Man… I can’t believe it has been two and a half years since I was abroad. The last time was actually IRL#8 in Bangkok, Thailand. A global pandemic and Japan’s strict border control sure made it difficult for an expat to go traveling. This time, though, the stars had aligned and I was once again sitting fairly comfortably in a chair 30.000 feet in the air, traveling close to the speed of sound!
After two flights and a 13-hour (!) layover, my feet finally touched Slovenian ground. A few minutes later when I stepped out into the arrivals hall, Nejc was waiting for me with a poster of a bear in his hands (my name means bears in Norwegian) and we were off to Ljubljana.
It was truly amazing to see most of my coworkers again after so long, even though the circumstances definitely could have been better. We started each workday with all of us taking COVID-19 rapid tests, and all restaurant visits were made solely to venues with outside seating.
On the first day of IRL, Dejan and Nejc presented the current state of the company and its finances. We then proceeded to make a list of all the discussions we needed to have in the next few days in order to be prepared for the next quarter. The discussions went smoothly and we soon found ourselves working on some exciting new projects before those of us who were physically in Ljubljana went out for activities like hiking, mountain biking, zip-lining, and stand-up paddling. One evening we even played a session of Dungeons & Dragons, which we enjoyed so much that we decided to repeat it every quarter from now on.
This IRL, we arranged a company sprint the week after the initial gathering for the first time. During this following week, we did some pair-programming and made good progress on the website of our new project SmartOffshore. This was a rare opportunity for us as we work the rest of the year remotely and it might be tempting to repeat it the next summer IRL.
All in all, it’s been a great couple of weeks for me! To work, play, eat, and drink with most of my colleagues again has been such a mental boost and I’m sure it will fuel my motivation to do good work for a long time.
Below are some pictures of the many delicious gastronomical experiences Ljubljana has to offer and that we were lucky enough to partake in.