Tag: flying

A-travelling we go

A-travelling we go

Has it been a year already?

Once a year all of Automattic comes together in the same place for a week of bonding, planning and working where we can actually see each other (prompting several of my colleagues to go pants-shopping this past week). So here I am again, waiting to board a plane to Amsterdam so I can board a plane to Vancouver so I can get on a bus to the beautiful village of Whistler nestled between Whistler and Blackcomb mountains in British Columbia, Canada.

It’s actually my second plane of the day – my day started with a text message that my flight from my home airport had been downgraded to a smaller aircraft and that there were more people with tickets than there were seats. As I had a very long layover ahead of me, I volunteered to take a two-hour bus ride to another airport to catch a later flight to Johannesburg.

After a relaxing few hours at the airport (said no one, ever, but I’m trying to be positive, given all the travel I still have ahead of me) and now I’m waiting for my first of two international flights, at the end of which I’ll have been in transit for a total of 39 hours.

You may now feel sorry for me.

I know, I know. First world problems, but it’s brutal. And apparently people do this for fun?

Leaving home was hard, as always. I’m really worried about the Minion this time around, as we’re really close and she’s now big enough to really understand that I’m not there, but nowhere near big enough to understand why I’m not there or that I’m coming back. Thankfully the wife’s parents have driven down to stay with them for the week, so she won’t have to deal on her own.

I’ll also be celebrating my birthday away from them for the second time in a row, which sucks, and the Minion’s first steps are imminent and I really don’t want to miss that.

On the other hand, I get to spend some time with my team again, and with the other great people I work with, in a very beautiful place. I get to eat that amazing bacon at the hotel we’re staying at again. And apparently there’s a chance I’ll get to see the Northern Lights (if the weather is clear and the smoke from wildfires in BC isn’t too bad), so hopefully all the airporting is worth it in the end.

On the road again

Has this been a busy two months. Since you last heard from me we’ve welcomed tooth number two into the world, I’ve bought a house, the wife finished her last day as a teacher, we’ve moved to a different part of the country, and I’m about to spend about 20 hours on uncomfortable airport chairs and even more uncomfortable airplane chairs.

You’re right, that’s way too much for one blog post, to let me focus on the present for now.

One of the drawbacks of working for a distributed company like Automattic is that you don’t get to see your co-workers very often. We’re constantly communicating with each other online, and most teams have a video chat once a week just so we don’t completely forget how to communicate verbally, but it’s not the same as the dynamic you get when sitting in the same room with someone, chatting with them.

So at least once a year (aside from the big all-company meetup in September) each team gets an opportunity to get together somewhere in the world and have some face-time while working on a project to either improve our own skills or do something that benefits our company and our users.

Last week this time I was locking the door of my empty apartment, my home for seven years, to start a new chapter on  South Africa’s east coast. Now I’m sitting at Durban International Airport waiting to board my first flight of three that will take me to Lisbon, Portugal, to spend a week the people I work with most closely every day.

I must confess, it gets harder to leave each time. Due to complications with our house buy (watch this space) we couldn’t move in on the date we’d planned to, so we’re currently staying with the wife’s brother and his family. It’s a tad chaotic, and we suspect the Minion is spawning some more teeth, which doesn’t help the situation much. So I feel bad leaving the wife with all that while I jet off to an exotic location for a week.

And I always have this nagging fear in the darkest corners of my mind that something will happen that will prevent me from coming home to them. I know. It’s silly.

But hey, they just announced boarding for my flight so I gotta run. See y’all soon!

Up, up and away!

As this post appears on my site I am rising up into the air to start a new adventure.

Thirty hours from now I will land in the USA to meet some of the people with whom I’ve been working these past few months.

Exciting? You bet it is.

I’ve been abroad a couple of times, and I’ve visited a few neighbouring African countries, but this will be my first trans-Atlantic trip.

I can’t say I’m all that excited about the flying itself – 30 hours with a stranger sitting in my lap is not my idea of a fun time – but I’m excited about meeting my team. We communicate with each other daily via text, and once a week we have a video chat, but that’s not the same as spending time with someone in person. And now I get to see them all for a whole week!

I’ll post about my experiences soon. But in the meantime…

On my job interview – a twitterventure

As you may or may not know, last night I had a job interview in another part of the country.  Because I was in a silly mood and wanted something to do while waiting for my flight to be called at the airport I decided to tweet the whole adventure.  In case you missed it on Twitter and Facebook, here it is for your enjoyment, now with added commentary and pictures (for some reason my picture tweets didn’t want to go through – captions with pictures are as I remember the original tweets, but probably not the same at all) and including replies on Twitter and Facebook.

Continue reading “On my job interview – a twitterventure”