Lessons I learned while traversing the world {Part 1: Holland}

Lessons I learned while traversing the world {Part 1: Holland}


#Life#Best Of

Look, I get it. I was gone an entire 7 days. I’ve done Europe a total of three weeks in my life and I’ve only been in places where the water is drinkable and people mainly know English, even if they refuse to let on to that fact.

So when I say “World” here, I mean my very tiny portion of exploration. “World” is relative.

Traditionally I’ve enjoyed often moving locations, lands, homes. The year I spent back in Houston as an adult, taught me the value of community. My lesson that year showed me however much I hated living in the flat, humid land, I still met enough people to miss. I felt nearly grateful for this fact: A place is made up primarily of the people who occupy it.

It is in this vein I travel and recount my stories accordingly.

It’s been said a thousand times, but finding your tribe, your people, is critical. I believe there is a tribe for each of your personas. The people at EECI are my tribe. They are my geeky, hilarious, nerdly, drunk tribe. And I can not tell you how much I adore them all.

Like brothers.

Brothers who buy you beer.


*Leevi Graham helps code while Low looks on.

EECI 2010

These people are giving, smart, and kind. They are funny, sarcastic, and punchy. These are my kind of people. We can talk families, code, business. We can laugh loudly and sing even more so. And the next day we can sit down and problem solve as a team.

If only we saw each other daily, what a productive team we would be. Or a very very drunk one, I’m not sure.

When asked “What do you want to be when you grow up, little lady?” I never would have said, “I’d like to market a small company and an amazing software product that enables people to publish on the web!”

I think I said I wanted to be a ballerina.

My what a long way I’ve come.



The magic, it is there. After hours, well in to the night, we find a space to share bits of ourselves the sunlight doesn’t see. We share stories of children and dreams and business and goals.

Maybe we even cry for a minute, just a minute, because we’re safe.

It’s not unlike other conferences people with similar interests attend. It’s just that this is our space, the unique space of code and logic and sarcastic joy. It’s un-commercialized, it’s raw, it’s pure. It’s real, still.

I love its realness.


Fans and Figures share notes of success. There is no clique one better than another. We help each other push forward in our careers.

I wish the mom community could do the same, asking nothing in return except the joy of knowing you were part of something bigger than yourself.


*Amazing people in the same room: Veerle and Geert, Greg Wood of Erskine, and Kenny Meyers.

So, then, what did I learn while traveling? What did I come to think of about Holland?

It’s more than the realization that the world truly is smaller than we think. It is more than knowing the food is better, the culture is open, the bikes are abundant. No, it is much more than celebrating the 3 October with a motley crew of nerds.


It is a sense of home. That… that is what I learned this year in Leiden, a town I’ve spent a total of five days in. Because these nerds are my home, however cheesy that makes me.

**Totally related: I’m doing a liver cleanse as mandated by my Doc starting tomorrow. Care to witness the thrashing of teeth and gnawing of cuss words? Veggies and a protein shake only for ten days. The price I pay for good beer. Totally. Worth. It.


  1. You make me cry! I missed EECI and those crazy boys and girls. Last year was so great; I was high from it for months. Bravo to the EllisLab community for keeping it real.

    By Mrs. Camacho on 2010 10 10

  2. I went with my husband for a work trip to Heidelburg.  Well, they told us it was Heidelburg, but his boss booked us at a hotel in Leiden.  And then made my husband work 22 hour days and stranded me in Leiden without a car.  Or any knowledge of the transportation system.  One day I rode the tram into Heidelburg, but I couldn’t figure out how to pay, so I broke the law.  Another day I went to the grocery store and bought a bunch of Febreze because I couldn’t figure out where to do laundry and our clothes were starting to smell.  I watched a bunch of late night Sumo wrestling.  I paced our room and talked to myself.  But I have fond memories of our trip.  And I think I would have liked the town if I’d had anyone to show me the ropes, or even talk to.  Your version of Leiden sounds much more fun.

    By Lora Lynn on 2010 10 10

  3. Spent the whole post nodding in concurrence, then flinching at the photos.

    By Wil on 2010 10 12

  4. Beautiful blog with great informational content and Thanks for this great sharing.

    By kewin on 2010 10 13