From One Cusp to Another

Today I begin an experiment, in the spirit of all experiments always, in which I attempt to live locally yet work elsewhere. Yet that’s not quite it; my body is in Seattle, my work is in London, and my heart? Well, it’s global, it’s many places.

This has been the case for quite some time.

I moved to Seattle “temporarily” for an exciting job opportunity, an adventure in joining a crazily dedicated team of software and hardware engineers working together just outside of Seattle at what we called “DECwest.” Our mission: to build what was then an advanced 64-bit architecture that’d scale from microprocessor to supercomputer, with software that’d embrace leading platforms from UNIX derivatives to our company’s industry-leading integrated operating system, VAX/VMS.

But it wasn’t just the job that drew me to move clear across the country from my family of origin: it was the chance for a new experience, culturally, geographically, and personally. My then-wife and I thought that the Northwest was a great place to visit, although we were certain we didn’t want to live there.

That was some time ago, in a previous century. I’ve lived in Seattle for 33 years.

A few weeks ago, I made a similar decision regarding my work life. I accepted an engagement working with a large British financial-services client that’d require me to be physically present in London for a month at a time. It was thrilling to imagine experiencing living in England, a place and people joined culturally with the foundations of colonial America, but as the old saw goes, separated from the U.S. by a common language.

I’m nearly 63, and this opportunity to see more of the world than I had to date was irresistible, as was a chance to collaborate with colleagues old and new from both sides of the pond.

And so my adventure began, navigating the maze of regulations that govern immigrating for what could be months or more.

Then a coronavirus with the unpleasant designation “COVID-19” changed everything.

Here I intend to record and, I hope, reflect upon my discoveries, insights, downs and ups of attempting to live far from my colleagues, yet collaborate in real time.

Join me: it’s going to be a wild ride as we see what things are like on the other side of this cusp!

One comment

  1. Sam Falco

    I look forward to seeing what you have to say.

    I’ve been on traveling engagements since around this time last year, and recently switched to being a full-time trainer. Being grounded all of a sudden is certainly a shock. Converting training courses that were intended for 100% in-person interaction to an online experience that is valuable to the students will be a heck of a challenge.

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