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The Secret Life Of The Office Coffee Machine

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I’m a solo travel expert, solopreneur and founder of Wanderful Company, a labour of love inspired by 15 glorious years of non-stop traveling alone. 

Equipped with nothing more than a suitcase, a one-way ticket and an incessant desire to be happy, I’ve gone from one solo travel adventure to the next for almost one third of my life to countries including Argentina, Brazil, Italy and France.
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So, what does this have to do with travel you may be asking? Well read on my little butter croissant and all will be revealed. Let the idea of freshly made coffee aroma fill your lungs and set the tone. Things are about to get a little tiramisu around here and office life may take on a whole new meaning and so too, the beloved office coffee machine…let’s dive in.

Who doesn’t love the office coffee machine?! We all have one, we all know one. We all frequent one, we all adore one. Small and cozy, at times big and nosy.

There it stands, unapologetically proud while serving us much-needed refreshments in our hour of need. One too many zoom calls and you’ve gone square-eyed? It has you covered. A team meeting that sends you into horizontal mode? It has your back. Email popups like meerkats on speed? Help’s at hand. The one and only office coffee machine…a virtual BFF when we’re all zoomed out, and punch bag come office shrink when we wonder why the fig we are in the job in the first place.

And how does this connect with solo traveling? Well, nothing that seems obvious my little macaroon. But it played its tiny part in my own decision to throw caution to the wind, quit my job, and leave office life behind where it firmly belonged. It was time to head off into the unknown – a brand new life abroad of non-stop solo traveling (and a whole new coffee world waiting to be discovered too lol).

Back in the days when Corporate life came knocking, I was thrilled to have struck gold with a new job in a prestigious investment company. To outsiders, I’d won the office lotto. I’d passed the rigorous recruitment process the company was famous for and which was so tough, it would make cracking the Fed’s vault seem like child’s play. A company full of genius, full of egos, and full of expectation.

But there was one chink in my armor I hadn’t been expecting less than one year into the job. Boredom had plonked itself right in front of my office window intent on blocking my view and wouldn’t stop teasing me like some incessant fly diving into your cheese and pickle sandwich.

At first, I pretended I wasn’t fed up and would do anything to convince myself otherwise. I began doing what was seemingly a 1000 return trips to the office coffee machine, a mere 50 metres from my desk in an attempt to break that badass boredom.

That faint 30-second buzz each time someone pressed the cappuccino button seemed to sing to my soul from the other side of the building. It was pining for my attention with its seductive tones as if 007 himself was revving up his Aston DB7 ready to save me from corporate crazy. ‘Come here’ it would cry, ‘this way, quick I’m over here, commando-style across the floor between the photocopiers, nobody will see you, hurry, I have a new girl in town, an Italian espresso just waiting for you’.

When my loyal coffee servant was on occasion ‘out of action’, most likely being punch bagged by some boss who hadn’t been topping the sales charts, I was blessed to make those 50 metres stretch even further into the floor above. It felt like elation, I’d clocked up an extra 100 metres and if I could tour the fax machine and toilet, I could break 200 on a good day! A slight exaggeration in this narrative but the emotion, my little cupcake, was real.

But who was I kidding?! And how was I going to keep up the pretense albeit my coffee antics were taking on a whole new level! The time had come, boredom has done an A-class job on me and when the office coffee machine becomes the day’s entertainment, you KNOW it’s time to move on. lol. No more frothy cappuccino cravings, no more precious time-wasting, I was FREE.

you drown not by falling into a river but by

staying submerged in it

paul coelho

So why does the coffee machine call so many of us into its warm embrace? Why is it so persuasive in wanting us to hang out all day? Why do we practically cuddle in micro-groups around it in search of that elusive ‘something’? Why does girly gossip of who is making out with who seem to premiere in its presence? If only it could talk…

And what would my coffee machine have said if it could have talked?

Maybe ‘GTF out of here honey while you still can, don’t let them ‘corporatize’ you’! Or maybe ‘come by later and I’ll give you a cup for free, this place is making millions and you deserve it, babe’! Or even a little ‘wtf are you doing with that dress on, no friggin way office hottie is going to give you a look in with that frumpy number! ‘Grab a latte, bat those eyelashes like a pro, that’ll sort you’.

Aside from wanting to mix things up around here with some non-conventional narrative, let me tell you something my little toasted bagel, nothing gets in that brain quite like boredom. That feeling of ‘is this my life, is this all there is, is every day going to be like this until I retire’? Well, the answer is no mon petit chou!

As I look back, the coffee machine had become my Netflix, my ‘escapism’, and my knight in shining armor wanting to save me from a one-way ticket to nowhere. It broke up my day and provided much-needed TLC with its warm cozy coffee to snuggle my mitts around. I couldn’t admit it at the time but I was ‘done, I’d outgrown office life and office life had outgrown me. But heh, that’s ok. An amicable divorce, but I was the one, unbeknown to me, who was about to win the biggest settlement of the century’.

Of course, I’m being a little slapstick here but there is a point worth noting. If a job isn’t a ‘hell yeah, it’s fun’, it will eventually become a ‘hell no, time to run’. AND THAT’S OK my little tarte au citron!

You can find a way to make the best of each day and don’t forget, it’s only temporary. Here are just a few things that may brighten up your day and make you hug that coffee machine like no tomorrow lol!

The Do’s and Don’ts of the Office Coffee Machine

1. When the office hottie makes an appearance for his double espresso, insist he goes first, you’ll get to admire the rearview and will add at least another 3 minutes to the return journey lol.

2. Once a week take the 2 drinks approach, and accidentally spill coffee on the desk, adding 4 more minutes to clean it up, plus you get to go back to the coffee machine for a new one.

3. Don’t kick the coffee machine if you haven’t done the month’s sales figures. Karma is a beeatch! Just saying… )))

4. Smile knowing you’re not alone! Boredom blasters are global! Somewhere, there is an Italian venting at his office coffee machine albeit he gets to sip a decent cup of coffee on the way to his 3-hour lunch! And pay homage to the Frenchman oh la la’ing, his coffee machine has just gone on strike. And let’s not forget the German, his coffee machine is running with maximum efficiency, a 30-second pour has been reduced to 3! But never fret, he will be making his way to the second floor after a few months too, mark my words!

5. Time wasting can easily become an art. But be a good girl and GTF out of there if it’s not what you want! ps, the coffee machine will miss you but it has plenty of peeps to sing to albeit by zoom!

6. And if you should quit and go solo traveling, pour one last cup of coffee and smile! Caffeine has never tasted so good!

Well, my little pickle, coffee machines are wherever you want to find them…why not trade yours for a Parisien apartment?

a new ‘coffee machine’ in town!

As I bid farewell until next time my little cinnamon bun if such a thing should come along as a digital app making coffee come to you, think Uber meets Starbucks and had a baby, spare a thought for the BFF who was by your side from the beginning. Merci my little coffee poochy!

Want to upgrade office grind for the charm of real-life Italian office hotties lol?? Check out this little gem of inspiration Coffee Culture In Naples. And who knows, you may be cappuccino-ing yourself around the globe like have!

If you’re are asking how can I begin traveling alone and experience the benefits myself, click here on Solo Travel Masterclass to find out more about this unique easy-to-follow online course.

If You Like This Post, Also Check Out:

Traveling Alone: Top Tips From A Solo Travel Expert

Is Solo Travel Lonely? No. Here’s Why

A Few ‘Wanderful’ Links…

Forbes: Why Traveling Is Good For Your Health

How To Order Coffee In Italy

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hi, i'm kirsteen

Your new BFF & Travel Coach.

I'm an ex-Corporate girl who gave up a very successful career in the UK for a dream life traveling alone. Why solo? To do what I wanted,  where I wanted, and when I wanted. That was 15 years ago when I left with nothing more than a suitcase and an incessant desire to be happy. I've never looked back...


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