching Pilates was my main passion and my reason for venturing into taking on a Pilates studio. ...but this means that I am occasionally backstabbed like that.

I do find the UK a harsh environment. Not only because of what I just described.

As I have mentioned earlier my parents are medics and my father is quite high up. He was reporting COVID figures on a daily basis. He still does. I know not from the news but from him that the summer was very quiet in Hungary. Hungary was also very quick with the vaccine rollout. I was already double vaccinated by the time I received a text message from the NHS. Yet Hungary is an 'amber' country. ...and that has consequences on how easily I can visit my family back home. It is clear to me that as long as there is this pandemic Hungary will always be an 'amber' or 'red' country yet more infected countries are put into the 'green' category. So I am basically kept away from my loved ones because of politics. It seems to me that the rules here have very little to do with common sense or our health.

I am telling you this as these are the things I base my decision on wether I will remain in the country or go. I don't mind 'difficult' but I really dislike 'unfair' or 'unjust'.

However I will do my best that my exit this time will be the way I would like it to be.

Until then, I hope to hear from you. It's time to connect.


Andrea xx

P.S.: Oxford Pilates is so much more than just me. We have a team of great instructors and even when I am gone they will be here for you. :)

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