The Bureau Goes Abroad

Pioneer Rabbit stands at attention for Dannebrog, the oldest flag in existence.

Portland, Oregon, is a city for creatives, and being born and raised in this pioneer state fills my heart with pride. From the wild nature and diverse landscapes to the laid-back bustle of a small big city making a quiet but reputable name for itself, there aren’t many places that could trump Portland as a place to call home.

Portland, you haven't seen the last of me.

But if ever there was a place to compete for my territorial pride, it would be Denmark. At first glance, you might be lured in by the pickled herring, but I assure you there is more to this land than stinky fish and long, cold winters. There is a social structure that, hopefully, enables security for the masses. There are traditions and a language that I grew up with but have slowly felt slipping away from me as I grow older. And of course, there is the majority of my family, firmly planted in the country from whence my mother came.

Copenhagen, you better watch out, because here I come.

So, after many trips to the motherland over the past two years, I’ve decided to go Transatlantic for a year, give or take. Sure, I’ll miss many things about Oregon, but in return for my continent hopping I hope to be rewarded with new challenges and experiences that will make me a better designer, business owner, and participant in this world. Come March, I will have arrived in Copenhagen to start an adventure that I can’t wait to decipher. Literally.

What does this mean for The Bureau? The Bureau will continue abroad as it has here in the US: partnering with talented small businesses and design agencies alike to make meaningful and beautiful things together. Whether these partners are in Portland or Copenhagen or Timbuktu is not of concern to me.

One of the main reasons I quit my agency job two years ago to become an independent designer was the freedom that it affords. Working on a variety of projects, and working hard – but also taking time off and seeing other parts of the world. So, with passport in hand I am going to make good on the mantra of freelancers that ‘you can work from anywhere’. Be assured, The Bureau will thoroughly test that theory.

True, some projects require a designer to be on-site, but many do not. And a few in-person meetings or “did you see so and so at such and such” will be replaced by emails, Skype (isn’t technology great?), and a schedule on my end that accommodates U.S. working hours. Need a European correspondent on a project? Detailed in-person notes about the state of the siesta in Spain? I’m your girl. Plus, I promise to keep you updated on my growing collection of Danish buttons.

Velkommen til B&O Oplevelsesshow, Hug Me I'm Danish, I've got a liking for a Viking!, Come to Bed: Scandia Down Shops, Din Smarte Sweater, Aalborg Lufthavn, Dane for a Day, Teddy Bear Club
You can't say you didn't see it coming - once I start a collection I like to finish it.

So, plan your next trip abroad to see Copenhagen and I will take you on a tour of a city rife with design, culture, and yes, stinky fish. Or follow along with my adventures here on my blog. And as anyone embarking on such a journey needs, wish me luck!

19 comments on “The Bureau Goes Abroad

  1. Best of luck to you, Mette! What an adventure. This is really inspiring and I’m looking forward to reading about your experiences. Safe travels.

  2. In case you think you need luck, well, then take out the little round stone with a hole in it, it will bring you luck for sure. The Danes swear by it. Otherwise, I think you are set: Talent and Personality, a winning combination.
    Og det var beskeden fra Mettes Mor.

  3. Please say hello to Hans Christian Andersen for me! We’ll miss your Portland presence~

  4. Man so jealoooous!! First I find out Ellington has moved to S Korea for a change and you’re going to Denmark? Definitely making me rethink
    My mortgage and corporate life job. Lol

    Who am I going to call to do my letterpress invites? Ha!

  5. Good luck to you Mette! There will always be a Mette-sized water glass for you at the Hufft house!

  6. I was34 when I took off for 10 months of packing around the world and look what I ended up with because of it. A fantastic Danish wife and two great kids. Lets hope that your adventures will bring you the same . Love Dad

  7. Life is Grand! Portland will miss you!
    I am too, tooking forward to reading about your adventures. Cheers!

  8. Steven’s comment brought tears to my eyes. I’m wishing you…not luck necessarily because you always make your own so stylishly with your planning, presence and performance…but that you find that you are where you want to be physically, professionally, personally. I ran out of p words. It’s late.

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