I have been staring at this blank document on and off for about two weeks, and I do not know where to begin. I could start off by saying I am starting a new adventure 350 kilometers above the arctic circle (since that is the point of this post), but I’m going to save that part for later as I have a few more thoughts to ramble on about before I get to the part you are probably interested in.
'follow your dreams' paragraph below:
Work before life. A common lifestyle among the U.S. + many other places embodying a backwards way of how I will ever approach life. The problem I find with that statement is I feel as though many people fall into a trap and stop following what they are passionate about. Alright you’re probably thinking, okay here is another entitled millennial going on some bullshit tangent about following her dreams.
Well, that is exactly what I am about to do. The reason being, I get on average 5-6 messages per week about my job, questions along the lines of 'how do you get to travel all the time?', 'how can I do what you are doing?', 'how do you live in Europe?' etc. I mean a company that sends its 1000 employees to Ibiza for fun? It does not come around so often. But I mean come on, it's 2016... cant we all accept the fact that not very many people are actually productive for the 8-10 hours they are sitting at their desk?
Three years ago, I had an ‘aha’ moment when applying for jobs. I wanted to learn something different and try something new. I realized there was so much more to life than just sitting behind a desk while fetching coffee for someone else for 3 years. So, I moved to Dusseldorf, Germany – a city I had never heard of with not a single human that I could name. There I was, 22 years old straight out of college and decided to opt out of the traditional path for a job that I had no idea about & a new adventure that is not so new anymore.
Although I did put work before life, I also put life before work. This concept is a two-way street. I guess they call it work life balance? I chose a job that made me leave everything I knew & loved for a new and more fulfilled life. While it was uncomfortable for a few months (I mean I still can’t read a menu at a restaurant, damn Germans) this was by far the best decision of my life. I went to work for a young tech company that did not have the sexiest name in the industry (at the time). I didn’t necessarily care about the ‘name’ of the company of whom I worked for, I cared that I was happy waking up and sitting in front of a desk every single day.
This ‘job’ ended up changing my perspective on life. trivago has fostered an environment of talented individuals from all over the world to pursue what they are passionate about through core values that are constantly being challenged. I have 25 days of paid vacation that I must take by law, I come to work at whatever hour of the day feeling comfortable and challenged, but never do I feel intimidated and never do I feel like I can’t be myself. After all, we are all one team achieving the same goal. While I certainly do not get paid as much as someone who lives for 3 days of vacation per year, I would like to challenge that I am far happier with these experiences and memories under my belt, than a few more pairs of designer shoes in my closet (although, both would be nice – I won’t lie).
So, after 2.5 years of living in Dusseldorf, working at trivago, exploring the world and meeting people who I will call friends forever, it is time to close this incredible chapter of my life and start writing a new one. trivago has set very high standards for this ‘work life balance’ concept we all are striving to achieve, and I am sure this next adventure will take this to the next level.
norway, i'm coming for you.
Back in May I went on a sail to ski trip in Norway (you can read about it here or watch the video below by Pictionary Productions) Anton, a friend and captain of our boat had mentioned a new project he was working on and of course, I wanted to hear all about it. Little did I know when I said yes to a Sail to Ski trip in the Arctic I would end up basing myself in a place 350 kilometers North of the Arctic circle with 0 hours of sunlight for 3-4 months per year -- on the brighter side (pun intended) there is also 24h of sunlight for a few months out of the year.
If you are wondering where Tromsø is - have a look at this map below and keep zooming out to put things in perspective, haha.
While I love my current set up, I often find myself daydreaming. I want to be able to wake up and have the ability to do what I love - hike, ski, sail, be surrounded by nature & interesting people while having a challenging career that will help me grow, learn and adapt new ideas into the world. So I decided to chase this dream.
what is this 'new challenge'?
While this project has many pillars, the first one is Pukka Travels. Pukka Travels is an arctic tourism company for the modern explorer. It will be our mission to provide guests with a genuine, personal and high quality experience while exploring the Arctic. There are few places in the world that still offers the ability to see and interact with such wildlife and magnificent landscapes. I will be responsible for the digital strategy and partnerships of sailing, skiing, northern light hunting, whale safaris, dog sledding, fishing, snowmobiling, reindeer sledding, basically everything I love to do (or yearn to do).
We also will strive to challenge the modern workplace by being as agile and flexible as possible. After all, we’re here for a good time, not a long time. So while I’ll be freezing my cheeks off somewhere north of everything, please come & visit and explore one of the most beautiful places I have ever seen in the world.
Lucky for you, we are re-launching our website and giving away a few trips to the Arctic that you can sign up for on our fb page:
Bring on the cod, shrimp & arctic beer. Challenge Accepted.