Welcome to the first monthly review/wrap-up/thing!
August was a big month; I kicked off self-employment, left Sydney, and flew to London, one of my favourite cities. I spent a week struggling with jet-lag, exploring different areas of the city, meeting some trickers, and generally getting used to living while travelling (as opposed to holidaying) before getting back on a plane and spending the rest of the month in Bergen, Norway.
I think the easiest way to tackle these reviews is to break them down into sections. So, let’s start with travel.
In August I flew from Sydney to London, via a layover in Doha. I flew Qatar, a new airline for me, but they get amazing reviews, they won Best Airline in 2017, and I was keen to try them out (anyone who knows me knows I get way too enthusiastic about flying).
They were good, but I didn’t notice any huge advantages over my favourites Etihad, Emirates etc.
Once in London I split my time between two different hotels. Most of my time was spent around Shoreditch and Victoria while in London, and I got around mainly via walking and the DLR (my second hotel was out in the docklands).
After London I flew to Bergen, via a layover in Amsterdam, and spent the rest of the month there, staying with my friend Kim and spending each day working on each of my projects in different cafes.
London: 13th – 20th August
Highlights from my time in London:
- The café food! I’m in Norway as I write this, and it’s impossible to find good cooked breakfast options. London was heaven for someone like me looking for bacon, eggs, beans, sausages, etc., and most places offered all day breakfasts! Amazing.
- The depth. London felt so layered, with so many different things happening in so many different parts of the city. I can’t imagine ever being bored in London.
- Meeting similar people. I spent one day in Shoreditch having lunch with my friend Scott, one of the founders of Easle, and it was so nice to talk startups, business, travelling for work, and future plans for our businesses. It was really refreshing spending time with someone who shared similar goals to me.
- Using AndCo. This site helped me find perfect places to work from all over the city. I’ve written more about it here.
- Avoiding tourists; I took advantage of jet-lag and went to the Houses of Parliament and Westminster Bridge at 5am one morning, enjoying having the entire place to myself
- The history everywhere. To an Australian (or this Australian, at least), London feels surreal. There’s so much history in every single street and to be amongst that feels unreal.
Photos from my time in London:
All video blogs from my time in London (5 videos):
Places I visited/worked from in London:
- Pimlico Fresh – A really cute little café near my first hotel. Not the best for working (bit small and no WiFi), but dairy-free protein smoothie options and great breakfast food. Plus, open from 7:30am, great if you have jet-lag!
- Cambridge Street Cafe – I visited here while working through AndCo, so I didn’t get the full café experience, however the sandwich I got for lunch was amazing, and the staff were all really friendly
- Ozone Coffee Roasters – One of my favourite places to both eat and get work done! Delicious food, great atmosphere (noisy and fun though, so if you’re looking for a quiet place to work this isn’t it), fast WiFi, power points, and in the middle of Shoreditch. Highly recommend.
- The Attendant – Great location in Shoreditch, delicious food, however their WiFi didn’t work, despite the many signs out front advertising their free WiFi that originally drew me in 😅
- The Hoxton – I worked in this hotel’s lobby for a day and loved it, they have fast WiFi, lots of workspace, a café and restaurant, and just the coolest atmosphere
- The Breakfast Club – Grabbed my final breakfast here before flying to Norway and was a bit disappointed. Pricey, with waitstaff that were a bit unfriendly and brusque. Food wasn’t too bad though! Just felt a bit too hipster for its own good.
Bergen: 20th – 31st August
Highlights from my time in Bergen:
- Kim’s generosity in letting me stay at his place, and as a result, the comforts of a kitchen, fridge, and space (London hotels are not what I’d call, on average, roomy!)
- Playing guitar with Kim, Pokemon Go with Wingen, exploring the Skandi Vega with Christian, tricking with Alexander, talking business with Harald – just seeing and spending time with old and new friends.
- Being able to train regularly, whether that’s weights training or tricking training, the routine, even if just for a fortnight, let me set up a schedule of sorts.
- Everything is super expensive. I know people say this a lot, but one Dominos pizza, delivered, came to something like $38 AUD.
- Instead of microwaveable rice, the Norwegians have rice in a bag 🤔 I’d never heard of this, but you boil the water, drop the small bag of rice in, wait 10min, and then tear open the plastic and enjoy your rice. Cool!
- Bergen has an amazing solution for rubbish collection; an underground vacuum system, accessed by points on each street. Just drop your rubbish in your street’s unit and it’s whisked away underground by pneumatic tubes.
Places I visited/worked from in Bergen:
- Starbucks – The always-faithful Starbucks! The WiFi was great and there was one right next to Kim’s house, so I spent a fair few days working here when I just needed to get stuff done.
- Kaffemisjonen – Amazing place; delicious coffee, fast WiFi, not too crowded, and work-friendly. Loved it.
- Espresso House Torgalmenningen – Amazingly placed right in the centre square of Bergen, this was my go-to spot to hang out with friends or get a quick coffee. Really nice atmosphere and a huge amount of places to work, but the WiFi was so agonisingly slow it made being productive almost impossible.
- Amen Ramen – Delicious ramen just outside the centre of town, and they offer gluten free options! First time I’ve ever seen that. Amazing.
- Dwell – Wingen took me to this delicious vegan place, one of those vegan places that’s so good non-vegans are raving about it. Great food and atmosphere
Photos from Bergen:
Productivity started off slow this month, with almost a full week spent trying to get some sort of routine, dealing with jet-lag, getting used to London etc., so not as much got done in London as I would have liked.
However, I was insanely productive once in Bergen.
Within my first few days being here I’d built and published this site you’re reading this on right now. I’m really really happy with it, I feel like I’ve worked out a good balance between a portfolio and a blog, as well as a central site for all my projects and life-logging.
One night in London I was kept awake by a group of French tourists outside my window, having an incredibly loud conversation at 4am. For some reason my mind started wandering, and I realised I had an app to tell me where everything is (food, rides, workspaces, accommodation), except places to train tricking. I mentally worked out how this would function while lying awake, and the next day started creating mockups. 3 weeks later, here in Bergen, the House of Movement launched and has had trickers and freerunners submitting their training locations to the directory every day since. I love this site, am so proud of it and how quickly it came to life, and am really excited to see it grow.
Invincible’s August pre-order period ran well, with orders for the new designs coming in right up to August 31st. It was new to me running marketing efforts while travelling, but everything went smoothly.
We also recorded a new episode of the Invincible Tricking podcast, featuring Alexander Andersen! This was great fun, and travelling while running this proved no difficulty at all; Alexander lives here in Bergen so he and I were on the same time zone, which made it much easier coordinating with Jeremy in New York City.
I struggled a bit planning and recording a new course for Pencil To Pixel this month, and discovered I need a silent, open, clean workspace to be able to think and plan clearly. I’ve decided to kick the next course off, as well as re-designing the site, in the first week of September in Budapest.
This ended up working surprisingly well! While in London I used my Anytime Fitness membership, which lets me train at any gym worldwide, so that was easy.
Once in Bergen I signed up for a short membership at Trene Sammen City, an amazing gym a short walk from Kim’s apartment. It was slightly pricey for being here for only 2.5 weeks, but I’d rather pay a bit more than not train for weeks.
Tricking was so-so, with the London gyms being quite far out from where I was staying, and Fysak, Bergen’s tricking gym, being closed for half the time I was here. I did get to train on the big red bouncy thing though which has really helped with scoot flash drilling.
I always find jet-lag a killer when flying to Europe from Australia, much more so than the return is, or flying to the US, and it’s super interesting seeing this reflected in the sleep breakdown changeover on August 13th:
I’m not the biggest fan of public transport, so it took me a little while to get comfortable with London’s transport system, but once I did it was a dream. I didn’t need to get the tube anywhere (I still haven’t experience the underground!) but the DLR (Docklands Light Rail) was great; fast, frequent, and never crowded. Once in Bergen, the Bybanen is a dream, taking me straight from the city to Fysak and back, and to the airport as well.
Everywhere else I managed happily on foot.
(I swear I did fly from Doha to London, even if the map below seems to have forgotten about it. I definitely spent more than 9 hours on an airplane 😅)
No surprises here, just lots of airports, cafés, and some gym visits 🤓
And that’s about it for the month! I’m still trying to work out the best format for review posts like this, so let me know if you think this worked or if you have ideas for its improvement. I’m also still editing the Bergen vlogs, so I’ll add the playlist in once they’re finished.
Thanks for reading! Next month is Budapest 😄✈️