Valtteri Seraste // October 09 2018

Business or pleasure?

I love travelling. I love meeting new people, introducing myself to new cultures and aspects, and view the nature of other countries. To view the jungle from the train in Indonesia or seeing a helicopter’s belly when it flies just above you in Denmark, is something you’ll remember. I, from the very first breath, have been curious and hungry for an adventure. Or then I was just hungry, but you know, after my first trip I surely was adventurous. So, when I was introduced to a chance to go over-seas for work, I didn’t hesitate answering yes.

Keeping the subject on work, I can say that the working culture varies between countries, quite a lot. And no working culture is wrong as long as it works. It is just different. When you travel, you have to keep in mind that you are the alien in the other country, not the others around you. At least until the point that you get to know them. Adapt to the way the people do their jobs in their country, and you’ll do just fine. Best case scenario, you’ll learn from them and they’ll learn from you.

These travels I’ve made together with our clients. I’m travelling as an external resource, which is a huge honor and a privilege. Not going too much into detail, my job is to support the sales when presenting the system and solutions we have to offer. And what countries have I visited? To this date Indonesia, Germany and Denmark.

The greatest achievement of mine has been the training event for our technical partner in Indonesia. There was this new fellow, who had just started at the company. I did a two-day training with him, and by the end of the second day, he knew the system through and through. To manage that in two days is a great success!

Traveling for work is also hard sometimes. I’m not saying that it is hard all the time or even majority of it, because when you are on a work trip, you are concentrating on that work and you don’t think about the life at home. But when your working hours are over, and you go back to the hotel, you might think; “Man it would be nice to go and get a clinch of this place with my wife, husband, partner, kid, whoever”.

There’s one think I’d like to share with you guys. Me and my girlfriend listen to a lots of music. We have a shared playlist, for the days that we are apart. What we do is we both add one song on every day we are away from each other. It’s disgustingly cute and fluffy and creamy for some of you, I know. But it’s also super nice. And when we can’t have a call, we send videos where we go through our days, and one can watch them when best suited. Also too cute and fluffy to handle for some of you, but hey, I love it.

You know what’s the best part in traveling? It’s that when you are old, looking like a week old grape, sitting on that comfy armchair in the middle of a family re-union, you can lean towards your grandchild and say: “You know kid, I’ve seen some sh*t.” Okay maybe not (will do it though), but still, as one character in a specific series said, and I quote: “A man is the sum of his memories.” (This probably is quite a common saying, but that was the first time I came across it). Basically it means that you should gather as much experiences as you can. And traveling is a one hell of a way to do it. I’m grateful that I get to travel and see the world, but I’m also free to stay put if I want to.

The conclusion, traveling is awesome. Being able to travel for work is even more awesome. But no matter what, it’s always hard to be away from your family, friends, home. Luckily, we have the tools to call or video call home, which makes it a lot easier. And usually you do have the people to talk to and spend your time with.

I hope I can keep travelling, of course with my family but also with the Digitalist aspect, to see our other sites and environments where we are breaking the boundaries of digitalization and entering new challenges.

Business or pleasure? Both.

By Valtteri Seraste

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