It’s that time of year again where I jet off to Whistler to spend a week with my co-workers.

Leaving again on the same time flight I headed out on last year. This time instead of Sérgio and Marcin meeting me at EDI, it’ll be another Edinburgh Automattician, Julia. We layover in the lovely Schiphol, and have slightly fewer people for the main leg – 23!

Last year was my first Grand Meetup (GM) and we’ve grown to 604 people (from the ~460 at GM16), 129 people started after the GM last year! And yes, we’re always hiring. It will be good to meet team mates who started this year or that I didn’t interact with much last year.

I’m going to be doing Carry-On this year, I have a case which a while back I realised fits under the carry on limit for most airlines, and due to my Flying Blue membership, I get “Extra check-in baggage allowance” – so I can take the case and my Timbuk2 bag inclusive!

Going halfway across the world for a week, while lovely, isn’t an easy ride. It’s full on days, lots of discussions, brainstorming new projects, chatting about the company and our goals, making friends, looking at cross-team collaboration. Sure, we do get to spend time seeing people we mainly haven’t see in person for a year, socialise, and that helps us work even better in our distributed roles.

Big shout out to our friend Sarah, who is taking a week off her work to help wrangle kids, and keep Zara sane!

I still find it odd that I leave Schiphol at 1.20pm local time, and arrive into Vancouver at 1.50pm local time. Saying that my travel time is nothing compared to some others.