It’s a strange feeling after having spent 1.5 years in the magical city of San Francisco. Going home is a bit scary. I keep wondering why I feel this way. I believe that the reason is that when you live and travel far away from home, everything becomes an adventure. All the little things, the little victories, become super exciting. I remember the first time I felt really at home in San Francisco was when my local coffee shop guy knew my order. It seems like a little thing, but it is so exciting to have your local coffee guy know you want a Colombia mix latte in your bamboo cup, no sugar. In short, when you are far from home, all the little things feel exciting and like a huge victory.
I had a great time in San Francisco. I made friends, found a lovely place to stay in with my partner, discovered the beautiful Californian nature, learned how to surf (kind of), and had a stable job with great company. So why leave, you would ask?
Well, although I had a great experience in my first job, I needed a change. Like a lot of people in my generation (the millennials), I wanted a job where I could have a big impact both on the company itself and its stakeholders. At first, I wanted to launch my own company. However, I did not have an idea I was 100% convinced about, and no matter what anyone says, to launch your own company, you must be ready to sacrifice a lot. I am just not at that place yet. Luckily, during that period, I talked a lot with my friend Magali, who also co-founded this cool startup called atlasGO. After a couple of coffees, I was hooked, and she offered to join the adventure.
So, that is how the atlasGO adventure started. The main idea is for me to continue to grow our community of sweaty changemakers in Belgium and throughout Europe. To try to find new partners to work with and build on the awesome relationships we already have. I’m also hoping to develop our latest product called “virtual races,” which I believe could become game-changing in terms of fundraising for nonprofits. The virtual race is a new fundraising model where supporters can register for a virtual sporting event. This allows reaching an unlimited amount of people at a fraction of the costs of a physical race!
I’ve learned in San Francisco to follow my gut feeling, and I knew right away that I had a good feeling about this. Am I still scared about going home? Sure. I’m going to miss my friends back in SF, our “chill” way of life, the sun, the food, even Karl the fog.
I also know that I’m coming home with a great project to a city I know I love with a lot of awesome friends and family that I am so happy to see again!
Today, my biggest challenge will be to learn about this industry I know very little about. I will need to grow my network. atlasGO needs any help it can get from supporters, ambassadors, people in the CSR, HR, fundraising industry, or anyone that is willing to help me out. If you think you are one of those people, please reach out! It would make a world of difference for me!
Until then, stay tuned for the next episode, and let’s Go Go Go!