The wonders of traveling for work

This week I’ve been traveling to Oslo to provide a client with a ISMS lead implementer training for ISO27001:2013. Although there are still people who believe that traveling for work is similar to going on a holiday, I have to say that, although I usually do not agree, this trip was somewhat different.

Lots of free time in the evening

Since I have just recently made the switch back to our information security team, my planning was not too much filled with work yet which left me with free evenings throughout the week. This provided me with the nice opportunity to take some long walks across a wonderful city I’ve never been before. Doing quite some sightseeing on foot, which is by far my favorite mode of transportation, in a slightly hilly city with wonderful views both across the city but also on the fjord.

Oslo_Center   Oslo_Fjord

The Norwegian people are friendly in general and I was more than surprised about the kindness of people in traffic against pedestrians. One of the things that did surprise me was the quality expectations they have about food. apparently the food standard is very high in Norway since when they asked me about the food, when I replied that I liked it they were surprised that I liked this ‘bad quality’ food. I thought it was quite ok food.

Nice food at night in the city

Although the lunches were very good, that is obviously not the only meal during the day. After arriving in the city Sunday night I decided to go for the quick and unhealthy fast-food served by TGI Fridays. As it was recommended by a colleague to try the Sushi when staying in Oslo, I decided to follow his recommendation and get some very nice Sushi.

Oslo_Sushi

After enjoying the Sushi on Monday, Tuesday was all about some Mexican food. On Wednesday I got the opportunity to reconnect with a colleague I had not seen for five years. Having a nice dinner with 5 colleagues at a nice restaurant and afterwards walking through a very cold Oslo (at least -10C) back to the hotel, the last night was a fact. Then on Thursday the course participants had to take the final exam to see if they had really understood all that we tried to teach them and then it was time to go home again.

Good services at the venue and hotel

The good thing about both the hotel and the venue where the training was to be provided was that Free wireless Internet was provided and the network had decent bandwidth as well. Sufficient to have regular video calls with my wife and thereby staying in touch with home while being away from home. Besides the free wifi, at the venue they also served good coffee, nice snacks with both coffee breaks and (to my opinion at least) good food at lunch. The training participants were very friendly. Although English was neither their nor my primary language, we had no problem understanding each other. However it was very pleasant to have a Norwegian colleague present as well for the necessary translations.

The training itself

Besides all this fun of course also some work had to be done. The training itself. As mentioned it is a training for becoming a Lead Implementer of an Information Security Management System. All based on the ISO Standard 27001:2013 on information security. During the first day talking about the standard itself and going through all mandatory parts. Using day two to go into the topic of Risk assessments and the relation between risk assessment and information security. Day three was mainly about the remaining topics for ISMS and day four mainly a recap of days one, two and three. Most challenging was to stand on my feet for 8 hours each day and continue to explain the topic to non-native English speakers. The standing part was most challenging due to the issues with my muscles I have. Learning to slow down during these days was one of my biggest challenges. Nevertheless it was a very nice training to provide with nice participants and on a number of very interesting topics.

All in all this trip and the training, although physically challenging to deliver has been a very nice trip to Oslo which allowed me to at least see some parts of the city.

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