Putanga – Life on the Road

Stories from my journeys around the world…

A Small World

Posted by Monica Johansen on July 27, 2010

Work plays a significant role in people’s life, basically because we spend so much time at work during a lifetime. In my case, I probably spend close to 80 % of the time I am awake either at work, working from home or from a hotel room or traveling to work. The main reason I work so many hours is that life as a traveling consultant means that you spend business hours on customer site, and after business hours you have to catch up with all the emails and paper work that other people usually do when they are in the office. In addition, there is a lot of traveling time involved, especially when you cover an entire geographic region.

Hence, while others work to live I typically live to work. Sometimes, when work has been challenging, my friends tell me that I should stop caring so much because it is only a job, but I totally disagree. It is not just a job, it is my life…

Yarra River in Melbourne

Recently I made a very important change in my life. I resigned from the position I have had over the last 2.5 years, and last week I started in my new role in a new company. In a way I believe it will be the beginning of a new era in my life, although I will still be traveling and working in the Asia Pacific region. The main difference will be that the new role is APAC based, so I will spend a significant amount of time in Australia, and I will also get an opportunity to work in places I have never worked before, such as New Zealand and China. In addition, the new company is a lot smaller than other companies I have worked for over the last 8-9 years, and I am looking forward to being in a position where you have an opportunity to be more visible, having more influence and making a difference.

This week I am in Melbourne on a five days training course with my new company, and I am staying at Medina Grand Hotel in the city center, which is within walking distance from the training facilities. This morning something very funny happened. I walked to the training location, and as I was about to cross the street I heard a familiar voice saying “Hello Monica”. I turned around and discovered that a team member from my previous job was standing next to me, and we both looked at each other and laughed. It turned out that we were staying at the same hotel and he was working just a couple of blocks up the road from where I was going.

This just demonstrates how incredibly small the world really is. I keep bumping into people I know in all kinds of strange situations, such as when I met my neighbor on top of the Eiffel Tower in Paris, and when I was waiting for the bus on a street in Ottawa and one of my friends from Norway suddenly came walking down the street, and many years back when I was on holiday with my family in a small town in Denmark and one of my friends from school was on holiday at the exact same location.

To quote a famous movie, “Life is like a box of chocolates, you never know what you’re gonna get”. I am very excited to see what my new job will offer with regards to seeing new places, meeting new people and experiencing new adventures. Because that is what life is really all about, isn’t it?


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