This week I was down in London for work, my first business trip since a the start of September. It was an action packed two days and it really put me in a position to reflect on what life is about, what I’m doing and how important a good night sleep can be when you have a 6 week old at home who cries all night.
I also met Alvar from Financial Independence Europe which was a hoot!
First of all, I must admit that I’m not a person who is very set in their ways, I tend to get easily influenced by other people and I’m not dogmatic in my thinking. So, I always enjoy meeting with new people and hearing what they have to say. That’s why I really enjoyed meeting with Alvar and chatting. It turns out that he lives in Edinburgh which is one of my favourite places (which devotees to the blog will no doubt recall and recall). He was down in London on a job hunt and I suspect having a good time as well and we met up in a hotel bar for a drink (non-alcoholic I might add) and a chat.
What struck me was how he’s so passionate about what he’s doing and FIRE – how he’s thinking outside the box to make money for himself and also how he’s incredibly able to have outgoings of around £1000 a month (when I think that spending under £3000 is an achievement!) Frugal is as frugal does. 🙂 It was the first person from the FIRE community I met in real life and my head is still buzzing with ideas from what he said. Definitely one of the most stimulating conversations I’ve had for a while!
I also got a meet up some of my Norwegian colleagues who were over with me for a tour of some companies/clients. They are a great bunch of people and we spoke for ages about the important things in life – work, office politics, the cost of beer in Norway and how much tax they all pay! We also talked about our kids and what it’s like being a parent in Norway. The bottom line is that I feel like instead of writing this post, I should be updating my CV and translating it into Norwegian! I’ve written previously about my affection for all things Scandanavian and after reading this blog post by Money for the Modern Girl about their holiday in Sweden (with kids) and reading this book about the Danish Way of Parenting my interest has been renewed.
I might be easily influenced but I at least have a good idea of what’s good and what’s not.
Anyway, the Lady and I love travelling and I’ve positioned myself with my Norwegian colleagues that they now think I should come visit our Oslo office soon to catch up and get to know everyone better. If that happens, we’ll make a family break out of it – spend a few days at work and the weekend in Oslo/Norway. If that’s palatable, we could look at escaping from the UK soon!
Finally, it was interesting to get into meet with different clients this week. Some old faces and some new faces and it again made me think that the type of company and the culture in it really matter. To anyone who is in a company that is a depressing place to work – JUST LEAVE NOW – you’ll find another job and you don’t have to put up with being unhappy.
I’m happy myself, after paternity leave I’m working from home about a third of the time, a third travelling and a third in the office. I can get by on that. But after a few weeks off, I’m beginning to reassess what I want to do in the company and how I want to work (and with whom).
Luckily the trip to London was such a success that I think I’ve earned a few brownie points with my boss which gives me more freedom to work how I want to work and avoid the long commute to work everyday. That’s what I mean by putting things in perspective.